Monday, 24 February 2014

What Happened Next......Nokomai 4WD Safari

Another couple that we became friends with on the safari were Bob & Linda, they were staying in their tent at the campground where we were. They'd come over from Reefton on the West Coast especially for the 4WD trip. After we saw their Pajero with all the ropes & chains & other 4WD gear we were a little worried about taking the Ford Ranger but Bob assured us we'd be fine. He also told me that 4WD enthusiasts call our vehicles "shinies" & a "shiny" trip is an easy one. Famous last words aye Bob? ;)

Here's the link to the story so far.

Bob & Linda were following us on the last leg & at a stop Bob had told David that after passing through the deep bog he needed to wash the mud off his radiator. So when he took a left turn down Roaring Lion Creek instead of crossing it like the rest of us, we knew what he was up too.

But as we crossed between the two rivers, he disappeared out of sight & it was only the roar of voices & the rush of people to the edge that alerted us that something had happened. When we got to the edge of the next crossing it all became clear. Bob & Linda had driven off the end of one river and into a deep hole where the other one met it. I think the pictures tell the story.....

Bob attaching tow ropes, Linda stayed put. I thought she also stayed very calm, she told me afterwards that she had her handbag held high in one hand to keep her cellphone dry and her camera held high in the other.

Unfortunately when the tow vehicles tried to pull them clear they pulled them deeper.

The back filled with water drowning all their camping gear, food & clothes. Later I saw their two large white clip lid storage containers with all the food inside, both were filled to the brim with water, everything inside was soaked & had floated to the top.

These guys tried to weigh down the side so the Pajero could be pulled up and over the steep lip.

But that didn't work, first one tow vehicle, then three failed to move it.  The shouts rang out "Bring more" Bob shouted too "Hurry up, get a move on!!!" or words to that effect.

As more of tail enders arrived they gathered to watch proceedings from the other side.

Five vehicles were now attempting to pull the Pajero out- three at the back & two at the front pulling the back vehicles. Still no luck.


"FLOOR IT......." Still no luck, just a little closer but with the back deeper.

And then the heavy artillery arrived with a powerful winch & a snatch rope.

And out Bob & Linda popped, 30 minutes after taking a dive. And out poured gallons of water when they opened the doors.

And to much applause Bob took a bow!

Roaring Lion Creek nearly swallowed you up Bob! It was the icing on the cake of a fantastic day for all the "shinies & newbies" along with the seasoned 4WDers that had gathered to watch, shout encouragement & instructions. We did feel sorry for them though. After a bit of tinkering the Pajero failed to start & instead of heading home to Reefton, they had to be towed back to Lumsden. What an end to their weekend.

The safari, beginning at Nokomai Station and ending at Roaring Lion Creek, was 50kms in total and we had a fabulous time & thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the trip. It was an amazing opportunity to see part of New Zealand that not many people get to view.

It was getting late when we finally drove back out onto the Nevis & headed home back down the section of road that we'd already travelled twice earlier in the day. But this time I got David to stop so I could get some of the ute crossing a ford. 

Once past the gate at the top of the range where we had exited Nokomai on the first section of the safari we were on a part of the road we hadn't travelled before. The sun was low in the sky & provided some spectacular colours on the amazing scenery up on the top of this range. This is looking towards Nokomai Station and way down in the valley below is one of the tracks we followed up earlier in the day.

Garvie Mountains

The views on the other side of the range were just as spectacular, a patchwork quilt of  browns & greens in the fertile valley below. This is looking towards Kingston & the bottom end of Lake Wakatipu.

And historic ski hut on the Nevis Road, just above Garston.

Oh how I wished we could have stopped for longer here so I could have clicked more "considered" landscape shots but after a long day we were keen to move along. We'll just have to return to the Nevis another time.

Looking down the valley towards Athol where we are staying, with Mid Dome back left. Below Mid Dome is where we began our journey following the river into Nokomai Station. Round Hill is on the right.

And finally we are at roads end.

Next stop, the Garston Pub for a cool drink & a shared seafood basket! A great end to an epic & incredible day.

Click on this link to see more photos from the safari on Flickr, I will be adding quite a few more to the set in a few weeks. We are heading to Mavora Lakes for 2-3 weeks where there is no cell phone reception which means no internet & also no blog posts until we resurface.


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