It’s been nearly 20 years since Mark Wilson (hard at work, above) and Ken Sibly wrote the first book in the 4WD South series. The “red” and “blue” books, as they came to be known, are now out of print and popular on TradeMe. Now, 4WD author Wilson has published 4WD South: 115 Off Road Adventures in NZ’s South Island. Wilson started resurveying the routes about six years ago. Among the changes he found was a Department of Conservation much friendlier to 4WD recreation on DoC land than it had been in the mid 1990s. This meant tracks previously off limits were now open.
Through his research, Wilson found some of the routes in those earlier books no longer accessible, often due to changes in land ownership. The 115 routes in his new book are the "pick of the crop" of what was left. They range from family-friendly day trips to serious off-road expeditions; from isolated beach settlements at the top of the West Coast to the wilderness of Fiordland in the south. The author has also produced full-colour scale maps designed to be read in conjunction with the route notes. These can be downloaded from his website, 4wdsouth.co.nz. They print as A4, and also render well on a tablet or smartphone. Copies can be ordered from the website for $50 inc postage. Watch for the 4wdNewz review.