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Club trip into the Extreme 4WD Park in June 2007
Trip report by Matt Hawkes

Extreme 4wd Park Club Trip – Sunday 3 June 2007
By Matt Hawkes

Well, the day had finally come. After purchasing my first set of Simex Extreme Trekker tyres only a week prior to the club trip to Extreme 4wd Park, it was a frantic rush to get them fitted to my old rims (after first having to get my old BFG Mud Terrain tyres removed) and mounting them onto my trusty old Nissan Safari. On previous trips up to Extreme 4wd Park, I have experienced first hand how unforgiving the terrain can be during wet weather, and I was keen to see just how much extra traction the GQ would have running these Simex tyres that everyone raved about. After showers fell for most of Saturday, and rain on Saturday night, it looked like the conditions at the park would be quite slippery.

Dion Kerr’s Nissan waiting to be winched back onto the track.

Steve Reed’s truck set up for winch duties between the trees at the top of a slippery slope.
We arrived at the park to a fine Sunday morning and met up with approximately 15 other trucks from the Auckland 4wd Club and Norwest OHV Club. After airing down our tyres and paying the required trip fee, we headed off from the old woolshed in convoy following our trip leader for the day, Steve Reed. We hadn’t been driving for 5 minutes when we had our first minor hiccup. The second vehicle in the convoy had a bit of trouble traveling up a steep section of the track and hadn’t noticed that Steve had turned off the main track and down to the left. The error was noticed by a driver of one of the trailing vehicles who was still up on the hill by the old woolshed and had a good view of the vehicles at the start of the convoy. After a brief spurt of radio talk, the group was reunited at a small play area further along the track.
The group then made its way to, and around, the Adventure Trail with no dramas. We all then followed Steve to the southwestern corner of the park (assuming my directions are correct?!) where we came across a deceivingly slippery short uphill through a grove of trees. This uphill section caught out many trucks, with over half of the group having to be winched up between the trees by Steve. Some of the trucks who failed the hill climb slipped back down the slope and off the side of the track into a boggy area at the edge of a pond. This uphill slope was the first real test of my Simex tyres, and I was impressed. We drove up the slippery slope with ease and threaded the Nissan through the tree trunks in full control.
Lunch stop.

Rod Fletcher’s Nissan powering up a slope.
Once the group had all negotiated the hazard, we headed to another play area consisting of a series of short, rutted clay tracks leading up out of a lower boggy area. Some drivers took this as an opportunity to give their rigs a break, whilst a few of the lads had a play on the muddy slopes. The rutted, boggy area ended up being the down fall for one of the Nissans, which ended up popping one of its tyres off the bead. Normally it wouldn’t be too much of a drama to change the wheel. However, Murphy’s Law is alive and well … the driver had left the spare wheel locked up to a fence by the old woolshed at the front gate!!! It was decided that this would be a good time for an early lunch whilst one of the other rigs headed back to the woolshed to pick up the elusive spare tyre.
Half an hour later the spare wheel had been retrieved and fitted onto the unfortunate Nissan, and the group headed north along the western boundary of the farm. On the way we came across a couple of boggy ditches that a small number of vehicles had a play in. This is where I learnt that Simex tyres can sap a lot of power from the engine when they have traction in a bog, and that they are also pretty useful at digging big holes! Yep, we had got stuck, but with a bit of assistance from Steve we were pulled backwards out of the bog and back onto firmer ground. Oh well, it was worth a crack anyway. Some of the other trucks had also found a bog that had a very deep hole on one side. This meant for some spectacular wheel lifting action and a couple of dented panels.
Jeep lifts a wheel exiting deep mud bog.
 From there, we continued northwards across the farm until we got near the northwestern boundary of the park. Here we followed Steve one-by-one up a steep slippery climb, while having to manoeuvre around a large tree on the right and a deep ditch on the left. A few trucks fell into the ditch on the left, but after backing back down the hill and out of the line of the ditch, managed to get up the hill on the second attempt.
Once all of the vehicles had conquered the hill we headed to a nearby bog in a low-lying swampy area. First into the bog was Steve who promptly came to a stop in the deep ruts. Out ran Dennis to hook up Steve’s winch rope to a convenient tree, and his truck was clear of the boggy area in no time. Steve’s rig was then turned around and positioned to winch out any other vehicles that succumbed to the mud hole. After seeing Steve’s difficultly at getting through the main bog, most others tried skirting around the badly rutted area across the swampy terrain to the right. Surprisingly the swampy looking ground was reasonably hard under foot, and most managed to drive through with little difficulty. Only a couple of vehicles failed to get enough momentum through the swampy area and needed to be recovered by Steve.
Bugger! Wayne Tweedie’s Hilux pops a tyre off the bead.

Matt Hawkes’ Nissan checking out articulation in the axle twister.
A couple of the braver souls tried driving the main bog, including Wayne Tweedie in his modified Hilux. I think his initial plan was to try and drive to the left of the rutted section, but as he progressed the Hilux bounced across into the deep ruts with the distinct sound of air escaping from a tyre. His right front tyre (tubeless) had come off the bead, so his vehicle was winched out of the mud hole by Steve so that his spare wheel could be fitted (yep, Wayne did actually have his spare wheel on the back of his truck!). After a short break to jack up the Hilux and fit the clean wheel, the trucks departed from the low-lying area one-by-one up a long, steep grassy slope. Whilst attempting the uphill climb, one of the highly modified Suzuki’s from the Norwest OHV Club suddenly cutout. After diagnosing the problem as a fried fuel pump, the disabled Suzuki was towed up the steep hill by Steve’s Safari and one of the other highly modified Hilux’s.
Time was getting on, and it was decided to head back to the old woolshed and call it a day. Steve slowly towed the Suzuki along the farm tracks back to the main carpark, where the Zuk driver admitted that he had probably just run out of petrol! Luckily he had transported the Suzuki to Extreme 4wd Park that morning, so the little truck was loaded onto its trailer ready for the trip home (via a petrol station). All-in-all it was a very enjoyable day. The weather was fine all day apart from one brief shower, and all vehicles left the park without any major damage. My Simex tyres had lived up to their expectations, and I’m looking forward to trying them out on other tracks during the wetter winter months.

Unfortunately this park is now closed due to being sold.

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