Late December, 2009 After a fun, but very dusty ATV experience in Queenstown (South Island), we were looking for something more scenic and less of a group"herd-ed" experience. We saw the signs for QuadZone ATV right by the Skyline Rides and gave them a call. We're a family of 4, my son (17) and I would have some ATV experience, while my daughter (14) and wife had none. Tracey was very open about their ability to create an experience unique to our situation, and just our group ~ and did they ever!
We met her husband Brent, who not only was our guide but also the person creating the actual trails on their exclusive, zillion acre playground which spralled through a forest and over a very scenic mountain top. After providing boots (relief! We only had one pair of street shoes for our trip), and safety orientation as well as lots of sun screen we were assigned to our ATV's, which were in good repair but more "farm style" than the "recreational" ATV's we'd tried in Queenstown. Initially, my son was a little disappointed, thinking this may be another pony ride, but after we drove multiple laps in their all terraine "corral" while Brent evaluated our abilities and said he could take us all on a more advanced ride.
It's really hard to tell which was more enjoyable -- the fun and thrill of the ride, or the magnificant sights along the way. Unlike our previous ATV experience which was all pretty much hilly open trail, we first ventured into the foothill pasture land, acending into a cool, deep fern forest. The trail was literally the width of the ATV and twisted, turned, climbed over fallen trees and into muddy ruts. Amazingly fun ~ you could tell when each of us hit a certain part of the trail by the laughs. We stopped after an hour or so and Brent offered us bottled water and snacks (included in the price!) while we got to admire an amazing view that was uniquely New Zealand. Brent explained how he'd begun the business with his wife for his enjoyment of riding and wanting to share a unique experience with others. He's been working on the trails for several years -- knowing which ones will work best if there's been lots of rain, or a long period of dryness. He then took us through a boggy area through a deep wood that pushed the ATV's hard....deep ruts, standing water and climbing up mud-slicked paths while crossing over branches and logs.
We then popped out on top of a mountain ridge in the middle of this meadow that looked like a movie set. It was absolutely breathtaking. We then continued down the mountain side on more of a prarie-like trails, passing into and out of several pastures (some occupied, some not). Except for the first quarter mile, we never rode on the same trail once, and there were clearly many other trails we didn't explore. Everyone in our party agreed it was one of the highlights of our trip. We'll be back again for more!
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