For the ultimate high country experience, it’s hard to beat Mt Nicholas Station. Set on the edge of Lake Wakatipu near the mouth of the Von River, the working cattle and sheep station is one of New Zealand/Aotearoa’s oldest working farms. The original stone cottage still stands on the property, along with many other historic buildings and landmarks. While the station is fully modernised and comfortably run, it maintains a large part of its heritage, holding annual horseback musters and producing most of its own food.
The Mt Nicholas Station was originally settled by Nicholas von Tunzelmann, a European settler, in 1860. The station was initially plagued by harsh weather, overrun by the rabbits which were introduced for food and sport, and then the gold rush of 1962. Despite its tumultuous beginnings, the station was and remains a vital link to the settlement of Queenstown.
These days, 30,000 Merino sheep and 2,200 Hereford cattle populate the 100,000 acre block, which reaches far into the mountainous depths of Southland. Fully catered accommodation with options for group getaways in the remodeled shearer’s quarters or the more intimate White’s bay cabin are available. With meals prepared using fresh vegetables from the homestead gardens, free range eggs and fresh local meats and fish. A wide range of activities including country walks, horse trekking, 4WD trips, kayaking, mountain biking and hunting and fishing are available, and day tours are on offer as well. Helicopter adventures can be arranged, as well as guided trips. Mt Nicholas boasts superb event facilities and can cater for up to 150 guests. With its secluded beauty and dramatic landscapes, it’s a wonderful place for anything from a wedding to a corporate event.
Southern Discoveries runs some package deals with Mt Nicholas Station, including a catered farm experience which begins and ends with a lake cruise on the Spirit of Queenstown, and the fabulous Station 2 Station Cycle Trail. Cruise to Mt Nicholas on the Spirit of Queenstown, cycle 12km on easy tracks to Walter Peak Station where you can add in a BBQ lunch, then cruise back to Queenstown on the historic steamer TSS Earnslaw.
To get to Mt Nicholas, enjoy a scenic cruise on the Catamaran ‘Spirit of Queenstown’ or helicopter transfer from Queenstown. There are plenty of options for this high country adventure which offers the best of local history, culinary perfection and authentic station life in an unforgettable environment. It really is the ultimate station experience.