There's money in mud

20:05, May 27 2012
tdn quad stand
Egmont Quads Taranaki co-owner and operator Sandra Johnston mixes a little pleasure with her business.

A gap in Taranaki's adventure tourism market has been filled by the roar of quad bikes.

Last weekend New Plymouth couple Dave Huzziff and his partner Sandra Johnston opened Egmont Quads Taranaki.

They're now waiting on their first customers to try out the Egmont Quads Taranaki one- hour farm trail tour on their eight-hectare section on Egmont Rd.

Johnston said the couple got hooked on quad biking after taking a tour in Northland a couple of years ago.

After trying similar tours in Rotorua and Taupo they looked to adopt a change in lifestyle and introduce a similar venture to Taranaki, she said.

"As you get older you want to do something which is a bit more fun and pleasurable," Johnston said.

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They bought their home on Egmont Rd last year specifically for the venture and purchased six 350cc quad bikes off Trade Me.

Huzziff said he then spent about "35 bulldozer hours" digging out dirt tracks around the section.

The fact there were currently no other quad bike tours in the region was a big incentive to start the business, Johnston said.

"There's not a lot of adventure tourism in Taranaki."

The track, designed for beginners, takes riders through bush, down ridges and across puddles.

"It's not for people who ride quad bikes all the time; it's for people to have that opportunity," she said.

Riders have to be aged 16 or older with a driver's licence to go on the tour, Huzziff said.

Training is provided before going on the tour which either Huzziff or Johnston leads. It lasts about an hour and costs $90 per person.

The couple hope the tour will appeal to corporates and social clubs.

At this stage it will open on weekends or mid-week by arrangement.

Huzziff, who owns Huzziff Motors, said he was hoping the tour would become his fulltime focus.

"I want to make a transition from fixing cars to doing this," Huzziff said.

Venture Taranaki visitor industry manager Paul Stancliffe said adventure tourism ventures like this were great opportunities.

"From talking to other people they think it's a great idea because there's not much to do around the area in that way."

Taranaki Daily News