Two go 4 x 4

Day 20. Sunrise at Patterson’s Pond freedom camp….

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Tekepo Adventures…. Off the beaten track in a 4 x 4, 3 hour return. Again our weather luck was holding for this pre-booked excursion, maybe too hot at 32 degrees.

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Our lovely tour guide/driver Cristina, immediately made us feel easy both in her company and transport a 4 x 4 Landrover. Cristina and her partner Ben started the company eight years previously. We felt we were in safe hands. A brief outline of the tour – the group tour usually takes up to six people – only on this occasion it would be just us. The usual Health and Safety and we were off on our own private tour!

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Ten minutes later off the main road we approached the first of a good few gates, this first padlocked, giving us private access to the Braemar Station region of Mackenzie back country, thereafter it was down to Long-suffering to jump out as gatekeeper – and chief photographer – to all the remaining stock gates – keys not needed.

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Proper off roading now, we bumped along farmers tracks. A gentle undulating, flat landscape. Dry, rocky, thin soil, broken up with brown mounds of tussock grass and patches of green farmed land as far as the eye could see, stunning views over the the mountains and lake from a different perspective.

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Cristina was an informative and enthusiastic guide and was obviously passionate about this landscape and the wider areas around. Temperatures can get as low as -10 here and wind speeds through at 200km an hour.

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Photo stops were encouraged giving us lots of opportunities to stretch our legs. Crossing literally in front of our path huge Hares zig-zagging away, herds of Red Deer grazing then in full graceful flight. Pretty inquisitive cows gate side and Perendale sheep.

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We stopped at an old sheep station, a basic two room hut to weather the worst of the elements. Wood bunks in the bedroom, the interior lined with old newspaper clippings. A kitchen area, wood burner stove and seating.

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Our final stop, could the views get any better? Oh yes, on this tour they did! Breathtaking views over Lake Pukaki to Aoraki/Mt Cook, Mt Tasman, and the Ben Ohau Mountain range, clear, uninterrupted, and oh so quiet, just us three. Made even more special as Cristina produced hot tea and Whittaker’s Chocolate – our favourite since coming to NZ. A fantastic way to see the really wild side of NZ with Tekapo Adventures.

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Lunch Stop scenic lookout patchwork of Rapeseed fields…

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Mount Somers holiday park, good facilities, especially the Tavern up the road showing the World Cup Rugby Final! The muse showed willing in case long-suffering was the only Brit. It was even numbers two NZ one the owner and two Brits. Half time the muse was gone…..

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