High Country Winter High Country Summer


Exclusive chauffeured and guided scenic tours in New Zealand's Southern Alps.
Guaranteed magnificent views of the locals and landscapes
in Canterbury's High Country
Home of Lord of the Rings Middle Earth, and
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe's Narnia.

Some of our tours travel through the magnificent landscapes used as the backdrop in the making of these films. This is a truly magnificent part of the world.

This area is considered a unique part of New Zealand. The dense glacial colours of the lakes which are home to land locked salmon offers stunning vistas of the circling mountains. Crystal-clear rivers filled with both salmon and trout are created from pure clear water aquifers.

Mountain streams that started life as ancient glaciers in remote valleys are surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of the Southern Alps. The country is wild and accommodates some of the most recognized sheep stations in New Zealand as well as the now world re-known locations for several films. This is a truly magnificent part of the world.

Phil and Sandi Cooke of 4 x 4 ADVENTURES can take you on journeys throughout Canterbury, suitable for all ages, to special places that the ordinary traveller is not able to reach.

Travelling with 4X4 ADVENTURES allows you access to a wilderness of moody mountains, temperamental rivers and sparkling lakes. This is vast country where wild pigs and deer, thar and chamois can sometimes be seen high above in rocky basins. See glaciers descend to snow-fed rivers that meander their way down from the valleys.

This is the real New Zealand, a land where time seems to stand still and man's intervention is but a scratch on the landscape.

All our tours depart on demand from either Christchurch, Hanmer Springs or Waikari in New Zealand's beautiful South Island.

Experience the thrill of travelling in our four wheel drive vehicles as we explore some of the most remote SPECTACULAR and little known alpine scenery in Canterbury's High Country.

4X4 ADVENTURES takes you safely off road driving through stunning privately owned high country. These tracks are not normally accessed by the public and are in areas of out-standing natural beauty where Mother Nature has given her best. No mobile phones can disturb the silence that on still days presses on your ears. Hear your heart beat and breathe in the fresh alpine air - the grandeur of the surroundings is truly INSPIRATIONAL!

The safety of our clients is paramount. Our high clearance rugged but comfortable four wheel drive vehicles carry all first aid, safety and rescue equipment, should it ever be required.

We travel off road on farm tracks and along river beds but we do not ford any major rivers for safety reasons. As we are not subject to river crossing conditions our tours are available year round. Winter does bring snow to the mountains but it also brings hot sunny days and it is very rare that snow closes our routes.

We have even been entrusted in the middle of winter with the safety of two of the UK's best loved TV personalities - Dawn French (alias Geraldine - the "Vicar of Dibly") and her equally famous and hilarious husband Lenny Henry who enjoyed our Lord of the Rings tour.

Magnificent scenery is guaranteed as we follow rivers upstream, their trout and salmon filled pools tempting the angler to linger. Discover remote alpine valleys in the heart of the Southern Alps, little changed since the ice age when these wide river beds were carved out by great glaciers, evidence of which is all around.

Cross mountains that soar up beside you, some clad with native bush and alive with birdsong. Drive over tussock covered bluffs and gaze down into vast glaciated valleys.

Explore wild rugged landscapes with majestic snow capped mountains. Follow old gold miner's routes, pack horse trails and musterers tracks, which cling to cliff faces with breath-taking views into the valleys below.

Squeeze between sheer rocky cliffs high above rivers whose turquoise waters rush over rapids and crash through spectacular gorges. See waterfalls cascading through the bush some feeding the streams that we ford.


click picture to view larger image

click picture to view larger image

From the huge flat Canterbury plains, born of the out-washed gravel follow mighty braided snow fed rivers upstream to view the glaciers that feed them.

Glacier at the head of the river
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Score marks left by ancient glaciers
click picture to view larger image

click picture to view larger image

See glaciers, now at the head of the valleys which once scored ridges in the landscape right to the ocean and cross "rivers of stone" that continue to transport these mountains to the sea.

We provide a home-baked morning/afternoon tea and a delicious kiwi style picnic lunch at stunning locations on all tours.

We do not stick to any timetable - you are welcome to "just take in the view": the day is entirely yours.

There may be the opportunity after lunch to take a stroll in the bush, walk along a river, take a swim in a lake or fish for that big trout or salmon.


L-R: Rare Southern Crested Grebe; Whio (Blue Ducks); NZ Falcon; White Herons; Kea - alpine parrot; Kea eating car

Some of the rivers and lakes we visit are of international significance for several threatened bird species. We may be lucky enough to see the rare Southern Crested Grebe or Whio (Blue Duck), the New Zealand Falcon or the White Heron.

You will see some of the locals as well as the landscapes and the cheeky Kea (the world's only alpine parrot) will eat your lunch and your vehicle if you are not careful!

Keruru; Fantail; Bellbirds; Tui; Paradise Duck; Sheep station yard work
L-R: Keruru                 Fantail                 Bellbirds                         Tui                         Paradise Duck                 Sheep station yard work

You may see the flight of the Keruru (native pigeon) or have enchanting Fantails fly around your head. The songs of Bellbird and Tui are not far away or the call of the Paradise Duck female as she flies overhead calling to her mate.

Depending on the tour and the time of year you may get to meet the locals that work on the sheep stations and see their dogs mustering sheep off the mountain sides and into the yards for drenching or shearing.

Crossing the open mountain country you may see high above in the rocky basins on impossible slopes Thar or Chamois or have an encounter with a wild boar or enjoy sighting a magnificent stag as they come down to drink.

Anytime is a good time to visit as each season has its own distinct quality, especially when the spectacular peaks are clad in snow. This can be anytime, even in summer up in the High Country.

Our winters (June-Aug) have long settled periods with blue skies and crisp frosty mornings that bring warm sunshine. Spring (Sept-Nov) brings blossoms and lambs and in summer (Dec-Feb) it gets hot - just right to cool off in an icy mountain stream. Autumn (March-May) is a spectacle of colour as the trees turn on their golden glow.

These special places are accessed by just an exclusive few who are willing to venture with us

'OFF THE BEATEN TRACK'

NO CROWDS, NO COACHES for those who choose NOT TO FOLLOW THE PACK

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