Frequently Asked Questions

Find out more about common queries about Blue Duck Station

If you can’t find the answer to your question here, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Contact Information

How can I get in touch?

You can email us at info@blueduckstation.co.nz or call on +64 7-895 6276 (Please note: there is no mobile coverage in the valley after leaving SH4).  Our reception area, central office and café is located at 4265 Oio Road, Retaruke 3990.

Where are you located?

We are located in the Ruapehu District within the Whanganui National Park, where the Whanganui and Retaruke Rivers meet. The closest township is Owhango and the closest towns are Taumarunui and National park.  Our accommodation and activity reception, central office and café are located together at 4265 Oio Road, Retaruke 3990.  You can find written directions on our contact page.

Can I drive to my Blue Duck accommodation?

Yes, you can drive and park at all of our lodges with the exception of The Chef’s Table which can only be accessed by ATV, horse or helicopter.

Where do I check in?

Upon arrival, please check in at our reception, central office and café located at 4265 Oio Road, Retaruke 3990.  You can find written directions to Blue Duck Café on our contact page.

What kinds of accommodation do you offer?

We have a variety of lodges. Accommodation starts at $275 per night with a minimum 2-night stay.  We also offer multi-share accommodation for large groups. You can view all our lodges and accommodation options on our accommodation page.  Check availability and book online here or contact us to make a booking enquiry.  Please note that large group bookings can only be made directly.

What amenities are provided in the lodges?

Each lodge offers unique amenities, but all have linen provided (BYO towel at Whio and Warrior bush cabins), outdoor BBQ, a wood-burning stove (wood supplied in winter only) and a well-equipped kitchen, as well as complimentary coffee and tea.

Do I have to self-cater?

We can provide as much catering from our café as you would like. Dinner must be pre-arranged at least a week prior to your arrival. The café is not licensed and there are no off-licence shops in the valley, so please BYO if you would like to.

What is the Chef’s Table?

The Chef’s Table at Blue Duck Station is a remote 10 seat fine dining experience with a tasting menu of produce mainly farmed, grown and foraged on the farm.  Reservations available Thursday-Sunday from September to June.  The restaurant is only accessible via ATV, helicopter, horseback or mountain bike.  Prices start at $495 per person for an ATV tour and dinner. Accommodation, wine, and experience packages are also available. Find out more here.

Reservations for each season open a maximum of 6 months ahead of time.

What activities are available at Blue Duck Station?

Activities include Horse Trekking, Jet Boating, Kayaking, Bush Safaris, Tramping, Guided Hunting, and more.  Read more about activities and pricing on our Activities page. Get in touch to check availability. Activities must be booked well in advance, it is highly unlikely we would have any availability the day or even week of your arrival. Please book ahead to avoid disappointment.

What if it rains during my stay?

All our activities go ahead in wet weather, we adjust to suit the conditions with the exception of kayaking and jet boating. No fee applies if a river activity cannot go ahead due to weather or river conditions.

Do I need to stay with you to book a guided activity?

Priority is given to in-house guests. Activities must be booked well in advance, it is highly unlikely we would have any availability on the day or even week of.

When are you open?

We’re open Thursday to Monday. Closed Christmas Day and throughout August.

The Chef’s Table is open Thursday to Sunday, September to June.

Can I stay longer during your close-down periods?

Yes, no problem to stay longer on our closed days if you’re happy to self cater (the café is closed), and relax or hike (no guided activities available during these times).

What’s your cancellation policy?

Cancelling 7 days or less prior to arrival incurs a cancellation fee of the first night’s stay.

The Chef’s Table cancellation policy can be found here.

Do I need to pay a deposit?

A 50% accommodation deposit is required to confirm a booking.

The Chef’s Table is a pre-paid experience.

What if I can only stay one night?

We have a 2 night minimum, please contact us to discuss the possibility of making an exception.

What's your policy on dogs?

We allow dogs that have current kiwi aversion training. However, they must stay outside our lodges and café, either stock-proof or on a lead. If you have any questions, please ask.

Can I bring my caravan or camp at Blue Duck?

We do not offer camping accommodation at Blue Duck Station, but you can access our location via campervan or caravan and there is a convenient DOC campsite at Whakahoro, just opposite our café.

How about mobile reception and Wifi?

There is no mobile reception in the valley, but Wifi is available for purchase at the café. Free for in-house guests.

Can I come and hunt?

We provide guided hunting experiences, with prices starting at $120 for small game hunting, to full-day trophy hunting. Find out more here.

Is there an opportunity for volunteering?

Limited seasonal volunteering opportunities are available based on needs, your skills, and accommodation availability. Please contact us to discuss upcoming volunteer openings.

What are the café opening hours?

The café is open from Thursday to Monday, 8am to 3pm, serving breakfast, lunch, hot and cold drinks, and snacks. Dinner can be arranged for in-house guests.  Dinners must be arranged in advanced and may be delivered to your lodge if minimum numbers are not met. Opening hours may vary, so please contact us before planning a day visit.

Do you have laundry facilities?

We do not have guest laundry facilities.

Can I purchase a gift voucher?

We offer customisable gift vouchers for both Blue Duck Station and The Chef’s Table. Contact us to arrange a voucher that suits your needs.

I’m staying at the DOC campsite, can I get a hot shower?

Yes, you can pay for a hot shower at our cafe ablution block.

What should I do with my rubbish and recycling?

Given our remote location and neighbouring the Whanganui national park, it’s much appreciated if you can take out any rubbish and recycling that you bring in. Food scraps can feed our chooks, worm farm or compost.

Where can I purchase alcohol or groceries?

Our café is not licensed, and there are no shops or off-licenses in Whakahoro.  Please bring what you need for the full duration of your stay, especially if you intend to self-cater.