Out There: South
A 4WD adventure in New Zealand’s South Island
CHRIS MORTON & TONY BRIDGE
New Zealanders are passionate about their four-wheel drives. These vehicles have developed their own particular status in our culture, the mark of someone who relates to an outdoor life and who savours the freedom of being out beyond the edge of town. And it is a deserved status, as New Zealand offers fantastic opportunities for off-road touring.
This book is the record of a four-wheel drive adventure through some of the most spectacular country to be found in the South Island, undertaken by leading photographers Chris Morton and Tony Bridge. Their objective was to portray something of the magic to be found off-road in the South Island backcountry. Starting in the huge braided river valleys of South Canterbury, over a period of some weeks they journeyed through the tussock-land of the Mackenzie Country and Central Otago, deep into Fiordland and northern Southland, before tackling some of the wildest and wet forest tracks on the West Coast.
This book truly captures the romance and appeal of four-wheel drive adventuring in New Zealand, where there are a myriad of options to get away from the highway and close to the wild parts of this country. This is a musthave book for anyone who owns a four-wheel drive and wants to be inspired by its potential.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
After a sucessful career in engineering and property development, Chris Morton has devoted himself to photography in recent years. Most recently he has been heavily involved in the Our Place World Heritage Project and the books related to that.
Tony Bridge was a high school teacher for many years before following his passion into fulltime photography. Not only is he well known for the quality of his images, but he has an international reputation for his photographic teaching and mentoring.
232 x 290 mm; 144 pp, hardback,
120 colour photographs
If you would like a copy, please contact us.
Brad Harris goes off the road in New Zealand
I selected low range for the last part of the climb up the rutted track, and crawled over the crest to be met by one of those ‘only in New Zealand’ river scenes. Descending the few hundred metres to the grassy valley we took our time to soak in the views and found a flat spot just metres from the river bank.
Our 7-month old was still asleep in the car seat, so we quietly emptied the back of the Prado and set up our tent, sleeping mats, some folding chairs and a table, and got the cooker going for a cuppa. Well, Lilly did… I was rigging a rod.
So, what’s remarkable about all this? Only the fact that we had flown into Christchurch just hours before, and this was a hire car. We were met at the airport by Tony, the owner of Overland 4WD Rentals, and dropped him off at his home on the outskirts of Christchurch, conveniently just a short detour from the main route south. Conversation for the whole journey was about fishing. Tony had just spent a week fly fishing around Queenstown. He’s as obsessed as you and I are.
The diesel Prado had been supplied with everything you could need for a camping holiday. All we had to bring was our sleeping bags. There was also the option of getting a Tramping kit, including packs, but with a baby in tow, we figured we would take the softer car-based option this time. We also could have hired a cell phone, GPS or 2-way radios. A didymo cleaning kit is standard.
There are no restrictions as to which roads you can take the vehicle on (as there are with the mainstream hire companies) and Overland follow the guide that ‘if it can be polished out, it’s not considered damage.’
The vehicles aren’t new—ours had done 220,000 km—but they run really well, and are obviously well-kept. If a Prado seems like overkill for your trip there are RAV4s, Mazda Tributes and Subaru-style AWD vehicles too.
The freedom to drive down farm tracks, fire-trails and back roads was a god-send on a family fishing trip. Obviously these vehicles cost a bit more than a Corolla from Hertz, but when you’re fishing the backcountry hours after getting off the plane, you’ll realise it’s worth every cent.
Up-country spendour (The Press, March 15, 2010)
RICHARD COSGROVE writes.
If you dislike the average and want to experience some of the spectacular beauty of the South Island high country, a four-wheel-drive adventure awaits.
In the 80s, Kiwis were bombarded with an advertising campaign telling us ‘‘don’t leave town till you’ve seen the country’’. While I have travelled extensively, I’ve tried to follow this concept and have always been keen to explore as much of New Zealand as possible. So I leapt when the chance came to join High Country Journeys for a four-wheel-drive adventure in the Canterbury high country.
Read full article - page 1, page 2 (PDF)
Southland Opening 2009
I've recently returned from a trip to Southland for the opening of the new trout season. I think it's a great region due to it's diversity of both landscape and waterways. There's always somewhere new to explore...
This proved necessary in the opening week because of the fairly inclement weather we experienced. I can't say it was all bad, the first half of the 1st of Oct was peaceful and bright and the promise of catching huge naive trout was all around - except that right around the next corner we'd been jumped by some other fishermen. On to new waters seemed to be the solution. Only problem was we were greeted by strong downstream winds.
From there on, the weather deteriorated through rain showers, hail, more wind, until finally a snow storm ensured. Time for me to go home and do some work... Leaving the hardier souls to carry on fishing. And fish they did, catching some respectable brownies once the weather abated. Although, I did hear that there's a photo out there of some of these hardened individuals posing with fish, while covered in snow. They breed them tough in the South!
I suppose it's the challenge that keeps us going back. If it was easy, everyone would do it. Or would they....?
I didn't catch them all, that's for sure. So get out there and start fishing!
All the best for the coming season - Tony.
From 'The Flyrodder' - The Magazine for Sydney Fly Rodders'
New Zealand, Twizel March 2009
The 3 of us flew into Christchurch and were met by Tony Davys who runs overland car hire.
I'd come across him through the internet and he reckon's he's one of the few car hire firms that have no off road restrictions. The vehicle didn't miss a beat all week apart from one flat tyre. After a stop off to stock up at the supermarket we hit the road for Twizel about 300km south.
We rented a typical three bedroom house there - neat, tidy, most mod cons and were trying the self catered / self guided option for the first time...
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