12 breathtaking views from high-country stations, farms and orchards around New Zealand

Whether it’s sunshine slicing through snow-capped mountains or sheep trundling down a hillside, there’s an undeniable magic to the rural corners and peaks of New Zealand.

Photos: Tessa Chrisp, Rachael McKenna, Kate Macpherson, Florence Charvin, Daniel Allen

1. Quinoa farmers, south Taranaki 

Kate and Hamish Dunlop have long been interested in living lightly, and they run their farm accordingly. One morning, while discussing a documentary they’d recently watched about plant proteins, they had an epiphany. “We had been talking a lot about how to feed the growing world population in an environmentally sustainable way,” Kate says. They cast the net wide, investigating other high-protein plants like chia seeds and amaranth, but kept coming back to the ancient superseed, quinoa.

quinoa grower nz

quinoa grower nz

sheep farm near taranaki

2. Glenbrook Station, North Otago

Glenbrook Station, 3700 hectares near Omarama on State Highway 8 in North Otago, runs merino ewes, lambs, beef calves and a host of pets. Owners Simon and Kirsty Williamson, together with a fellow Kiwi, started State Highway 8 Merino, selling their wool direct to the United States, supplying and sourcing wool for sock manufacturer Point6.

3. Clifton Station, Hawke’s Bay

The sixth generation of a Hawke’s Bay farming family is bringing style to an historic 800-hectare landscape. This is glamping at its finest.

4. Beneagle Farm, near Blenheim

Hayley Rhind moved onto Beneagle, 1000 hectares of rolling hill country, with her husband and two young children. Then she had a brilliant idea for a clothing business.

5. Wanaka Lavender Farm, Central Otago

Two brothers have turned a patch of Wanaka into a lavender business in full bloom.

6. Glenmore Station, Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park

Will and Ems Murray are the fifth generation of the family to farm Glenmore, a high-country station bordering Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park. They aim to not be the last.

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7. Tyrone Farm, Rangitikei

For more than 100 years, a Rangitikei farm has been home to one family. Now the fourth generation is putting its own twist on tradition.

8. Blue Duck Station, Ruapehu

A farming family took the endangered whio under their wing at Blue Duck Station.

9. David Kirk’s rural retreat, Hawke’s Bay

Former All Blacks captain David Kirk and his wife Brigit live in Sydney, but have established a part-time New Zealand base not far from where their shared story began.

11. Dove River Peonies, near Nelson

The peony is one of the most beautiful flowers in the world, but it’s what it grows beneath the soil that has turned into a unique business for one Nelson couple, and changed the lives of their eczema-suffering sons.

12. Jackson Orchard, Cromwell Gorge

Five generations of a Central Otago family have tilled soil, trained trees, and fought the forces of nature and political upheaval to sustain a fruitful lifestyle they love.

NZ Life and Leisure This article first appeared in NZ Life & Leisure Magazine.

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