International 4wd Overland Travel
New Zealand Based
Aralkum Desert, Uzbekistan
Baldan Bereeven Monastery, Mongolia
We're Aaron, Sylwia, Marcel (13), Anastazja (8) and Kornelia (6). We've embarked on a number of 4wd overland adventures across the world, visiting over 40 countries. Our travels are not mainstream, often taking us to remote but incredible parts of the world, where local infrastructure is typically poor to non existent. But equally it's where ancient splendours, vibrant cultures and rich traditions are worth experiencing. From the edge of the Sahara Desert in North Africa to remote mountain villages in Albania. Retracing ancient silk routes across Central Asia, or locating long abandoned 2,000+ year old fortresses in Uzbekistan's deserts. No visit to this part of the world is complete without delving deep into Mongolia's Gobi Desert. We equally enjoy soaking up the atmosphere in vibrant and often chaotic cities found in emerging destinations. We call New Zealand home, and take every opportunity to get out into the stunning South Island wilderness. I hope that something here will motivate or inspire.
Our first trip to North Africa - Sahara Desert near to the Atlantic Coast
Inside Kyrgyzstan's border zone with China
Take one very well equipped 4wd and add all the good quality camping and expedition gear needed to be dry, warm and comfortable anywhere. Add the essential final ingredient - one close knit family with a passion for travel. Put it all in a shipping container (not the family!) and send it off to the Russian Far East. From the Russian Far East it's a very long way overland to England, via countless varied landscapes and with many exciting and diverse cultures to experience along the way. No set in stone dates or firm deadline, nor certainty as to where we'd spend each night. Lengthy off-road routes navigating vast wilderness areas or desert, which can present challenges for a solo 4wd and can be difficult to plan in advance.
Approaching Tajikistan's border with Afghanistan
The above paragraph describes our most recent 2019/2020 family expedition right across Central Asia - it took 10 months to complete and wasn't without a few challenges to overcome along the way.
In a complex modern world where many people lack time to think much beyond their busy daily routines, and where people don't spend as much quality time with loved ones as they would like to, our latest adventure was equally as much about freedom and personal growth as it was about exploration. Ideally everyone should take a year out at least once to go on their own idea of a big adventure.
Naadam Festival, Dalanzadgad, Mongolia
We have now undertaken several big solo international 4wd expeditions to different parts of the world (as well as countless smaller ones) over time gaining considerable experience in all aspects necessary to make a success of this endeavour. The world is a big place; there's still plenty more for us to explore!
An interest in 4wd vehicles is not essential to appreciating the many incredible images and tales to be found on this site. The emerging destinations that we often favour these days, where ancient sites, vibrant cultures and rich traditions come together, mostly require a 4wd to reach.
This also happens to be a relatively economic mode of travel for an adventurous family. Our 4wd is more than just our transportation, it also forms the functional centre of our off-grid camping setups, wherever they may be. When camped in isolated locations we generate solar electricity to charge all our devices, run a refrigerator, hot water shower and diesel-electric tent heating system - all from custom off-grid systems built into the vehicle.
Blazing heat in the Gobi Desert, Mongolia
About the resources you will find on this site
The blog and the photo galleries are likely the best resources here, containing interesting travel stories and presenting a selection of breathtaking images from around the world. There's also ample information here that should assist anyone looking to build up a touring 4wd vehicle. If you're interested to see what outdoor/camping gear we currently use and have determined over the years to offer the most comfort and protection, then there's a dedicated section for that too!
An isolated 2,500 year old fortress in Uzbekistan's desert
Many years ago I began touring all over North America and Europe without every really considering myself as someone with a particularly special passion for travel; not even when I had the surreal opportunity to explore inside a 5,000 year old pyramid in Egypt's desert... alone... did I fully appreciate the extent to which remote world travel was becoming a life-long passion.
Eventually I came to recognise the extent to which travel, specifically the exposure it gives to the different ways in which life is lived around the globe, was shaping and expanding my world view. Our expeditions to Morocco and Albania proved influential in furthering our combined interest in our current style of family 4wd overland expeditions, and in many ways assisted in growing our comfort zones in preparation for our subsequent adventures in Russia/Siberia, Mongolia and Central Asia.
Photo: the appetising Merve Cafe, Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
The XpeditioNZ store is now live! If you're based in New Zealand, setting up a vehicle for overland travel and want to outfit it with the quality of gear really needed for the kind of travel we undertake, then the new XpeditioNZ store sells the level of gear you need, in NZ. Our early expeditions were let down by taking equipment that was more 'hype' than true 'expedition grade' quality. There's a lot of over-marketed brands about! Sooner or later you'll need to get the products that really perform - over the years we've learned what does and what doesn't. The best overland fitout gear available in NZ is on www.xpeditionz.co.nz