Up to the Challenge (Part One) – Macaulay Valley

“On a Mish” #357 Up to the Challenge – Part One. Macaulay River. Te Kahui Kaupeka Conservation Park. 5.11.2022. Doing very little can be very unmotivating, and doing nothing will leave you feeling terrible. Every now and then I have slipped back into the hole of depression, and the longer I stay in there the harder it is to get out. So to battle the bad, lately I have been setting small goals to achieve to give me a sense of accomplishment. Sometimes it can be a little bit painful and at times I know I will be feeling sore for days after, but the taste of victory is very sweet and I crave at least a nibble…

The Suzuki Jimny has become so popular that if you want a new one you will have to be patient or very lucky. Small clubs have popped up around the country, and to see a team of Jimnys together is a sight to behold. I have been lucky enough to head out with my cousin Adam in his Jimny, and a couple of times we have gone on adventures with the Nz Jimny Club. Hitting the back roads with the team has been an awesome way to see the countryside while I have been unable to hike very far.

Mid Macaulay Valley

A while back Adam had chatted with members of a North Island Jimny Club, and they told him they were doing a tour of the South Island and asked if he’d like to join them. Not having the time for a nationwide tour, Adam came up with a plan to meet up in Tekapo and then head to the top of the lake for a mission up the Macaulay River. Neither of us had been there and with the weather as close to perfect as possible we were excited about catching up with the group of 8 Jimnys, and then together going off road.

After an early-ish start in the dark from Christchurch we found ourselves at the famous Tekapo Church, and very quickly the line up of Jimnys became more photogenic than the picturesque historic stone building. After the church we began the drive to the top of the lake and the start of the track. As we drove alongside the aqua green lake the line of trucks sent the dust of the Lilybank Road high into the warm windless air and with each turn of the tyre we were closer to the real adventure.

After getting to the end of the road we stopped for a chat and to assess the river conditions and a few minutes after parking up one of the locals rolled up in his ute. I’m sure he was surprised by the sight of 9 little trucks in such a remote spot. After working out we were heading up the Macaulay, he informed us that the river / valley had taken a beating by a recent storm and it was unlikely we would get up to the hut at the top of the valley. This conversation left a sour taste in many of the club’s members’ mouths and it wasn’t long before people started to chat about not going up the valley. Truck after truck pulled out of the mish, and before we knew it we were the only vehicle that was ‘Up to the Challenge’…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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