4WD Safari at Makoura Lodge – Day 68
Four Wheel Driving with Makoura Lodge
On today’s episode of New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year we are joining Makoura Lodge for a 4WD Safari!
If you want to see more of our 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand, subscribe to the BackpackerGuide.NZ YouTube channel!
Our hosts in Makoura Lodge have organised for us to go on a 4WD safari on their land.
Today we are waking up in the beautiful Makoura Lodge in the beautiful surroundings of the Ruahine Ranges we are in the middle of nowhere and it’s great to wake up literally away from everything. So we’re in Makoura Lodge today with Hugh who is going to take us four wheel driving and see the whole estate. He says he’s going to make it rough for us so we’ll see what happens and we’ll see if we survive. We are about two minutes in and there is already some pretty epic views. on the way up we’re following a nice hill up and we just look to the side and get an awesome view of the lodge and all the surroundings. this is such a stunning location.
We are taking the drive to some 4WD training tracks because Makoura Lodge they do 4WD training on all these different sorts of tracks of different abilities and difficulties even the New Zealand police force come here to train how to drive with a 4WD here. This is Axle Twister humps and hollows we put in here just to teach drivers to go int he straight line to keep the steering wheel straight instead of going this way and that way in every hollow and that is when you get immobilized the first thing that we notice when we arrive down there is that there are a lot of different tracks they all have different kind of names and they all vary in difficulties so Hugh is going to start from the easiest and going to go up to the hardest and kind of show us all those things that you can do with you classic mum and pap car. This track is to show you to not listen to your instincts but to do something else to be skillful at driving a 4WD trucks. So we’re basically being pushed on one side and then the other and then on one side and then the other and Hugh which is like you know literally retired now is just on the drive and he’s having a blast the man just sees us moving and bouncing everywhere and he’s just straight as a T not moving super professional he’s just like I’ve done that all my life urrrr it’s just like everyday shopping drive right here it’s ridiculous. And the cool thing about this training centre as well is it sort of reminds me of like downhill mountain biking or like a ski field where you have all these different named tracks of varying difficulty lie the Axle Twister we’ve got the Waterslide we’ve got the Concrete Wall. It’s pretty crazy and because we’ve had so much rainfall recently the track is caked in mud. It feels like we’re literally inside a Toyota advertisement right now you know like every time there is those advertisements the car is doing some amazing tricks in the middle of beautiful location well this is exactly what’s happening right now it’s pretty intense and this is just the beginning next we are going right down the hill we’re even going up the side of hills and going around corners which look way too narrow for this huge effing vehicle to fit through but no Hugh goes round. So we get to this section where literally it is like a near vertical rock wall which is what the track is called and we’re like we are not going up that area we? And Hugh’s like I’m not sure if we’ll make it up but we can give it a go and I just ask him like well if you just give it a go what happens if you, you know, get halfway up there and you… what happens then if you can’t get up to the top? And he just says, well, we’ll just slide back down again. Ok. Down backwards ay? What? And then all we can do is say Bloody Kiwis! And then Hugh just drives back down and the best thing to do is just let the car just roll back down and do not hit the breaks because then the breaks will lock and that’s when you can have an accident so it’s good to know that any slight mistake could have us like rolling down the hill at any moment but no you know just let go of the breaks just let the car do it’s thing it’s apparently the way to go so you know those handles on the side of all cars which you never really use well… I’m falling in love with this little holder right here. This handle right here. This is my new best friend. So seeing this guy taking this ute around every where he wants is just pretty impressive I mean Laura and I are having a blast i mean we are laughing like kids It’s ridiculous. Back to Makoura Lodge, this is such a nice lodge it has a fireplace and we are pretty much stuck to the fireplace the whole afternoon Robin is making some venison burgers tonight obviously because he says like aw we’ll make food for you tonight that’s we not I so obviously I’m helping but because Robin has a very specific recipe he wants to make I am just his kitchen bitch for tonight.
And then Robin pipes up saying I’m making venison burgers tonight. In my ome country. In my ome country we make Camembert. I can’t do French accents for shit.