Into the ‘Back of Be­yond’ with High Coun­try Jour­neys

NZ4WD - - NEWS -

Ever wanted to get into the back coun­try and travel through many of the iconic South Is­land sheep sta­tions and ex­pe­ri­ence the iso­la­tion and ma­jes­tic scenery of the high coun­try in your own time? Then why not join a fully guided self drive or tag-along tour or­gan­ised by High Coun­try Jour­neys. High Coun­try Jour­neys is now run by Man­iototo-based John Mul­hol­land who lives near Ran­furly. John has been in­volved in the 4WD guid­ing scene in the South for over t wenty years.

Two new tour op­tions

Last sea­son High Coun­try Jour­neys in­tro­duced two new fully guided tour op­tions; the ‘South Is­land High Coun­try Grand Slam’ and the ‘Great Macken­zie Coun­try and Cen­tral Otago Ex­plorer,’ both of which have proved ex­tremely pop­u­lar. ‘ The Grand Slam’ is a sev­en­day/ eight-night pack­age that starts in Blen­heim and takes in Molesworth Sta­tion and the North Can­ter­bury high coun­try then fol­lows the usual route from Lake Co­leridge and the Rakaia River area down through the Macken­zie Coun­try to Cardrona/ Wanaka in Cen­tral Otago. ‘ The Great Ex­plorer’ is a six­day/ five-night tour that starts in Fair­lie or Lake Ohau and takes in the rugged tus­sock lands and ma­jes­tic high coun­try of the Macken­zie Coun­try, Lindis Pass, Cen­tral Otago and North­ern South­land and also ends in Cardrona. John has been ab­so­lutely rapt with the re­sponse to these tours es­pe­cially ‘ The Grand Slam’ and as he says “A lot of our clients are com­ing down from the North Is­land any way so it was a log­i­cal pro­gres­sion to of­fer them an op­tion to do Molesworth on the way while the other op­tion we started in Fair­lie/ Lake Ohau has some in­cred­i­bly stun­ning new tracks and is pop­u­lar with clients who have done some of our other tours be­fore and who might be look­ing for some­thing a lit tle more chal­leng­ing.” These two tours are also com­ple­mented by the leg­endary and orig­i­nal six-day/ seven night ‘Heart of the High Coun­try Tour’ that starts near lake Co­leridge and also ends in the Cardrona/ Wanaka area.

An ad­ven­ture and a hol­i­day in one

These pack­ages are an ad­ven­ture as well as a hol­i­day that com­bine fine hos­pi­tal­ity in very com­fort­able ru­ral farm­stays, good food, farm­ing tales, high coun­try yarns and four-wheel driv­ing through stun­ning scenery with pas­sion­ate lo­cal guides who re­ally know the coun­try. You will be able to drive your own 4WD ve­hi­cle ( or a hired one) and travel at a more re­laxed pace from sta­tion to sta­tion as part of a smaller more per­sonal tour group of ve­hi­cles that will have ac­cess to many re­mote tracks, some only avail­able to High Coun­try Jour­neys. John, who to date has been re­spon­si­ble for guid­ing over three thou­sand ve­hi­cles through the high coun­try re­marks, “Safety is a huge is­sue for us and one we re­ally con­cen­trate on as we have a huge re­spon­si­bil­ity to our clients and to the prop­erty own­ers. We equip each ve­hi­cle with an R/ T so that they are al­ways in touch with the guide ve­hi­cle at all times. “One of the most en­joy­able things about the job is the look you see on peo­ple’s faces when you take them to a moun­tain peak at al­most 2000 me­tres ( 6000 ft.) or so with some amaz­ing views. That re­ally gives you a buzz.”

On tour with High Coun­try Jour­neys.

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