Welcome to 4WD South, the companion website to my guidebook to 4WD adventures in South Canterbury, Otago and Southland. Here you can download route maps and check for updates, buy extra copies of the book for your friends, view the photo gallery, or send me an email with your comments, photos or route updates.
A North Islander who moved to Christchurch in the late 1980s, I learned on my first southern 4WD adventure what any Otago or Southland native will tell you — that the South Island gets better the further south you go. Since then, for both the "work" of surveying routes and for pleasure, I have driven many thousands of kilometres on gravel roads, clay tracks and riverbeds in the south of the South.
OUT OF STOCK
I have no more copies of 4WD South for sale unfortunately.
I am working on a new book covering the whole South Island and hope to have it available through this website in time for summer. Keep an eye on the site for updates. Meanwhile, feel free to keep downloading route maps from here.
This book is a distillation of everything I have learned in that time. Previous books in the 4WD South series, co-written with Ken Sibly, have set a benchmark for clear, accurate and easily followed route notes. With this book and website I also want to help visitors to the South Island, those unfamiliar with where to stay and how to get there, to plan a 4WD adventure of their own.
Hence the book's four Destination chapters — Destination Fairlie, Destination Middlemarch, Destination Cromwell and Destination Gore. Each takes its name from a town that forms a natural base for the surrounding area. Each chapter lists routes within striking distance, and suggests ways in which they can be linked for day trips or longer. And each chapter contains information on accommodation in the area, food supplies, fuel and vehicle repairs, and medical facilities.
Route maps are grouped according to their Destination chapter, and are designed to be read in conjunction with the book's route notes. For some of the more complicated routes you should also carry the relevant 1:50 000-scale topo maps.
Armed with all this, along with the book's information on safety, equipment, camping and cooking, you are ready to put together your own off-road adventure. But please never forget that access to many of these routes is a privilege, and if you abuse it, we will all lose it.
— Mark Wilson
Mark Wilson and dog Tosca at the head of the Macaulay Valley