First stop, Sand Island! An amazing, beautiful & remote Island which is only accessible during low tide by 4WD. It fringes on the outskirts of Auckland. Having not been here for three years, we couldn’t have been more excited to see this place again. We expecting some company being peak season, but as things would have it we were the only campers with only a few distant trucks fishing off the edges of the beaches in the distance.Some serious winds were pumping through this area. Felt sorry for poor mate and all the struggles he had with his tent. He ended up camping way in the woods for shelter.On arrival the weather was windy! But we knew a little spot tucked away amongst some remaining tea trees, providing the needed shelter. Spending the day walking around the island, swimming and cooking up some salmon and lamb on a small cooking fire. This Island has endless 4x4ing opportunities! We went through all the dunes, mounds and southern perimeter. Unfortunately, without a recovery truck, we couldn't explore as densely as we have in the past. Watch out for the North East part of this island, the clay/mud will get even the most capable trucks. We had a 2hour recovery there some years back.After Sand Island, Hokianga was the next spot on our list. Heading past the famous Kauri Forest we found a little 4WD river spot with a tree swing. Being a 28deg day this was a much-needed cool down. Hokianga is a beautiful place and well worth 2-3 days to explore. Endless coastal walking opportunities, beach fishing spots, snorkelling and local pubs. We were here only for an afternoon and stumbled upon a Fleetwood Mac tribute band performing that night. We didn't snap our accommodation that night but ended up staying high in the farmlands on a roadside clearing. Sometimes you take what you can get. This poor fellow had a little bit much to drink outside the pub
Off to the East coast from Hokianga, this has to be one of the most beautiful sights to wake up to! Calm ocean with undisturbed white sand beaches... this is why we head to the North. Here we did some exercise and snorkelling. One early morning we were lucky enough to catch an octopus. So we cooked this up with garlic for a midday meal at a different beach. Delicious! One of the nicest things about rooftop tent life is you can just move along at will.These two never stopped running!Fresh octopus. First - you boil it, next - cook it in garlic and butter. Mmmm.Here we spent New Years with friends. We had planned on staying at various camping spots but ended up finding such a great campsite in a remote spot we kept coming back and staying there.Kylamurti doing her yoga every day.New Years was a blast. Good friends and the weather held out for us. So after sad goodbyes, we were off to the West Coast again. Such a wild and adventurous place with tons of 4WDing opportunities for all levels and experience. We made camp along the beachfront and as the tide was low, quickly ran out for a snorkel. Scoring three crayfish from the rocks until the tide came in was fun, except they all went back as they were undersized.
When the tide comes rolling in you realise just how remote and secluded you are. Making some hot drinks at night with the Mudstuck LED light bars were a help. The next morning we were woken by a distant neighbour running to our campsite to help save his sand stuck ute! The tide was rising and he probably had another 20minutes until all was lost!
Thanks to the Mudstuck soft shackles & recovery rope we managed to pull him out safely.
Here you can see the wave come in. At this point, he was minutes from losing the truck. Stoked to have the gear to be able to help out a mudstuck.
The Dunes here are unreal! So much fun to run up and down. Following this, we headed down 90mile beach past the bluff and to the famous walk up to Cape Reinga.
Don't forget, after packing down a wet tent when it has been raining, dry it out as soon as the sun comes out!To finish this adventure off we headed out for some rock fishing. We didn't get many snaps of this part, unfortunately. Not nearly all trips are photographed! But we did catch a good haul. And out of all the remote and unknown North Island Spots, this is one of our favourites! Although quite dangerous without a backup recovery truck. Never have we been happier to be in a 4.2L 1HDT-FTE 4WD with diff lockers while the tide was rushing in.
Wanting to continue our journey, as things would have it, a decent summer storm rolled in. 3 days of rain followed by 30+ knots of wind and it was time to head home. We couldn't have had more fun on this trip.
Go Anywhere - Stay Anywhere - 4WD Everywhere