Having already had some experience with quad bikes, I guess I kind of thought I had a bit of a clue what to expect from Nomad Quad Safaris... wrong! My previous experience with quad bikes entailed cruising round placid farm country in a singlet, shorts and jandals. I knew from the off that this was going to be a little bit different.
As soon as you get to the base, you’re kitted out to the max, head to toe, not a scrap of skin left un-covered. To get you started and to make sure that everyone is competent enough to control the 400cc 4WD Honda quad, the guides from Nomad Quad Safaris take you through a safety and handling crash course to ensure that you are safe enough to tackle the route ahead.
People of all capabilities have to undergo the training as these guys really want to make sure that you’ll be able to make it through the Nomad Quad bike Safari and come out smiling on the other side. Once the formalities are through, its time to get rolling!
We went on a quick loop track through about four rivers with some menacing inclines and some tricky banked corners, then its straight up on a 10 minute climb to the crest of Queenstown Hill, where you stop for refreshments and to soak in the stunning 360 degree panorama.
Right here is where the action really kicks in. The guides split the group in two, one being for the people who prefer the more gentle approach (if there is one in quad biking) and the other for those who want to see a little more of the quad bikes capabilities.
Happily I was put in the latter of the two, and before I knew what was happening we were plunging down the side of the hill, banking round corners, dodging pot holes using every scrap of training from the guides to keep my butt up right and on the saddle.
At one point we were taken up into a forest, going up and down ridiculous angles, over roots and boulders. I was sure the bike was going to tip, but due to the excellent training I managed to keep the quad bike from flipping from start to finish.
The whole trip lasted from 8.30 until about half past midday, so it was a good four hour run, though I could have rocked the bikes around these tracks all day long. The adrenaline was pumping, the sweat was dripping and my face was grinning the whole way round!
Having a go on a 4wd quad bike with Nomad Quad Safaris comes highly recommended, a thrill not to spill!
thanks to nomadsafaris.co.nz and Franko for the images.