We take our new 80 Series Landcruiser and the Hilux up into the hills above the Manawatu for a showdown - new vs old, husband vs wife - and to explore some awesome 4wd tracks high up in the hills. Driving with views this good is pretty hard to beat!
Alongside the Ballance Bridge, the Woodville Ferry Reverse is a large grassy plain located on the Manawatu River – at the mouth of Te Apiti – Manawatu Gorge. With easy access to the river, this reserve is perfect for picnics and camping, and even has basic toilet facilities. Explore the small wetland, which is planted with native trees, and see if you can spot some local wildlife.
A muddy, rutty tricky little drive through the hills above Palmerston North, North Range Road will challenge most people while offering views out to both side of the North Island.
It's nothing flash - but if you need a spot to sleep for the night, it does the trick!
Climb your way into the Tararua Ranges - Takapari Road is one of the highest public roads in New Zealand topping out around 1400m. A fine day is almost a must up here, the views are well worth the wait. Beyond the hut lays a much harder section of track that shouldn't be tackled alone.