Word and Photos Ash Hunter
The US brand's iconic Wrangler is a well-known and trusted four-wheel drive for off the shelf performance over the most demanding terrain.
Stamped with Jeep's highest 'Trailrated' guarantee, the Rubicon is the model that often sees action slinging mud and crossing mountains, jungles, and sand dunes. But we plan to do something different. No, we have not fallen into the urban trap of negotiating the Rubicon around shopping strips, sipping café lattes and peacocking. Our version of ‘different’ is to test the Rubicon in Outback Australia, visiting a working sheep station and putting the versatility of the Rubicon to the test.
We are outside Hay in New South Wales on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River. It is flat out here, like really flat, so flat that 20 years ago this land, as far as the eye can see was used to grow rice in massive flooded rice paddy fields, the land perfectly suited as water pumped from the river was held in place with just a few low earthen walls.
The drought has changed the land, the river doesn’t provide what it once did, the rain threatens to fall at times, but tends to just tease the farmers, giving a glimmer of hope that the drought will break soon.
For now, the cracked red earth is bone dry, even the boxthorn has died, the sheep must be fed manually and drinking water is drawn from the Murrumbidgee or from artesian bores using solar pumps.
It is here that we choose to test the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, and fall in love with an incredible part of our country that most Australian’s will never visit, and never understand how important it is to our nation.