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Blue Duck Station


28 Apr 2022 - 02 May 2022



Central North Island’s Blue Duck Station

Come join Lesley and Jax Hamilton as we escort you to one of our favourite places in New Zealand – you will not have experienced a #foodiephotographytour like this.  

We are hosted by Dan Steele – owner of Blue Duck Station which is located in the Ruapehu District on the banks of the Whanganui and Retaruke Rivers, and surrounded by Whanganui National Park.

The station’s core values are to conserve its endangered wildlife, increase the health of native bush and rivers, and preserve the history of the area, while educating visitors about the endangered New Zealand blue duck, other native species and local history.

There are many treats on this tour: 

  • Return luxury coach travel from Wellington to Blue Duck Station
  • Jetboat ride and a walk to Bridge to Nowhere – 6 hours
  • Morning tea hosted by the Richard and Rachel Steele at their 108-year-old homestead where not only will you have breathtaking views from their porch of the Whanganui and Retaruke Rivers but treated to Rachel’s biscuits which are NZ famous
  • Get a taste of what Blue Duck Station is all about as we are taken on a safari. Get an understanding of the local history, hear all about our conservation work and witness the everyday workings of the station.  Take a short kayak through the gorge at the base of the Kaiwhakauka falls where you may see some Whio as this is there favourite place to hang out
  • Hosted lunch at Ohakune and private garden tour

For the foodies: 

The highlight of the four night, five days is your dining experience at The Chef’s Table.  The fine dining experience entails a refined 10 course degustation menu from the land.  The Chef’s Table at Blue Duck Station offers a stripped-back and unique fine dining experience under the stunning night’s sky at Blue Duck Station – a 30-minute ATV trip. Located on the highest point of the station affectionately known as the Top of the World, it has views of the Tongariro and Whanganui national parks. The mountains Taranaki, Tongariro, Mount Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe are spectacular on a clear day.  

To make this experience even more memorable, you will head out with Jax and the chef on the station foraging for items to be included in your fine dining experience – a refined 10 course degustation dinner from the land.  There is no expense spared here, your meal comes with pre-dinner drinks and wine matching across all 10 courses, followed by coffee.  After your meal a return 30-minute ATV ride back down.  Don’t expect to be back home before 11.00pm 

For the photographers:

  • If you are a photographer, you will be at home here – Lesley will provide photography mentoring
  • The photographic opportunities from “Top of the World” are breathtaking – long exposure sunset or simply an amazing panoramic image  
  • The photography from the jetboat ride is outstanding, the sheer cliffs covered in virgin bush, through to the dappled light on the walk to the Bridge to Nowhere.

Meals & Accommodation:

Dinner (with wines), lunch and breakfast are included; morning or afternoon teas unless noted are own cost 

Pre tour accommodation and breakfast in Wellington’s luxuriously beautiful QT Hotel with a three course fine dining experience (plus wines) at Hippopotamus is included. Post tour accommodation in Wellington can be arranged at additional cost.

While on the station your meals are at the Blue Duck Station’s café – the central meeting point for everyone; those on the farm and those enjoying the station’s activities.  Fully cooked breakfast, lunch and two course dinners are rustic homecooked and eaten sitting around one of the two large tables – an opportunity to meet and chat with Dan Steele who joins most nights.

This is a working station; the accommodation is warm, and very comfortable; you will be sharing a room and we are spread out across two houses which are 2 minutes apart.  One of the houses being a central day meeting point which has a shared kitchen and large living area.  

Transport: A dedicated Girls on the Road Again driver and luxury mini coach return travel, pick-up National Park and return to Wellington

Brief Itinerary:

Day 1:  Overnight Wellington 

  • Accommodation at QT Hotel
  • Make sure you’re all checked in before 2pm so you can freshen up as at 3pm we are collected from the hotel and head off little shopping expedition to a What’s on Willis, a gorgeous homewares store and returned to our hotel around 5pm
  • Three course dinner and wines at Hippopotamus

Day 2:  Coach from Wellington to Blue Duck Station via National Park

  • An early breakfast this morning before we board our coach and head to Blue Duck Station
  • Morning tea at Levin
  • Lunch at National Park
  • Two course dinner with wines
  • Cheese platter & nibbles after dinner – maybe finish the evening with a nightcap

Day 3 & 4: At Blue Duck Station

  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner with wine
  • Jetboat trip Bridge to Nowhere – lunch included
  • Cheese platter & nibbles after dinner back at our accommodation, enjoy a nightcap
  • 10 course degustation dinner with wine matching, pre-dinner drinks and coffee included
  • Foraging session with Jack, The Chef’s Table chef and Jax
  • Station Safari with kayaking session
  • Morning tea hosted at the Steele’s homestead

Day 5:

  • Breakfast, then head off back to Wellington
  • A beautiful garden tour and hosted lunch at Ohakune
  • Wellington Airport drop off – plan to arrive around 5.00pm (plan for flights after 6.30pm)


  • This weekend is dress down – even for the degustation dinner, it is warm (layered), casual, comfortable clothes and shoes
  • There is no cell phone coverage available at Blue Duck Station, there is WIFI at Blue Duck Café.  Lesley does carry a satellite phone, although messages can be left at Blue Duck Station’s café.

Deposit: $500 deposit secures your place with the balance payable 14 days prior – click on “CLICK HERE TO BOOK”.

COVID-19 Policy

Girls on the Road Again has the necessary protocols in place to operate under the the COVID-19 Protection Framework red, amber and green levels. For your safety, that of your fellow passengers and those leading leading Girls on the Road Again’s awesome tours, we are have robust processes in place to ensure that we can operate safely at red, amber and green levels of the COVID-19 Protection Framework. Click here to know more about this policy and the requirements of you as a passenger.

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