Robbie Crickett, who with his wife Connie runs NZ Adventures tours, tells it how it is. If he says the road is steep, then it’s steep. If he calls it rough, women soon find out why; in the pre-tour information provided, it was suggested that we bring along support underwear. But the fact that people return again and again to NZ Adventures tours speaks for itself. They’re extremely well organised, well run and a whole heap of fun.

It’s the last trip of the 2017/18 season. Soon the weather will change for the worse, rivers will rise, and the big stations are locking their gates to tourists for the winter period as they get on with essential work such as mustering their stock. We’re on our second tour, five days exploring previously unseen parts of the South Island’s west coast. A convoy of fifteen vehicles, our group is made up of mostly rural people including farmers and contractors, but we’ve also got professional people among us and one intrepid lady driving on her own for what turns out to be her sixth trip.

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