The Havelock Adventure – A Little Truck’s Epic Journey (Part Two)

“A Mish a Day” #97 The Havelock Adventure – Part Two. Havelock Valley. Hakatere Conservation Park.18.5.2020. Everything has to have a beginning, and as far as going on adventures with my cousin in his Suzuki Jimny we were off to a flying start. We felt like we had overcome some major obstacles to get to camp one on the bank of the very appropriately named Camp Creek. Little did we know that 5km would be a battle between rocks and forward motion….

By morning the cloud had cleared, and we were treated to still air and a stunning sunrise. It was hard to control my smile as I was finally back in the environment I had missed so much while recovering from my hip accident. Off to a fantastic start as we cooked up an epic feed for breakfast at our frosty Camp Creek campsite. We could now see up the Havelock Valley, and the view of mountain splendor was a powerful shot of mission motivation. A team meeting was called and after looking at the map we decided to push on further and see how close we could get to Mistake Flats at the junction of the Forbes and Havelock Rivers. We traveled 5km over four hours and many, many times, especially at Carneys Creek, we were forced to turn back to find another way through the jumbled maze of riverbed rocks. The area was hit by a huge storm packing a solid dosage of heavy rain a few months before, and a lot of the track in the upper valley had been washed out. At times we had to stop and manually make our own track by moving the bigger rocks (Adam’s job), and we slowly picked our way through until we got to a stunning waterfall and another very inviting terrace. We went up to inspect the terrace and, as we drove through the long tussock, suddenly the truck was wedged up on a rock. At this point we hadn’t seen another soul since the day before and we were a long way from home, not the best place to be stuck on a rock!

At times, as Adam tried to get off the rock, the truck was up on three wheels and just as we were starting to think ‘what the hell is our plan B?’ he somehow wrestled the Jimny free. After our close call we felt we should leave this spot and look for another place. The location we finally agreed on was well worth the extra effort to get further up the valley. I was so happy to not only be getting a good fix of wilderness, but also be in one of the most remote places you can get to in a vehicle in New Zealand. Epic views everywhere, including the impressive castle of Mt McMillan(1883m), standing guard over Mistake Flat, which was only a couple of kilometres away. Now that we had found our campsite we had to make it our home. So to make sure we had a quality fire to match the grand area, we put the Jimny to work and gathered large pieces of wood on the roof and transported it back to our campsite. And yes, the fire was grand! Now it was time to put our portable kitchen to use and cook up another culinary masterpiece, which was one of the best feeds I had had in a long time… or at least since the night before! The stars were on show, and the display of the Milky Way made for some incredible photography of our temporary home in The Havelock.

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

Subscribe To my newsletter