PNL 4WDriving was established in October 1991 by Phillip and Ngarie (Nyrie) Butterfield.

Camping and hiking enthusiasts from their youth, they often travelled down roads that ended with a ‘road closed’ sign and then had to traverse back through difficult terrain. After a number of these occurrences, they lashed out and bought a 4WD. Living in Wagga Wagga, they caught the train to Sydney and proceeded to drive their new 4WD back through the Blue Mountains over the Great Dividing Range, doing what you should never do in a brand new vehicle—go 4WDriving by yourself.

When they got back home, they joined the Wagga Wagga 4WD club to learn the best way to use their vehicle. They learned lots and travelled many miles with the club. Before long the older members of the club were suggesting to new members that they get Phil or Nyrie to travel with them to help out over tricky patches—and thus the teaching and instruction began.

On moving to Sydney a similar thing happened. They joined two 4WD Clubs and it was only a couple of months before the experienced members of these clubs were recommending to new members that Phil or Nyrie advise them on how to use their 4WDs and assist with tricky situations.

Upon moving to Melbourne, Phil retired from the Army and set up PNL 4WDriving. Since then they have run ever-expanding courses with 100-150 students per year. It became a full time business with two permanent staff in mid-1997; a Registered Training Organization in April 2000; and Parks accredited and Victorian Tourist Association accredited in June 2002. BSZ Workplace Training commenced in April 2002.

The company continues to go from strength to strength, currently employing two permanent staff, several office assistants, 10–15 trainers on-call and two trainee instructors.

The goal of PNL 4WDriving is to teach SAFE, ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY 4WDriving to all.

We are a company that excels in personal commitment and training in the field of 4WDriving.

PNL 4WDriving training courses will give you confidence in yourself and your vehicle and knowledge that will enable you to take your vehicle safely to places that you would really like to experience, without endangering yourself, your friends or your vehicle.

PNL4WDriving was established by Ngarie and Phillip Butterfield in 1991 as a family business in Melbourne, Australia. The company provides training courses and consultation, for people who are interested in 4WDriving, in Melbourne and all other states in Australia. The company is a Registered Training Organisation accredited by the Australian National Training Authority delivering Nationally Accredited 4WDriver training.

The nature of PNL4WDriving instruction ensures each participant gets appropriate individual training. The instruction used gives the participant the impression of a holiday atmosphere, whilst we actually use the most advanced form of teaching (generative learning) which is fun.

PNL 4WDriving is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO #20810). We are registered by ASQA (Australian Skills and Quality Authority) who is based in Canberra and because PNL 4WDriving teaches interstate we need to be Federally registered. The subjects we teach are designed by industry and educational input and come under the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF) in the form of training packages.

These packages are broken down into units of competency (subjects) and PNL 4WDriving specialises in teaching all the 4WDrive units/subjects from each package. As a private provider registered by ASQA we offer Nationally Recognised Qualifications the same as any TAFE or University.

Parks Victoria and Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning (DELWP)

As a Licensed Tour Operator (LTO #1069) Parks Victoria and DELWP ensure you that PNL 4WDriving has the appropriate permits, skills, insurance and risk management procedures to use public land for your training, protecting our natural assets from impact and overuse. Parks Victoria administers National and State parks, DELWP administer State Forests and other Crown Land.


What is the Australian Tourism Accreditation Program (ATAP)? The Australian Tourism Accreditation Program is a business development program that is based on Quality Assurance principles. It has been developed by aligning the six state and territory based tourism accreditation programs;

  • Better Business Accreditation Program Victoria
  • National Tourism Accreditation Program Western Australia
  • National Tourism Accreditation Program Tasmania
  • National Tourism Accreditation Program South Australia
  • National Tourism Accreditation Program ACT
  • Northern Territory Tourism Accreditation Program

The Program addresses many of the issues that are covered in the development of a business plan but focuses on those key elements that are part of the day to day function of any tourism operation.

This is achieved by the development of professional management systems that will lead to reliability, consistency and predictability in the operation of the business which in turn results in improved customer service and satisfaction.

It encourages businesses to:

  • Plan how their business will function
  • Check that customer expectations are being met.

In turn, Accreditation will provide clients and industry colleagues with an assurance that participating businesses are committed to professionalism both in business operations and delivery of service.

Trust the Tick (Better Business)

Why Choose Accredited Operators? Leading Australian tourism operators display the accreditation tick. They’ve met specific criteria ensuring they are committed to exceeding your expectations with great customer service and the highest standards of business practice.

The distinctive “tick” logo displayed by accredited tourism businesses provides you with an assurance that the tourism business has a proven commitment to the highest quality of service. All businesses accredited through the Australian Tourism Accreditation Program meet the Australian Tourism Accreditation Standard, ensuring:

  • Quality
  • Reliability
  • Professionalism
  • Accuracy in Advertising
  • Environmental Practices
  • Adherence to a Code of Ethics

Accreditation will provide clients and industry colleagues with an assurance that participating businesses are committed to professionalism both in business operations and delivery of service.

Australian Tourism Accreditation Program (ATAP) is a national program issuing the Better Business tick. When selecting a business with the accreditation logo you are entitled to expect:

  • Professional customer service
  • Accuracy in advertising
  • Sound environmental practices
  • Compliance with health and safety standards
  • An appropriately licensed operator
  • A commitment to providing quality services to you
Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC)

The Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) is the peak policy council for the Victorian tourism industry, which represents key industry associations, operators and government agencies, providing one united industry voice.

  • Central Australian Tourism
  • Marysville Tourist Association
  • Ballarat Tourist Association
  • Mansfield Tourist Association
  • Narbethong Progress Association
  • Industry Councils; Sport and Outdoor Recreation, Transport, Forestry
  • Cross Country Jeep Club
  • Ballarat & District 4WDrive Club
  • National Transport Hall of Fame – Alice Springs

Here’s a list of just a few of our valued clients:

  • Aboriginal Affairs
  • Acciona Energy
  • Alpine Resorts Coordinating
  • Council (ARCC)
  • ALS Global
  • Australian National University (ANU)
  • Austral
  • Australian Ecosystems
  • Banyule City Council
  • Brett Lane & Associates (BL&A)
  • Bushfire Cooperative Research  Council (CRC)
  • Chilsholm Institue of TAFE
  • Country Fire Authority (CFA)
  • Deakin University
  • Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning (DELWP)

COVID-19 Updates

Update – 01/07/2023

PNL 4WDriving is a COVIDSafe business. We continue to closely monitor the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The safety, health and wellbeing of our staff and all personnel is a priority for PNL 4WDriving.

If you or any member of your group have COVID-19 or are waiting for COVID-19 test results or have flu like symptoms, please don’t attend and follow the advice of the health department and contact PNL 4WDriving.

COVID-19 Victorian Government Vaccination Requirements
PNL 4WDriving is considered an education and tourism organisation by the Victorian Government and there is currently no vaccination requirement that affect our industry.

Face Masks
All persons aged 8 years and above should carry a face mask with them and it is recommended it be worn in the following circumstances:
• are a close contact
• in a vehicle being operated by a licensed tourism operator

Check-In Requirements
You don’t need to check in anymore.

More Information
Please visit the Victorian Government Coronavirus website by clicking on the following link:



What Is PNL 4WDriving Doing To Combat COVID-19?…

  • PNL 4WDriving follows government, state and territory guidelines and requirements
  • PNL 4WDriving has a COVIDSafe Plan
  • PNL 4WDriving staff are COVIDSafe trained and continue to update these practices
  • PNL 4WDriving ensures courses/trips are small gatherings less than 10 vehicles
  • PNL 4WDriving conduct a majority of our practical course outside in the fresh air
  • PNL 4WDriving encourage all personnel to wash their hands regularly using hand disinfectant
  • All touchable surfaces are being regularly wiped down with disinfectant spray
  • All equipment is being regularly disinfected and wiped down
  • Spacing between seating in class-rooms has been increased
  • Encourage vehicle fans to be on gently, blowing fresh air on people
  • A limited supply of masks and gloves may be supplied but please feel free to bring your own should you wish
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