After hours of driving and what seemed like forever, I arrived to Whakahoro (pronounced Fuck-a-horo, no joke) the most remote region on New Zealand’s north island. The 9000 acre high country farm, otherwise known as “station” in New Zealand, is known as a working farm and environmental conservation station. Blue Duck Lodge as its know is defiantly off the beaten path. With no reception, I was able to spend two nights in the bush to enjoy the quiet and serenity of New Zealand. After hearing so much about the Blue Duck Station from previous Stray passengers I met on the south island prior to flying to the north island, I was excited to see it for myself.
I enjoyed sitting on the balcony in the morning watching the horses graze on the hills and just quietly looking out on the amazing property, while reflecting on my trip. My afternoon was spent hiking through the property to Blue Duck Falls. Along the way, I saw many of the station’s animals: pigs, cattle, sheep, and of course the famous Blue Ducks. As it had just rained the day before, I enjoyed splashing through the puddles with gummies on and getting slightly muddy along the way. I practically slid myself down to the base of the waterfall because it was so slippery. It was hard to grasp my mind around the fact that Blue Duck Station is an almost 10,000 acre mountainous working farm. Making a farm work on such difficult terrain is a challenge in itself, yet the Blue Duck Station continues to be innovative in farming, conservation, and most recently tourism. I am grateful the small family farm opened up their land for Stray passengers to enjoy. I can understand now why travels love it so much. One Stray passenger loved it so much many years ago that she decided to stay, live, and work on the farm indefinitely. It was nice to get away from civilization for two nights and three days, but the station is a bit too remote for me long term. Throw a turquoise beach there and I’d be all set. Then I could stay forever. Nightly, I would sit by the camp fire and swap travel stories with my fellow passengers.
This Ruapehu District on the banks of the Whanganui and Retaruke Rivers is any outdoor lover’s paradise. For those who decided not to hike they took up horse trekking, kayaking, hunting, or learning to shoot clay pigeons. I opted to explore the land on the cuspt of the Whanganui National Park. The European and Maori both had influence in Whakahoro and remains of that history is speckled throughout Blue Duck Station (Whio in Maori). To further preserve the station and the endangered species on the farm, including the Blue Duck and kiwi, the station is doing everything they can do to control predators, monitor animals, and protect species. The station also offers guests opportunities to get involved in conservation efforts for those who like a more hands on experience.