Explore New Zealands remote
backcountry areas by 4WD vehicle - the perfect way to combine
adrenalin-charged activity with the enjoyment of fresh air and
superb alpine and coastal scenery.
Off-road tours are popular because they open up vast backcountry
areas that remain hidden to the general public. Where
the tarseal ends is where the fun begins in natures own
realm Off the Beaten Track.
Commercial 4WD companies can be found in a number of North Island
centres including Auckland, Rotorua, Ohakune and Te Puke. South
Island operations are based in Christchurch, Queenstown, Omarama,
Hanmer Springs, Waipari, Greymouth and a few other centres.
Several companies are dedicated 4WD training centres. Others
operate day trips for passengers or provide vehicles for you to
drive on self-guided trips or tag-alongs (where you follow an experienced trip leader). Some specialise in
multi-day expeditions that circle the North or South islands.
For spectacular scenery it is hard to beat the station-to-station
adventure tours that go through the foothills of the Southern
Alps. You can choose to travel in hassle-free, comfortable shiny tours that dont threaten the paintwork,
or push the limits in hard yakker tours that follow
pioneer trails over braided rivers, rockbound ridges and remote
An added attraction on some tours is a bush camp with
a traditional campfire and yarns under the stars. Watch out for
special interest tours that focus on heritage trails, goldfield
towns, eco-adventures, hunting, fly-fishing, photography or
So why not break away from conventional transport modes and get
into low gear in high places? The sheer freedom of off-road
travel in the high country is food for the soul. As you top a
ridge and see endless waves of snow-capped peaks, life gains a
fresh vitality and zest. Dont miss the wide-open spaces of
backcountry New Zealand.