Private Passenger Tour




This full day expedition provides an opportunity to explore the Waikaia Bush Road, a fairly rugged 4WD track requiring a reasonable amount of off road experience to safely traverse. From the serene Waikaia river, lush beech forest, tussock plateaus, gold mining and massive rock tor covered scenery, this road provides access to the beautiful Umbrella and Old Man Ranges.


The first visitors were Māori hunting moa on the tussocklands of the Garvie Mountains and Old Man Range. As a results of gold discoveries further up the valley in 1862,  a rambunctious town known then as Switzers grew complete with hotels, dancing halls and gambling dens. The last productive claim was King Solomon’s Mine, which closed in 1937. A rail line operated from 1909 to 1959.





This is a big day. Starting early, we drive South to Lumsden, then turn inland to the small Southland township of Waikaia. From Waikaia we pass through stunning beech forest at Piano Flat beside the Waikaia river before the 4WD section starts. The Waikaia Bush Road climbs very steeply up to the tussock country. This track is not for beginners, it has extremely steep and narrow sections, rock steps and generally requires a good background in off roading. The rock steps require vehicles that have good entry and exit departure angles (vehicles with low overhanging front or rear bumpers and tow-bars are not suitable for this trip). Once we hit the ridge the countryside has commanding views over the Garvie and Umbrella mountains. Rock tors are a common feature in this landscape adding to the dramatic views. We have two main exit points for this trip, either the Obelisk and down to Alexandra, or extending on to Duffers saddle and Cromwell.

Due to safety with conditions, if it is wet or raining at Piano Flat we will not attempt the Waikaia Bush Road.





    • Waikaia Bush Road
    • Umbrella Range
    • Old Man Range
    • Obelisk rock
    • Potters
    • Historic Clyde
    • Mitchells cottage
    • Gold mining history





ADULTS       2 Adults     3 Adults     4 Adults    Child PRICE          $399pp      $365pp      $349pp     $50

    • Min 2 adults, max 4 passengers
    • Child (16 and under)




    • 8-10 hours ex Queenstown




    • Morning tea and lunch
    • Extremely comfortable 4x4 vehicle


These prices are for private vehicle charter and guide.




Full day tours depart 7:30 am




These trips run from mid December to mid April, depending on snow conditions.

Please contact us to discuss dates.







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waikaia bush road old man old woman range kopuwai guided 4x4 tour
4wd expeditions queenstown new zealand

4WD Expeditions Limited

PO Box 1046

Queenstown 9348

New Zealand


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Freephone : 0800 4WD FUN (493 386)

Cell : 021 244 3920


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Phone : + 64 21 244 3920

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