Best places for beginner off-roading

1. Thompsons Track - Matamata side, Waikato

Thompsons Track - Matamata side, Waikato

Thompsons Track is located 12km south of Te Aroha off Thomson Road. It is particularly popular amongst the 4x4 community, so chances are you’ll run into someone else going on an off-road adventure. Just make sure you check how much rain has fallen recently, as this will alter the conditions of the track. You don’t want to end up getting stuck!
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2. Edwards Valley - St James conservation area, Canterbury

Edwards Valley - St James conservation area, Canterbury

Before you enter the St James Conservation Area for your off-road journey, make sure you register with the Department of Conservation. Within the conservation area, the best place to drive is Edwards Valley. Access to the valley is locked, and drivers will receive the code to unlock fences after registering and completing the motor vehicle access form. This track is a great place for beginners and can take under three hours to complete.
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3. Kawhia to Raglan, Waikato

Kawhia to Raglan, Waikato
This track starts out in the small village of Kawhia and winds north towards the surf town of Raglan. You’ll get to enjoy rolling hills in the bush, as well as enjoy the scenic coastline. It is important to note the conditions of the road to vary greatly, and range from smooth to being full of potholes, with windy conditions along the way.
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4. Tanutanu, Northland

Tanutanu, Northland

If you’re wanting to try your hand at off-road driving on sand, head to Tanutanu. You’ll find the beach located south of Tauro Point, or south-west from Ahipara. The track down to the beach is also a 4WD track, so you’ll get some extra practice at driving off-road. Once on the beach, you can drive right around the point from Shipwreck Bay. Just make sure you head to the beach while the tide is out to ensure firm and smooth conditions.
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5. Klondyke road - Waikato

Klondyke road - Waikato

This road is 18km is windy and steep, located near Port Waikato. The track starts at the Tuakau Bridge-Port Waikato Road, approximately 5 kilometres west of Port Waikato. The track ends off the Wairamarama-Onewhero Road, which is 2 kilometres from Onewhero.
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