Lesley Whyte
+64 27 4747 347

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Blue Duck Station
Ruapehu District


Sep 29 2022 - Oct 04 2022



Blue Duck Station Photography Capture to Print Retreat

Especially designed for our Aussie #photographybuddies who have been hankering for some #cameratime – come join us in New Zealand as Women in Photography is hosting a small group Capture to Print Retreat at Blue Duck Station just for you.  Blue Duck Station is situated inland south of Taurmanui, north of National Park and borders the Whanganui River in New Zealand’s North Island.

Women in Photography is passionate about Blue Duck Station, we lead three tours here each year and we want you to be enchanted as much as we are so check out this YouTube Hyundai Country Calendar’s programme.  Blue Duck Station is a place of beauty, rawness and rugged, unspoilt surroundings where there are still 800 year old Totora trees growing.  The station’s core values are to conserve its endangered wildlife, increase the health of native bush and rivers, and preserve the history of the area, while educating visitors about the endangered New Zealand blue duck, other native species and local history.  Blue Duck Station is located where there is no cellphone coverage, there is although WiFi at the station’s central cafe.

Photographers of all levels of experience are welcome to join us, from beginners to hobbyists to serious; all device types welcome smart phone users plus film and digital camera users.  Lesley and Christine will teach you how to use simple composition techniques and help you master your camera’s settings; ISO, aperture and shutter speed. With a selection of neutral density and circular polarising filters available for use we’ll work with you to enhance your images. We will help you to take your RAW images and produce you an awesome printed image. This weekend has Lightroom and Photoshop tuition sessions throughout, don’t worry if you don’t have these loaded on your laptop, we can work to prepare and print your image for you. Not only will you have an amazing time, but you will also come away with having met some amazing #photographybuddies and be more confident with your photographic skills.

On our photography retreats we are up early and head to bed late – we are out exploring the landscape so you come away with some awesome images!  We also have nightly photo sharing sessions. Chatting over a glass of wine with your dinner we’ll likely be exchanging composition ideas.

Just book your return flight to Auckland, pack your bag, bring your laptop and camera gear as everything else is included – from the time you land at Auckland International Airport, transfer and check into your hotel close to Auckland International Airport on Thursday afternoon, until you check out after breakfast on Tuesday and be transferred to connect with your homeward bound flight, there are no additional costs; unless of course you want to buy some something of a personal nature.


  • A general level of fitness is required to carry your camera backpack up small, steep and narrow paths and walking on unstable farmland, at times in low light conditions.  Some walks at Blue Duck Station are 30-45 minutes in duration.
  • Walking on slipery wet rocks is also likely plus walking at night in unlight areas at Blue Duck Station.

24th – 29th November

Thursday – check into your hotel based at Auckland International Airport (hotel provides airport to hotel transfers), Lesley & Chris will host you for dinner tonight, a great time to get to know each other 💜📸💜

Friday – an early start this morning: straight after breakfast we’re off on a 6 hour drive to Blue Duck Station stopping for coffee stops and lunch along the way.

Over the four days that we are at Blue Duck Station, we will be totally immersed into the beauty, tranquility and rawness of Blue Duck Station and will experience:

  • Pre-dawn 30 minute ATV ride to the highest point on the station to capture images of the sun rising above the clouds – spectacular #golden & #bluehour photography
  • Capture images of the stations waterfall, both from up top and down below
  • Enjoy a sedate canoe paddle through a pristine gorge with vertically rising walls, water dripping from ferns, ancient logs piercing the water – your GoPro is so suited here to capture underwater images
  • Jet boat excursion to the iconic Bridge to Nowhere and along the 45-minute walk to the bridge capture beautiful images of the dappled light on the undergrowth
  • Capture images of the historic buildings on the station; early settlers hut, ammunition hut, post office and creamery
  • Capture images of stock being worked – especially run opportunity just for Women in Photography
  • If you are a drone user do bring your drone – there is an immense amount of drone photographic opportunities! (yes, Lesley will be bringing her drone)
  • Capture images at night of old rusting trucks lit by our torches – these trucks make for a beautiful spot of light painting
  • If you comfortable with astro photography – the night skies here are clear and crips (except when there is cloud cover)
  • Lightroom & Photoshop sessions
  • Photo sharing in the evening while enjoying a glass of wine & nibbles or maybe just enjoy our wine & nibbles around a campfire
  • Come away with two of your images printed in A3, securely packed for transporting on your flight home.

What’s included:

  • Pre and post retreat accommodation at Auckland International Airport with dinner and breakfast (complimentary airport / hotel transfers provided by hotel)
  • Return mini-coach transport to Blue Duck Station from Auckland International Airport hotel
  • All meals while away, fully cooked breakfast, lunch, two course dinners with wines plus nibbles for after dinner with our wine
  • Whio Lodge – bunk style warm, cosy, shared accommodation  (linen included) Check this link
  • Option of your own Eco bush cabin (linen included) a couple of minutes walk away from Whio (if available) at additional cost – check this link
  • Our own lounge to relax in at night for Lightroom, Photoshop and printing session
  • Learning how to prepare and print your image, taking away one of your images printed in A3 and safety packaged for your return flight home
  • Beautiful A5 Women in Photography photo diary with cheat cheats for many different photography genres plus a Women in Photography pen
  • Led by two awesomely fun photography mentors – Christine & Lesley.

Monday – After lunch, we’re heading back to Auckland and arriving in time for dinner.  Tonight we farewell everyone and enjoy a toast over dinner to an enormously successful time.

Tuesday –  Check out after breakfast.  Hotel will provide your transfer to the airport.

Limited to a maximum of 10 a $500 deposit secures your place.  Limited numbers of own room available are available at additional cost of $200 payable upfront with deposit.

All prices quoted are NZD – T&C’s available here

NOTE:  It is the bookers responsibility to ensure that they comply with each country’s COVID-19 policies.

Book now by paying your deposit – balance payable by credit card on receipt of invoice 21 days prior to departure.


Women in Photography has the necessary protocols in place to operate under the the COVID-19 Protection Framework red, amber and green levels. For your safety, that of your fellow passengers and those leading leading Women in Photography’s events, we are have robust processes in place to ensure that we can operate safely at red, amber and green levels of the COVID-19 Protection Framework. Click here to know more about this policy and the requirements of you as an attendee.




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Blue Duck Station Capture to Print Retreat Deposit $500
Available Tickets: 10
The Blue Duck Station Capture to Print Retreat Deposit $500 ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.
Single Room - Hotel & Blue Duck Station (to be booked & paid upfront)
Available Tickets: 3
The Single Room - Hotel & Blue Duck Station (to be booked & paid upfront) ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.

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