Customer Adventure Series

Spotlight on Overland NZ

16 May 2022

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There’s no denying that Australia is a four-wheel driver’s paradise, but our neighbours over in New Zealand have it just as good – if not better. Well, that’s what our favourite New Zealand content creators, Overland NZ – otherwise known as Daniel, Chloe and one-year-old Theo – have convinced us of. We recently caught up with Daniel to find out what they’ve been up to, how they deal with off-roading with a little one, and what their go-to gear is.

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How long have you been four-wheel driving and how did you get into it?

I bought my first four-wheel drive back in 2016, but 2018 was when I really got into it. I ended up buying an old Toyota Prado which we took to the Far North on a four-wheel drive touring trip. That’s where we had the idea to start Overland NZ as a way to share photos of where we go - and, as the cliche goes, the rest is history.

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What vehicle do you have and what is your setup like? 

We’ve recently upgraded to a 2022 Toyota Fortuner after running a Hilux for the last three and a half years. I like to keep things simple-ish. Good all-terrain tyres, a nice set of wheels, basic suspension lift, Pioneer Roof setup and a 12v system that lets us film on the road. We’d been running a Pioneer tray on our Hilux for years and loved its versatility, so it was a no brainer to get one for the new build.

We went with the Backbone system under the tray this time which is a slick bit of kit, making it super easy to mount up camp lights to shine under the Sunseeker Awning at camp. I love winter camping, so having lights is a must when the sun sets early.

The Stow iT mount was a game-changer for storage too. Plus, being able to squeeze two buttons to release it is awesome. It doesn’t seem like much, but when you’re trying to get a camp set up and your toddler has been in the car for five hours, anything helps.

For those times we need a tad more storage, we’ve used a Rhino-Rack Luggage Bag which has worked a treat. As someone who used to run a roof box (and had to store one), I’m not sure I’d go back. The bag is super easy to pack (being square) and when you’re at home, it packs down into a small pouch in the garage.

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Are there any pieces of equipment you can’t go without?

It’s probably not the answer most people would expect when it comes to overlanding/four-wheel driving, but a camera. Overland NZ was born out of my passion for photography, travel and cars – something that hasn’t waned to this day. As long as I have a camera in my hand and we’re out on an adventure somewhere, I’m happy!

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What are your favourite four-wheel driving destinations?

Ahh, the tricky question! I want to say everywhere, but that’s not really an answer. For me, it’s a constant battle between the long beach stretches of the Far North and the sparse huge landscapes of Central Otago. One is sandy, warm, and has the ocean right there which I love. The other is full of history and views that you don’t find anywhere else in the country (or maybe even the world).

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How do you find travelling with kids?

Travelling with a kid has changed the game completely, possibly more than I was expecting it to. We used to spend approximately eight to nine hours on the road daily, but you just can’t expect a one-year-old to do that. I’m also far more careful where we go with the family in the car. We avoid places where there’s a higher chance of getting the car stuck and we build things into the trips that he can do.

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What are your plans for 2022?

Now the new vehicle build is almost complete, the main goal is to spend some time on the road exploring. Between COVID lockdowns and having a newborn last year, it made it harder to get away from home as often as we’d have liked. This year our little man is a tad older which should open the door for more multi-night adventures, even if it means me hitting the road solo. Though I’d love to do a big family trip next summer, a few weeks on the road showing the little dude some cool stuff — sounds like awesome fun to me!

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