Luxury Adventures are doing a series of interviews with some of our key suppliers looking at the different aspects of their lives and how these influence the experiences they offer. Stravon New Zealand is located on the eastern face of Hunters Hills, roughly 40mins due west of Timaru, in the Southern Alps of New Zealand.
When did Stravon begin and what were the reasons for its inception? Stravon was founded in 1864, some 13 years after the liberation of Red Deer into New Zealand. However, it wasn’t until 1996 that Stravon started providing a natural New Zealand experience for the discerning traveler. It’s inception was due to the passion and desire to showcase New Zealand and give international visitors a natural experience like no other. What one can see and do here in a matter of hours let alone one week is quite simply astonishing. We love that.
Where, when and how? Tell us where your located, whats the best time to hunt and how do you recommend getting there? Stravon is located on the eastern face of Hunters Hills, roughly 40mins due west of Timaru. Other than driving here, getting to Stravon can be done two ways – fly into Christchurch where we will pick you up (2.5 hours) Or fly into Timaru where we’ll also pick you up (30mins). The best time to hunt at Stravon is during the Roar (late February – April) the Stags are in their prime and the sound that fills our valleys makes it a very special time of year. In saying this, due to the different species of game here and our conservation management systems, our hunting season is 365 days.
There are a lot of hunting options with in New Zealand, what in your opinion makes Stravon the preferred choice for serious hunters? Widely considered New Zealand’s finest hunting destination, Stravon captures the very essence of what hunting in New Zealand is all about. The hunter will be met by pristine, challenging landscapes and an abundance of trophy animals. However, they may very well be surprised to discover that, it’s the guides that will impress them the most. Stravon has some of the friendliest, most knowledgeable and down to earth guides on earth. They have what it takes to turn a hunt into the hunting experience of a lifetime. Along with this, Stravon boasts two Enviro Gold Awards, one for the property & operation and the other for it’s boutique lodge, Headquarters. All being told, this makes Stravon the only hunting operation in the nation to have attained Tourism New Zealand’s highest industry standards.
Some of our customers are not serious trophy hunters but would still enjoy hunting in New Zealand along with the backcountry experience that goes hand in hand with this – do yo also cater for this type of customer? Stravon offers photographic safaris and natural experiences where guests can capture the sounds & sights of our landscape, wildlife and bird life.
Can you tell us about some of your typical hunting options and the length of stay required? Generally our hunts have a duration of 3-5 days.
What types of animals do you have on the estate and what would you recommend as the “best experience” for a one off hunt? You’ll find a vast range of game animals at Stravon(in case you’re wondering, our alpine hunting (Tahr & Chamois) is done over the hill, in the Southern Alps).
– Red Stag
– Alpine Goat
– Arapawa Ram
– Wild Pig
As far as a one off hunt for a “best experience” then stalking a Red Stag here at Stravon is without doubt a hunt of a lifetime.
However, a special mention must go to our Wallaby population. One of the beauty’s of Stravon is that we are right smack bang in the middle of Wallaby country, so our guests are always on point. They’re magnificent for “getting your eye in” and it gives a wonderful helping hand with our conservation efforts.
You also offer trout fishing, can you tell us how this works? Our fishing safaris are conducted with our guide Jules. Jules was brought up on the great salmon rivers of Scotland and the fact that the only continent Jules hasn’t caught trout in is Antartica bears testament to his knowledge and mastery. A true master of his craft, Jules will not only put you in front of some beautiful trout, he’ll put you in front of some stunning South Island scenery, all the while helping you become a better angler.
Your accommodation headquarters are in a stunning location, tell us more about the headquarters and its spectacular position? Headquarters was built at the Homestead in 1895. It was then transported to it’s current location by horseback in the 1930’s. In keeping with it’s proud history, the exterior of the hut has been pretty much left how it was from all those years ago. However, with the discerning traveler in mind the interior has been ’touched up’ to make life far more comfortable. All the amenities you would ever want are here, some are well hidden and this is the uniqueness of ‘Headquarters.’ A ‘tardis’ for lack of better terms, Headquarters can take you back in time all with the flick of a switch. From life as an early pioneer one minute to the 21st comforts of today the next. And out it’s backdoor is the Motokaikai River and some of the best hunting in the world.
No doubt your international guests that stay at Stravon also visit other parts of New Zealand, what would you typically recommend as your top 5 must see, must do whilst here? Fiordland National Park, Westland Tai Poutini National Park, Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, Abel Tasman National Park and another night at Stravon.
Ben Yock works at Stravon New Zealand.
Tony Townley is a luxury travel specialist and owner at Luxury Adventures.