Off Track Rentals

Blog - Road Trip Experiences in the South Island, NZ | Off Track Rentals



The fun of adventure lies in exploring the planned routes but also taking some spontaneous turns along the way. To offer up some ideas for a self-drive 4X4 adventure we retrace the steps of Tom Intveld, a photographer, adventurer and travel blogger. Tom took one of our four wheel drive Land Cruisers with a roof top tent, on a journey from the alps to the ocean. Check out some of the places he discovered on his trip.

"You can expect river crossings, mud tracks and even parts where you'll be driving way above the clouds."

Camping above the clouds

Camping above the clouds

Monkey Island – more than meets the eye

There is more to this little island than you would expect.

Monkey Island is tucked away in the deep south at Urepuki - once a prosperous gold town, now a quiet ghost town.

Once again the discovery of gold was the catalyst for a thriving community to form. The remote settlement required services and supplies; so long before there was road access to the area, a slipway was built on the island for locals to receive supplies via the ocean.

Scramble to the island at low tide today and you will discover an old monkey winch originally used to bring the deliveries ashore from the ships - the remnants of which explain the island’s name today.

Monkey Island is a traveller’s haven, now known for its beautiful sunsets and the perfect spot for a camp or picnic. It is the ideal staging ground from which to catch the Southern Lights, if you are that lucky!

Monkey Island

Monkey Island

Tautuku - the big bay

One of the best things about exploring New Zealand by vehicle is finding all the back road hidden treasures, namely Tautuku in the Catlins. Wandering this big bay you might spot a southern right whale, a New Zealand sea lion, a yellow eyed penguin or a random leopard seal.

Take a walk to Lake Wilie or just enjoy the view from Florence Hill lookout. Consider Tautuku to be a hidden treasure worth finding.

Fireside at Tautuku

Fireside at Tautuku

"It is fair to say that New Zealand has stolen my heart... Driving here gives you a sense of freedom that I haven't felt before and views like this are just the icing on the cake."

Hitting the road, with your home on board, means you have the independence to roam free. With Off Track Rentals you can check out the roads less travelled and find the hidden places and adventure worthy of a true Kiwi experience.

Karen Melville Ives