Our whānau then boarded the bus to go to Blue Duck Station for 2 nights. No internet, no mobile reception, no shops, just nature – can’t get more remote than that. And sure enough, it was an hour’s drive from Tongariro National Park, of which 40 minutes were on a gravel road 😉
We did stop in Taupo on the way and saw the Huka Falls as well as Lake Taupo, even got to go to some hot springs there. Also we did a small photo stop in the National Park as it was a beautiful clear day and all three peaks were in clear sight.
The supermarket stop meant of course getting everything for the two or even three days, main emphasis on drinks because Blue Duck has a reputation with Stray for the most epic partying. 😉 Once we got there, we got a big welcome in the cafe there and then got assigned to our rooms as well as the activities for the next day. They also offered some spaces in a tent and in a very spontaneous decision, I opted for that 🙂 It turned out to be a very big tent, comfortably sleeping six people on mattresses on camping beds 🙂
We had a group meal that night, chicken fajitas and thanks to Hilary teaching me the secret to packing and rolling a wrap, I managed to eat it without any accidents 😉 Was quite funny to watch some of the others struggle though I have to admit! After that, straight on to party and drinking. Add good music (thanks Lego!) and a fireplace to the mix and you get what guarantees the reputation 😉
My activity was once again horse-trekking, starting at about 9 the next morning. The horse I got was called Crocket and he was very nice, just had the habit of throwing his head up and down a lot. The girl leading us had warned me about that, but it did take some getting used to. We took a nice track across some of the land that form the station and made our way gradually up the hill until we got to the highest point, aptly named “The end of the world” 🙂
The horses got a bit of a rest and we some photos before it was back down, this time on a much steeper track and my dear Crocket liked to walk right on the edge of the cliffs… it was a little more excitement than I would have liked to be honest, but we made it down in one piece 😉 We stopped and got off and then waited for the “surprise” – which turned out to be meeting the other group of riders who took over the horses from us for their track.
Our group got to see the Blue Duck Falls, first from above and then from the pool below, which meant a very steep and muddy climb down. Guess who lost her balance and went down on her butt for a bit? YES… Down a the pool, a few kayaks were waiting for us and we were to go for a small trip to the next gorge. I had made it through almost all of NZ without a kayak, so this was my first time and I just didn’t get the hang of it… going around in circles and shoving water into the kayak was not really my idea of fun, so I got back out and had someone else take my place. Seems I can do big boats, but no small ones 😉
The next bit was much more fun though, we got to go on a 4WD and speeded around the farmland, stopping a few times for explanations about Oreo cows, Manuka honey and wild pigs before we got back to the Station 🙂 The day was beautiful, sunny and just made for a relaxed afternoon – so that was what I did 😉