Defender Ambassador Sam Evans loves spending time in nature, and when he’s craving awe-inspiring landscapes he can’t go past New Zealand. He recently touched down in Christchurch and took the Defender 130 out for a 48 hour expedition through the South Island’s striking mountainous regions.

After picking up the Defender 130 at Christchurch airport, Evans appreciated the fact that it came with all the bells and whistles, including a heated steering wheel and windscreen, both handy for the frosty mornings and wintery conditions ahead. Evans then headed off to explore some of his favourite locations within a few hours of Christchurch.


Mt Hutt is one of the highest ski areas on the South Island, offering an incredible big mountain experience for skiers and snowboarders. Evans found the drive to Mt Hutt stunning, with the road dropping off on both sides, showcasing the beautiful valleys below. After navigating the long, winding road to the ski fields, Evans stopped for a revitalising cup of coffee, but with limited time he didn’t get a chance to carve his way down the mountainside.

Defender 130 in the mountains


Heading back down the mountain, Evans relished the chance to utilise the full capabilities of the Defender 130. In this uniquely picturesque part of the world, there are plenty of rocky rivers with access points for vehicles where you can drive into and across the river. Despite challenging conditions, Evans said the Defender “absolutely loved it”, making light work of the river crossings. After finding a river with some snow melt, Evans bravely decided to forego the comfort of the 130, and plunge into the river for an icy and invigorating swim.

Defender on the Seashore


Next stop on Evans’s lightning tour was Lake Tekapo, where he was staying for the night at Galaxy Boutique Hotel. Evans loved the skylights in the room which enable guests to gaze at the glittering stars in the night sky from bed. Just as memorable is the breathtaking blue of Lake Tekapo, which Evans drove around to a location where the mountain rivers meet the lake. He sent a drone up into the sky to capture the spectacular landscape, as the glacial waters flowed into the lake, creating amazing patterns in the water.


The next day Evans didn’t miss an opportunity to take a scenic drive to Mt Cook, New Zealand’s tallest mountain. The memorable alpine landscape boasts sky high peaks, glaciers and permanent ski fields. 

Defender on rough terrian


Wherever Evans’ journey took him, he said the Defender 130 “absolutely crushed it” in all conditions. Ascending Mt Hutt through snow and slush was effortless, as the 130 frequently passed other vehicles, including 4WDs, that needed to stop and put chains on their tyres. The Defender didn’t slip at all, and Evans found the intelligent drive modes came in handy, particularly when he switched it into ice and snow mode for a seamless passage up the mountain.

Defender 130 in snow

Explore the Defender 130 and discover why it’s the ultimate combination of capability and comfort. Then start planning your own adventure in a vehicle that allows you to go further and explore the most challenging landscapes.