Franz Josef is based along the middle of the west coast on the south island of New Zealand. It is famous for its two magnificent natural creations; the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers. It is also known for its wet weather, and I had heard on numerous occasions that it receives a large amount of rainfall every year, an amount which is well above average for that part of the world.
We were kitted out with plenty of wet weather gear, and were mostly covered head to toe. We received helmets, water proof jackets and trousers, gloves and boots. I had prepared to get wet anyway, but was impressed with the equipment we were able to wear to minimise how drenched we did get!
The rain seemed relentless and was falling down in sheets. This actually increased the anticipation and excitement as we expected a lot of mud and puddles to test our navigation of the quad bike.
There were five of us in total alongside our tour guide. He allowed us to drive on a practice route around tyres, and through a little stream so we could familiarise ourselves with the controls before venturing out onto the main track.
Soon, we were off on our epic journey through rainforest, rivers, pools of mud and steering around and over rocks and tree trunks which were peering above the ground. I couldn’t believe how powerful the quad bike proved to be. Any obstacle we would come across, it wouldn’t be held back. It powered up steep inclines in the surface, and left thick mud behind via its four wheel drive capabilities.
The rain didn’t only add to the fun and excitement, it also increased the eeriness of the atmosphere. The sky was grey and merged in with the dark waters that flowed relentlessly in front of us. We drove through this deep water and, again, the quad bike forced through as if the water wasn’t really there.
Going through the rainforest paths was probably one of the highlights. I felt like I was living the scene of a film, such as Jurassic Park or similar. The emerald colours of the trees and shrubs merged with the browns of the tree trunks and the thick mud surrounding us. We sped past braces and leaves and even had to duck down at certain intervals to avoid any stray ones in the way of our path. We certainly had to stay alert!
It was great to enjoy the ride and really take in the scenery as a passenger, and also experience the thrill of driving the quad bike myself. They have so much power and really can build up quite a speed! The rain was brushing my face, alongside the cool wind. It was a mixture of feelings for all the senses. The sights, the sounds, the feelings alongside the experience of pure adrenaline and anticipation.
Whatever the weather, this is guaranteed to be the ultimate fast and exhilarating quad biking journey over a mixture of terrain, paired with incredible scenery and surroundings. What’s more, you’re free to enjoy it as either a driver and/or passenger, to experience the best of both perspectives!