Dual-cab utes are the lifestyle car of the season – we’re seeing a lot around town but how do they go in a tough environment?
Minaret Station is a large alpine station, near Wanaka on the south island of New Zealand.
The Ford Ranger may be the biggest selling car in New Zealand, but another one of the reasons that we’re here is that the station uses the Ranger in their day-to-day operations.
It’s an adventure destination, run by the Wallace family who offer heli-skiing, guided fishing and hunting expeditions, there’s an Alpine Lodge tucked away high in the mountainous terrain, so inaccessible you can only get there by helicopter.
There’re also more run of the mill action activities, like kayaking and mountain biking.
There are no specially built courses and roads here, purpose built to show off the Ranger – this is all about living with the car and doing the things that these guys do here every day.
First up, a bit of basic 4x4 training in a paddock, then stepping it up a notch, it’s now time to tackle a muddy mess.
I land the dubious honour of towing the kayak trailer down a narrow rocky path to the shore of crystal clear Lake Wanaka for a kayak adventure.
Though we’re in the middle of nowhere, we’re well accommodated for the night. It may be warm during the day, but temperatures are well down in the single figures at night. Glamping is the perfect way to survive a chilly night in the wilderness.
The next day I’m headed deep in to the high country.
This may not be designed to test the extreme limits of the Ranger, but it certainly goes to show that it’s more than capable of hauling the family around town, and holding its own off-road.