4WD group ticks the boxes


Travelling in the comfort of a 4WD vehicle beats riding a motorbike off-road.
That’s according to Otago Recreational 4WD Group president Graeme Thompson. He rode motorbikes when worked on farms in his youth but now preferred the comfort of a 4WD, Mr Thompson said.
He first got involved with the Otago Recreational 4WD Group “because I’ve always been very keen on four-wheel drives and going out and just having a look at the place and going to places no-one else had”.
The group meets on a monthly basis and trips are typically taken either once or twice a month, though the last trip was in November, when drivers travelled to Maungatua and took in Lake Mahinerangi.
Travelling to places not seen by many, taking on the challenges of driving through difficult terrain and listening to stories from more experienced drivers were all reasons which motivated members to get involved, Mr Thompson said.
The group’s membership ranged from young to old and while some enjoyed testing their driving ability on more challenging stretches of road, others preferred just to take in the scenery.
Knowing both the terrain and your personal ability was important for newcomers to the activity.
Competent drivers who followed basic instructions –¬†“things like `engage your four-wheel drive now, use low gear, don’t touch your brake”’ –¬†would be able to cope with most of the tracks the group covered, Mr Thompson said.
Another tip was ensuring you generated sufficient momentum when travelling up a steep and potentially slippery part of track.
“There is a bit of momentum required. Sometimes people think, `Oh no, go slow’, but if you go slow, you go backwards.”
Central Otago was a great spot to travel to during the summer months for Dunedin 4WD enthusiasts because it was possible to travel there, complete a drive and return within a day.
Non-members can join a group trip providing it is deemed not too challenging, but need to ensure they have all-terrain tyres on their vehicle and recovery points in case they get stuck.
For more information on the group email info@or4g.org.nz.