For those looking for a truly authentic New Zealand high country station experience, a visit to Blue Duck Station is an absolute must! This unique destination is a top rated stop on Stray’s Hop-on Hop-off travel network.
It’s not an easy place to find located deep in the heart of the Central North Island in the Ruapehu district, nestled on the banks of the Wanganui and Retaruke Rivers River, surrounded by the Whanganui National Park. However for those that make it there, it’s worth the effort.
Not only is Blue Duck Station an active working farm with sheep and cattle, it’s also highly involved in an award-winning conservation project to save the rare endangered native Blue Duck (or Whio in Maori), found only in New Zealand. The remote bush gorges offer the ideal habitat for native species such as the Blue Duck, native bats, wetas and fish.
The outdoor enthusiast’s playground offers horse riding, kayaking, jet boating, hunting, hiking, axe throwing, target shooting and a great big camp fire to relax around in the evenings.
Visitors can get involved in the various conservation projects from surveying the Kiwi and Whio population to helping restore some of the historic buildings in the area, which were abandoned by the early farmers.
How to get there?
Public transport is not an option (this is truly in the backblocks). If you have a car, you may be able to find it, but you’ll need to have Captain Cook’s navigational skills. The best way to get there is by getting a Stray Travel pass which truly gets you off the beaten track in New Zealand. Stray spends two nights and one full day at Blue Duck Station.