Welcome to 4wdSouth.co.nz, companion website to my series of 4WD guide books to the South Island of New Zealand. Here you can download route maps and check for track updates, view the photo gallery and post your own, and order copies of my latest book, 4WD South: 115 Off Road Adventures in NZ's South Island.

Since buying my first truck in the mid 1990s, 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 Island. Enough to learn that it is Mecca for those seeking adventure off the tarseal of State Highway 1.

Previous books in the 4WD South series, co-written with Ken Sibly, set a benchmark for clear, accurate and easily followed route notes. My latest book maintains that standard, and for the first time brings together between two covers the best routes from those earlier books, resurveyed and updated.

The site's maps are designed to be read in conjunction with the book's route notes. They print as A4, and also render well on an iPad or similar tablet device. For some of the more complicated routes you should also carry the relevant 1:50 000-scale topo maps.

The book's information on safety, equipment, camping and cooking will help you organise your own off-road adventure. But please never forget that access to many of these areas is a privilege, and if you abuse it, we will all lose it.

Mark Wilson
Time for coffee: Mark Wilson takes a break on the Mavora Lakes track, Southland. Photo Lee Howden
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