The Adventure begins!

Great spot for a sunrise

If you’re after the perfect adventure package for family or friends, combine the Mahindra S6 4×4 Ute, a GLI dual fold off-road camper trailer and a 3.4m TAKACAT armed with 15hp Parsun, and it’ll get you into many places that other set-ups couldn’t.

After testing them out on a few family adventures myself, there’s none I’d recommend more.

If you’ve ever passed through Cooptown, on the Akaroa highway, you know you’re in for a bit of a crawl to the “Hilltop”. Boasting stunning views of Akaroa Harbour; the “Hilltop” is a relatively famous stopping point for refreshments and a feed.

The Mahindra S6 pulled itself, and 1500-odd kgs of GLI camper trailer and gear, to the top with ease. It can only boast a 2.2 mHAWK turbo diesel but with a 6-speed box it was dropped into second only once, and very briefly.

GLI’s dual fold off-road camper opens to include 2 double bed spaces and a seating area for 4, with a table. An attachable awning adds sleeping space for another 4(bunking).

Leaving the “Hilltop”, my family and I stay on the high road until the Little Akaloa turn-off where the road down rapidly drops 750m. It’s narrow, steep, undulating and windy with a few washouts to dodge.

The ute and camper sat nicely, no surprise bounces or tugs and no swinging around. You have an upright seating position which is comfortable and lets you see exactly where you are on the road. Bloody good for towing round the many tight corners.

The LED’s run on a lithium battery/solar system. Great for sitting around playing cards and telling fishing tales.

The braked camper trailer always felt comfortable. Out of curiosity, I briefly applied the ute’s “descent control” which pulled it up a bit but, in the end, I preferred the electric brake system on the camper plus the ute brakes.

A previous trip in a Mahindra included crossing untracked sand dunes. In 4WD you’d feel the Eaton diff-lock kick in as needed and in this, it just kept going.

We maxed out with the highest hp rating for the 3.4m model TAKACAT, a 15hp 2-stroke, short shaft Parsun. Awesome performance!

There’s a 4WD test track up in the North Island, with one section that’s particularly challenging. On test day, only Mahindra had a crack at it. The auto reviewer/writer was blown away, as were the other manufacturers who chose not to damage their reputation.

Lots of external lock-up storage hatches and sliders for electric fridge/freezer and also the kitchen set-up of sink/tap/dishrack and 4 ring gas hob

Clearly, this ute a standout, all-round performer and a safe bet for family and friends to explore the more remote parts of Aotearoa.

Not the best conditions when you’re targeting blue moki that prefer cleaner water

The GLI dual fold camper is next level, with hi-tech solar/lithium power system for water pumps, lighting, brakes, audio system and more.

Opened up you have a double bed at either end and a seating/eating area in the middle. The mattresses are damn comfortable; we’ve had a great sleep almost every trip. Although a couple of night caps might’ve helped!

The Mahindra looked right at home down at the waterfront

There’s nothing like sleeping under canvas, sure it can flap a bit in the wind, but you feel more connected to nature which is what it’s all about. GLI use the top grade of canvas; superbly stitched with heavy duty zippers. We don’t often put up the attachable awning, but when we do it adds sleeping space for another four.

There’s also an additional room for toilet and shower, and plenty of windows all with insect screens and supported flaps for sun, rain and wind protection. Packed down its compact, and with a roof rack as standard was perfect for holding the TAKACAT inflatable.

TAKE THE TAKACAT!

One trip, on the first day out, it was a bit choppy nearer the heads. Not a problem. The TAKACAT just did its thing, pushed along by the short-shaft Parsun 15hp (the maximum hp rating for the 3.4m model).

Come and get it!

Stable and responsive, this boat is a heap of fun that can pack down into a couple of bags and will fit in the boot of your car. Using the hand pump, it takes less that 10min to get the tubes and floor inflated. I can vouch for that.

We have the quick hitch wheels so two of us can pull it down to the slipway with ease.

Finally the easterly blew itself out and conditions improved…sadly no fish on this trip.

Once the winds drop off later in the month the sea will get clearer, and we’ll be out for some spearfishing and to get a few paua. Can’t wait!!

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