Chilling Out (Part Two) – Boyle River Campsite

“On a Mish” #384 Chilling Out (Part Two). Boyle River. St James Conservation Area. 10.8.2023. I might be biased when it comes to my love of a good mish in a Suzuki Jimny. That fact that I have been on many adventures in my cousin’s beastly Jimny has definitely cemented my feet in the Suzuki fanclub, and I hope to own my own little tank one day. When my cousin purchased a couple of Jimny’s and converted them into mission vehicles I got excited. And then when he asked me to go ‘On a Mish’ in one I was as keen as could be. I was looking forward to chilling out in St Arnaud for the first time but it looked like the weather had different ideas…

I have never been a fan of the waiting game, however I do play when going up against the weather. The weather is much better at playing the game and during winter the weather in Aotearoa usually wins. With heavy snow warnings plastering the top of the South Island it looked like my mish to St Arnaud might not happen. I was all dressed up for a night out and my date hadn’t shown up!

My options were to venture through the interior of the South Island via Murchison, or hit the coast and head into St Arnaud via Blenheim. My mind was made up for me as the road which weaves its way alongside the Wairau River was closed. To make things even more interesting there was also a snow watch on the Lewis Pass Highway. I was in a pickle and it looked like I might not be going anywhere!

Eventually I rejigged my plans and decided to travel some of the way and see what the weather was doing the next day. The new plan was to head to the Lewis Pass area and test out the new Jimny and gear. Oh, and the forecast was for subzero temperatures.

Heavy rain smashed the truck as I began my trek north. The weather wasn’t the most motivating, but I had my little buddy by my side and I wasn’t going to let a little bit of rain spoil our mish.

Before leaving I had to do some research on where I can camp with Ernie. Even though he is only 8.9kgs, he is still a dog and many campsites do not allow dogs. After typing in ‘Dog Friendly campsites’ into google the ‘Boyle River Camping Ground’ popped up, and this would be where I would spend my first night and also see what chilling out would be like with the Jimny camping kit.

Starting in driving rain, I drove my way out of Christchurch and towards the hills of Hurunui. While crossing the great rivers like the Waimakariri and Ashley I began to see some tiny breaks in the clouds. The further north I got the clearer the weather became, and also the hills seemed to be getting a lot whiter. Clouds clearing to snow capped peaks is much more motivating than driving rain!

As I pulled into the Boyle River Campsite I was ready to spend my first night on the road in a Jimny at a place I have never been to…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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