The Frontier Lodge



Conservationist's back country quarters


Nestled within the deep valleys of North Island Back Country is Blue Duck Station, a conservation retreat on the banks of the Whanganui & Retaruke Rivers that will take you back in time to where New Zealand all began. The station, run by conservationist and competitive axe-man Dan Steele, is leading a major conservation effort aimed at protecting the threatened Blue Duck, or Whio, and safeguarding the spectacular native bush that this rare bird calls home. At the heart of the station is a brand new eco lodge based on the design and construction methodology of the First Light Home.

Building in the bush is a challenge, but with our prefabricated, hybrid construction system it was easy. The lodge is made up of a series of panels and pods which were pre-built by Stanley Modular up in Matamata before being transported to the remote site. Upon arrival, the major components were assembled in only a matter of days. Check out the time lapse video of the assembly below.


Sitting modestly in its surroundings, the lodge has been designed to have a minimal impact on the environment. With ultra thick insulation, thermally efficient glazing and an airtight building envelope, guests to this special lodge will stay snug as a bug, all year round. On the roof a future solar array will generate the lodge’s power, while on the ground a series of innovative traps within the building foundations controls pests and helps the lodge play its part in the conservation effort.

If you are interested in a Back Country experience like no other, contact Maggie at Blue Duck Station to book your stay at Frontier Lodge. Participate in an important conservation project amongst the breath-taking surroundings of the Whanganui National Park and enjoy a slice of New Zealand life like it used to be.


Contact Blue Duck Station | +64 (0)7 895

Built: 2014 | Engineer: Dunning Thornton | Builder: Stanley Group

Photographs copyright of: First Light Studio