42 Traverse

February 2018


Central Plateau



Vehicle type

Multiple 4x4s

Track type

Scenic & 4WD

Mid-2017 I was looking around the Department Of Conservation (DOC) website and spotted a 4WD track a couple of hours from home that I hadn't heard of before - '42 Traverse'. At the time I didn't even own a 4WD as I'd sold my old Hilux Surf earlier in the year... Curiosity got the better of me and I started looking around on Trademe for another 4WD. Fast forward a month I was the proud owner of a Landcruiser Prado and I was ready to finally get up to the Central Plateau and hit up 42 Traverse.

As things go, I had to wait till Waitangi Weekend 2018 to actually make up there - but it was worth the wait!

The drive from our campsite crossed with a late start meant we arrived at the 42 Traverse track much later than we planned, and knowing we had to make a move south 2 hours later, we knew we weren't going to get hugely far into the forest, but decided to continue in and see what the start of the track was like.

We managed to do around 5k of the track in the few hours we had - pretty sure we spent the whole 10kms there and back with trees creating new "adventure marks" all down the side of our trucks. We even had to stop and remove the UHF aerial to avoid damaging it on low hanging branches. Don't take your truck in there if you love your paint!

From a driving perspective, the portion of the track we covered was fairly straight forward with the only major obstacle being a small clay step that was slightly more slippery than I was expecting. There was a few rutted sections where picking the right line was vital - unless you were Tim in hiz 'Zuk, that thing made our lifted Prado look like it was struggling! If you get there after a decent rain things will be much more slippery - so would highly recommend not doing the track solo.

One of the more unusual aspects of the track I found was that the views were way better on the way out as you head towards the mountains again. Not to say that the native mountain forest on the way in was anything to complain about.

42 Traverse shuts for winter very soon, so we'll have to make another attempt later in the year when summer rolls back around - see how far we can get!