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Rugged Coast


On the next episode screening 10 August at 7pm on TV ONE




Rugged Coast




A Wairarapa family have found a way to boost income from their coastal farm by adding tourism to the mix.




To complement traditional stock rearing, Duncan and Sarah Furniss have added a station walk and offer the public the chance to go ‘glamping’ – or glamorous camping.  




The couple farm Kawakawa Station at Palliser Bay.  Duncan manages the farm with help from his father, Alec, while Alec and his wife Christine run the glamping.




When the family bought Kawakawa Station in 2000, the dramatic hills on the property were a big attraction for Duncan.




“This place reminds me of where I used to work as a shepherd in the South Island.  But it was as far south as I could get Mum and Dad to go,” says Duncan with a laugh. 




High country wasn’t the only thing Duncan fell in love with while working in the South Island. He also met Sarah, who was working in the Glenorchy pub, and the couple are now raising two young children at Kawakawa. 




Sarah juggles the demands of parenting with welcoming guests who come for the two-day walk across the station. 




“We’re lucky to have a caterer who makes all the meals for the walkers, to keep them sustained on those hills,” she says.  The walkers’ bags are transported from hut to hut, “so all they have to do is walk and enjoy the views.”




Nearly 3,000 Romney sheep and 300 Angus cattle roam Kawakawa Station. With a land area of around 3,000 hectares, there is plenty of room to pitch tents for a glamping retreat, an activity that is taking off around the world.




The family have partnered with Canopy Camping to create the site.  “It’s camping for people that like a bit of luxury. They can come and enjoy the country without having to carry a whole car load of gear,” explains Sarah.




There are no sleeping bags or damp floors at this camp ground.  Instead you’ll find proper beds with sheets and duvets, flushing toilets and hot showers and a log-burner in the main tent for chilly nights.




“We’ve always enjoyed sharing our piece of paradise,” says Duncan. “Everybody says how marvellous it is, how peaceful and quiet, but sometimes you take it for granted. When we see it through the eyes of visitors, you realise it’s a spectacular place to call home.”  


To find out more about Kawakawa Station, visit:




To find out more about Canopy Camping, visit:




To find out more about the Wairarapa, visit:                               










Richard Williams


Jeff Aldridge




Field sound


Don Paulin




Offline editor


Brent Whitwell




Online editor


Alex Wright




Sound mixer


Ian Leslie




Sound editor


Don Paulin






Vivienne Jeffs




Network executive


Jude Callen




Associate producer


Dan Henry




Production manager


Robyn Best






Dan Henry






Julian O’Brien