• Want the ultimate 4 wheel drive weekend getaway ?
  • Want to explore Central Otago and the Southern Lakes region ?
  • Want to choose your own 4WD tracks ?
  • Want to select your own accommodation ?


On this tour we offer a selection of tracks and accommodation options. Simply select which tracks you would like to explore most from the options below, and design your own 4WD getaway weekend. You can also decide where in Central Otago you would like to stay Saturday night -  for example stay at an old 1860's pub in Naseby or return to Queenstown and enjoy the shopping, restaurants and night life as two examples (see each option for accommodation recommendations).


Rental vehicles available in Queenstown include, Landrover Discovery 4, Toyota Prado, Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux and Toyota Landcruiser flatdeck.


Contact us for recommendations around track choice, vehicle hire, accommodation, travel times and flight coordination.





OPTION ONE | Queenstown and Skippers Canyon


Skippers Canyon provides magnificent high country vistas, the powerful Shotover River and incredible gold mining history and relics. Visit the restored 1879 Skippers School House, legendary 1901 Skippers Bridge, and follow up the mighty Shotover River. Your guide has travelled this road literally thousands of times, and we will have plenty of time to share stories and interpretation of the area's rich gold mining endeavours.









OPTION TWO | Kopuwai Conservation area, Old Woman / Old Man Range


Take a journey west following the Kawarau Gorge to Cromwell and Bannockburn. Head up the Cromwell end of the Nevis Road and climb to 1740m. Traverse the mountain tops with Lake Dunstan behind us, the Nevis Valley, Hector Mountains and The Remarkables on one side, and Central Otago and Alexandra on the other side -  the views are simply stunning! Plenty of time is allowed to investigate the amazing rock tors and soak in the vistas of this memorable region before heading back to your chosen accommodation (consider Clyde, Cromwell, Queenstown, Arrowtown).







OPTION THREE | Nevis Valley


Leaving Queenstown, we head south following Lake Wakatipu to the small township of Garston. From here we gain altitude and climb up into the tussock country at the southern end of the Hector Mountains over the Nokomai Saddle. We then descend into the southern Nevis Valley to follow the Nevis River, the country opening out to a wide, barren, typical Otago high country valley. After numerous small fords and creek crossings, gold mining remnants including sluicing ponds, pipework and abandoned dwellings begin to litter the landscape.  Following lunch we leave the valley and river behind to climb up and over Duffers Saddle. We will spend time amongst the rock tors and enjoy the magnificent views over Lake Dunstan, Cromwell and the Pisa Range. Next, we drive down to the old 1858 township of Bannockburn where we stop at the local pub for a dust quenching drink and proceed to your chosen accommodation (consider Cromwell, Clyde, Queenstown, Arrowtown).







OPTION FOUR | Poolburn and Serpentine (to old church)


Leaving Queenstown, we head off to explore Central Otago's Poolburn Reservoir and parts of the Serpentine Track (the location of one of New Zealand's most remote churches). Built in the early 1930s for irrigation, the Poolburn Reservoir was a great depression employment initiative and its striking scenery has been popularised more recently as a filming location for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Consider the following accommodation options: Ophir, Alexandra, Clyde.







OPTION FIVE | Naseby and Oteake Conservation Area


Nestled under the Hawkdun Range, the small 1860s village of Naseby is now home to only 120 people - it’s hard to believe it was once home to 4000 miners, 18 stores, 14 hotels, two butchers and a hospital! From Naseby we climb up the side of Mt Buster, enter the Oteake conservation area and travel on to the Keyburn gold diggings. We have ample time to explore the extensive exposed quartz reefs and workings. The rest of the day is spent traversing this remarkable range before heading back to your accommodation (consider Naseby, St Bathans, Danseys Pass).








OPTION SIX | Danseys Pass and Omarama Saddle


Starting early in the day, we head up and over Danseys Pass, crossing the Kakanui Range from Central Otago to North Otago. We then follow the Waitaki Valley past Kurow to Benmore dam. After lunch at Omarama, we cross the Omarama Saddle where you can view Mt Aoraki / Cook, and drive alongside the Manuhererika River back into Central Otago and your accommodation for the night (consider St Bathans, Cromwell, Clyde, Arrowtown, Queenstown).







OPTION SEVEN | Waikaia Bush Road

This is a big day. Starting early we head South to Lumsden and on 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 on the tops 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 this track.







  • Small groups
  • Tracks suitable for all levels
  • Family friendly adventure
  • Freedom to choose own track combinations
  • Freedom to choose own accommodation and food
  • Exclusive and extremely private
  • Authentic kiwi experiences
  • Passenger option available
  • One day tour option available
  • Weekday tour option available







ADULTS       2 Adults       3 Adults     4 Adults    Child PRICE / day  $375-$495pp    $395pp     $335pp     $40

    • Minimum 2 adults
    • Child (16 and under)
    • Maximum 4 passengers



    •  Depends on track selection



    • Morning tea and lunch
    • Extremely comfortable 4x4 vehicle
    • Includes 15% NZ Goods & Services Tax


These prices are for private vehicle charter and guide. You will only be with your own group.





PRICE - Depends on track selection


  • $799 - $950 per vehicle, per day




  • Depends on track selection




  • 1 or 2 days of fully guided self drive
  • Hand held radio use
  • Morning tea
  • Includes 15% NZ Goods & Services Tax


We offer discounts off the standard price with bookings of 2 or more vehicles.




All our trips are run on demand.

We are happy to confirm for one vehicle.

When available we are happy to be flexible with dates. We can break the tour up to include rest days during the tour if requested.




  • Vehicle insurance suitable for this tour.
  • All terrain tyres preferred with minimum 60% tread.
  • Hi/low ratio.
  • This tour is suitable for beginner to intermediate levels of off-road driving experience. However, this tour operates on private sheep station farm tracks and DOC land. As per most backcountry routes this tour has narrow tracks, and tracks at height. Drivers need to be confident driving on back country roads.
  • We can select tracks to suit the drivers experience levels.
  • A full list of vehicle requirements is on our booking form. Contact us for details.
  • Due to hazard identification over hand held radios, English must be your first language.
  • Skippers Canyon is a public road. Private and rental vehicle insurance policies must be checked to make sure they include Skippers Canyon. We can direct you to rental companies in Queenstown that allow their vehicles in Skippers.
  • During summer the road does not require 4WD vehicles, but further up the canyon there are small creeks to cross and areas that require vehicles with suitable ground clearance. Please contact us to check vehicle suitability.




3 steps for booking


  1. Email us at info@4wdexpeditions.nz
  2. We will send you a link to the booking forms. Please read, sign and return. We can collect these on tour day.
  3. Payment options
    1. Online link we will supply - visa, mastercard, eftpos
    2. Direct bank transfer
    3. On the day, visa, mastercard, eftpos or cash








4WD Expeditions Limited

PO Box 1046

Queenstown 9348

New Zealand


From New Zealand

Email : info@4WDexpeditions.nz

Freephone : 0800 4WD FUN (493 386)

Cell : 021 244 3920


From Overseas / International

Email : info@4WDexpeditions.nz

Phone : + 64 21 244 3920

Mobile site

© 2018 4WD Expeditions. All rights reserved.