22.01.2014 - 22.01.2014
The Blue Duck station is a working farm located in Whakahoro and would be an opportunity to see what life is like on a station and if you wanted to there were activities from horse riding and clay pigeon shooting to hunting your own goat for dinner!
With a focus on conservation they are striving in particular to save the Blue Duck which lives only on white water so by rapids and waterfalls.
We were given an enthusiastic introduction into the reasons why there are conservation issues for native animals to New Zealand.
Before the introduction of animals such as stouts and cats there were no natural predators to the animals on New Zealand, in fact the only mammal on this land was a type of bat! This meant that birds could nest on the ground and have chicks with little defence without any real concerns. This is the case for the kiwi which lays a huge egg and once this hatches they leave the chick to their own devises. We were told that people didn't come to New Zealand until 800 years ago bringing with them predators too which has impacted on the native wildlife.
To try to combat this they put out traps across the station, I think you can sponsor these traps as the ones we saw had people names on them.
Blue Duck station is beautiful and you really feel that you are in the middle of nowhere. We would be staying in lodges on the station and making friends with the many dogs that call the station their home too.
Our favourites would be Little Roy...
and Trev Shepherd who is such a Legend he even has his own Facebook page.
Trev is a New Zealand Huntaway, a popular breed for farm dogs due to the loudness of their bark and their ability to learn quickly. They are mainly used for driving sheep and an in area as large as the Blue Duck Station you can see why as they can send the dogs up the hill to drive them back down. Apparently Trev knows over 7 whistle commands that tell him which direction to go. Clever boy!
Check out the size of his feet!
We decided not to get involved in any of the activities on offer as we had some more expensive things coming up we were holding out for, and so opted for a walk around the station to a waterfall instead, and if we were lucky we would spot the Illusive blue duck!
It was a great walk walking past fields of sheep, cows, the odd pig and lots of beehives that looked like multicoloured filing cabinets. They used the bees to make the famous Malouka Honey that apparently has healing qualities and is good for you.
We didn't spot any Blue ducks but dan did find this huge dragon fly which was as big as his hand!
This is the Bridge to Nowhere... So after this we turned around
After all that walking we were pleased to have the meal cooked by the lodge and settle in for some drinks around the fire, a great place to chill.