The beauty of living in New Zealand is that we’re a pretty holiday friendly country. Be it a week away in the South Island, a weekend getaway to Ruapehu, or just a day trip out to the beach, the opportunities for adventure are endless. Take Kariotahi Beach as an example. Kariotahi lies outside Waiuku township, an hour south of Auckland, on the west coast. A beautiful black sand beach, perfect for surfing, fishing and horse-riding, it’s a perfect destination for thrill-seekers and those looking to escape the big smoke.
They say the journey is just as important as the destination and the Holden Trailblazer was a class act when we took it on a series of twists, turns and traverses towards Kariotahi. With more than enough space to load up boogie boards, picnic baskets, and most importantly, the whole family, the Trailblazer is a perfect ride for an adventurous day trip getaway.
Here’s a rundown of our trip to Kariotahi:
- We started our trip in Albany and immediately hit the Southern Motorway, taking the Drury off ramp and coasting along Glenbrook Road towards Waiuku, and then Kariotahi Beach.
- Someone crying out for the restroom is inevitable. We suggest pulling over at the BP by Drury just off the Southern Motorway. Help yourself to some Maccas or something from Wild Bean, and catch a breather before you have to listen to “Let it Go” from the Frozen soundtrack for the 7th time in a row.
- On the way towards Waiuku, we kept an eye out for Glenbrook. The Glenbrook Vintage Railway is well worth checking out, complete with classic steam trains and a scenic rail experience (maybe for another day)
- Continue through Waiuku town, and head towards Kariotahi. The smooth, winding roads towards Kariotahi were fantastic for feeling the Trailblazer’s control and traction.
- The hills around Kariotahi by Castaways Resort are rough and rugged and the perfect terrain to check out the Trailblazer’s off road capabilities. If you are looking for a 4WD experience we recommend. Colin and the team from Trackwise4WD. They took us to the cliff top above Castaways to really put the Trailblazer through its paces. Get in touch with Trackwise4WD at 0800 200 227. The view from the clifftop is well worth seeing.
- Next it was time for the beach, but we weren’t ready to unpack our surfboards just yet. Beach driving is always a thrill, and Kariotahi Beach is actually a state highway*. But here’s the thing – you’ll need a permit if you want to take your 4WD up and down the beach. Jump over to the Auckland Council website to get one, and make sure to have a look over the T’s and C’s – https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/licences-regulations/driving-on-beaches/Pages/apply-for-beach-driving-permit-muriwai-karioitahi-beaches.aspx
- Finally it was time to unload the Trailblazer. We slapped on our wetsuits and got amongst the rolling waves for some boogie board and surf action, followed by a spot of beach cricket.
- As the sun began to go down our hunger began to rise. If you’re after a proper sit down meal, check out The Shires in Waiuku on the way back, and give their Fish of the Day a go.
- Feeling tired, we opted to head straight home, not before topping up our tanks both petrol (and tummies) at the Z Waiuku, treating ourselves to butter chicken pies. For the drive back to Albany, we let the Trailblazer do all the hard work with its clever cruise control.
There’s nothing quite like an adventurous day excursion with the family, and the Holden Trailblazer showed us that adventure can be found on your doorstep.
For more about the Holden Trailblazer, head to – https://www.holden.co.nz/cars/trailblazer