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Trip Recap: Wild West Coast Wanderings

NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2023 - Embracing the rugged beauty of New Zealand's West Coast, our recent 4x4Explorer Adventure was a journey of camaraderie, challenge, and unforgettable landscapes. The expedition brought together a diverse group of enthusiasts, including returnees Mike, Michelle, and Trevor, joined this time by Trevor's wife, Tracey, and newcomers Keys and his son Zakk, all sharing a common passion for the untamed outdoors.

The Prelude: Our adventure kicked off at the charming Historic Top House Hotel, a place that never fails to amaze with its warm hospitality and excellent cuisine, providing the perfect setting for our team to bond over a delectable dinner before the journey ahead.

Day 1 - Leatham Valley: The journey began with an exploration of the serene Leatham Valley. Although logging activities altered our original plans, the alternative routes did not disappoint, offering stunning vistas and a refreshing dip in the river, setting a high bar for the days to follow.

Day 2 - From Forest to Historic Towns: Transitioning from secluded valleys to the historic streets of Reefton, our cross-country expedition took us through a tapestry of landscapes, from the scenic Porika Track to the humorous cow-herding encounter. Each stop, whether for battling sandflies at Lake Rotoroa or ice cream in Murchison, added layers to our adventure narrative.

Day 3 - Big River Mine: The trek to Big River Mine presented a mix of natural wonders and historical intrigue. Venturing into the A1 Adit, we were greeted by the eerie beauty of cave wetas and glow worms, a stark contrast to the sunlit trails leading up to the mine. The remnants of heavy mining machinery high up the mountain left us marveling at the feats of past generations.

Day 4 - Peaks and Plateaus: The journey to Mt Rochfort offered panoramic views that made every step worth the effort, with clear skies allowing us to gaze across vast distances. The day continued with explorations of the Denniston Plateau and the heart-stopping vistas from rocky outcrops, reminding us of nature's grandeur and the thrills of off-roading.

Day 5 - Napoleon Hill: Our final day was a fitting climax to an extraordinary week, with Napoleon Hill providing a trail unlike any other. The visit to the historic settlement and the journey through the eerie tunnels felt like stepping back in time, encapsulating the spirit of exploration that defines 4x4 adventures.

The week was more than just a series of destinations; it was a shared experience that bonded us through laughter, challenges, and the shared joy of discovery. The camaraderie within the group, complemented by the diverse landscapes and the rich history of the West Coast, made this trip unforgettable.

As we parted ways, with promises of future adventures, the memories of this trip lingered, a testament to the bonds formed and the shared passion for the great outdoors. Our journey underscored the essence of 4x4 exploring - not just conquering rugged terrains, but discovering the stories, history, and connections that make each trip unique.

To those who joined us and to future explorers eager for their own adventure, the wilds of the West Coast await. Until our paths cross again, keep exploring, keep discovering, and keep sharing the journey.

- Your guide and fellow adventurer, Rich

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