What’s a craft mad blogger to do when you’re given the keys to a brand spanking new Ford Everest Titanium 4×4 that’s just arrived in the country? Go four wheel driving of course!
Some 4WD enthusiast friends of ours recently moved to Coffs Harbour NSW, so we decided this was the perfect excuse to pay them a visit. What a great way to experience our first ever off-road adventure as one of the lucky few to drive the new Everest by taking some friends who knew the countryside. It seemed every second car in Coffs Harbour was a 4WD, however none as new as the Ford Everest.
We left the Central Coast on Friday with a 5 1/2 hour drive in front of us. The idea being the kids could have a nap on the way – that didn’t quite work out to plan but we made it in the end. Yes, my kids are no different from yours or anyone else’s. They did ask how much longer and “are we there yet?” until breaking point! There’s lots of roadworks along the Pacific Highway at the moment, so that added a bit of time to the journey and the kids were getting restless with the long drive since they hadn’t done a trip this big for a while. At 10pm though, they were finally asleep in Coffs Harbour.
After brekky the next morning, we gathered some snacks and supplies for our 4WD adventure and then met our friends at our motel to make our way to Nana Glen, which is 25kms inland from Coffs Harbour. Russell Crowe apparently has a 320 hectare property here and it sure is some beautiful countryside. Nana Glen is named after the Aboriginal word for the now extinct species of two tailed lizard.
I was a bit nervous at first about taking this shiny new car on some 4×4 tracks, however I knew that is what the Everest was made for. My husband Paul took the wheel first, which allowed me time to build up a bit of confidence before taking on some of the rough stuff. To be honest, I didn’t think I’d have as much fun as I did driving the trails. The Everest gave me confidence and had more than enough power (especially in 4×4 mode) to get me through some pretty rough terrain.
The four mode terrain management system was pretty easy to use by simply selecting the mode best suited to the terrain and driving conditions. Turning the dial to to either – normal, mud/snow, sand and rock, the off-road performance of the vehicle is enhanced. For rock mode to be selected we needed to be in 4×4 mode as well and the combination of the two gives the SUV a manageable low speed for getting over the rocks. Rock mode is the only setting which can not be used in high range. Not to worry, the Everest will display tips through the digital dashboard on how to use the features.
The best part was taking it through some creeks and the really bumpy parts of the track were so much fun to drive through. It has a 800 millimetre water wading depth although it’s been pretty dry so we didn’t come across anything near that deep in our travels. Apparently I had our vehicle on 3 wheels which got me a big thumbs up from our friends when they realised that it was me driving and not Paul. I can wear many hats and it seems 4×4 driving is one of them!
Along the way we came across an old mine dug right out in the side of the road that goes for some 70 metres. The adventurous ones crept into the deep shaft shining phone torches to see what spiders and treats were down there and to keep and eye out for the endangered Bent-wing bats that live in there. Amazing to realise that Coffs Harbour has hundreds of mines dotted around the coast as the whole region is rich in gold, silver and copper.
Further down the track we reached Nana Creek and found a safe place we could park the 4x4s off the road a bit in case anyone else came along the track while we stopped for a picnic lunch and swam in the beautiful freshwater creek.
Time to fill our tummies, play in the water, skim stones, look for treasures and even time for a spot of crochet whilst the kids were all happily playing together. The weather was hot enough for the kids to splash about in the cool water for quite a while. The sound of the running water was so relaxing even with the squeals of delight from the kids playing together. I could get used to this.
My first 4×4 driving adventure was a fantastic experience and with a family of 6 it’s hard to find stuff to do that doesn’t cost the earth, everyone enjoys and this is one of them. All you need is some petrol (or diesel as my car takes), a picnic, cooler bag with drinks, swimmers and a towel and you’re set for a fun family day to remember.
Another part that made it fun for the kids was having some walkie talkies to use. If you’re in a bit of a convoy with others its great to have one as it saves ringing each other to relay messages about the track and where to stop and some of the areas we were in had no phone reception anyway. Our girls have learnt ‘walkie talkie’ from watching many episodes of the beloved Skippy, so once they got hold of them it was hard getting them back.
The drive back to our motel was stunning travelling past all the banana plantations on our way into Coffs Harbour for some yummy Italian at Maria’s followed by ice-cream next door and a night walk along the jetty. A great way to exercise off some of dinner and grab some fresh ocean air.
Coffs Harbour really was a great place to bring the Ford Everest Titanium and was made even more exciting by sharing the fun with friends and creating long lasting family holiday memories.
Everest has conquered me!
As a “Home & Wellbeing” category Top 3 finalist for the Kidspot Voices of 2015 blogging competition I have automatic entry into the #FordThinking part of the competition. This means that Ford Australia have given me a new Ford Everest Titanium for the next 6 weeks to test drive and share 3 posts on my blog. #Voicesof2015 #shareaustralia