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Contact number: +64
Alternative contact number: +64

Birchwood Station

Nestled in and around the Twinlaw Ranges in the southeast and the Takitimu Mountains in the north, Birchwood Station covers over 1,800 ha.

A modern sheep and cattle production unit, it annually produces 1,500 head of Hereford cattle and its 20,000 sheep shear 67,000 kg of wool.

Four generations of Edies have farmed the property since the 1920s.
First owned by Captain James Gardner, Birchwood gained a reputation as the social centre for the district from earliest times of settlement.

Contemporary accounts painted vivid pictures of parties that lasted days. Arrangements for one such event, a race meeting in 1885, included a special train for guests from Invercargill to Nightcaps. Buggies and wagonettes took the travellers from the rail terminus to Birchwood. "By noon 400 had assembled .... amongst whom were a considerable number of ladies."

A year later the Birchwood Hunt was formed and so named as a tribute to the generous host Captain Gardener. Right from the start in 1887 women followed the hounds - riding sidesaddle of course!

Some hunts were held over two days. The hunt remains a thriving activity to this day.

A Co-operative dairy factory operated from 1917 to 1936. It was the dream of the then station owner Alexander Wylie Rodger, an enterprising Scottish engineer, who financed the venture.

He subdivided some station land into small blocks averagoing 120 hectares. Farmers supplied the factory that produced cheese for export to Britain. Sadly production could not be sustained to keep it viable.

Rodger also had a major impact on the district though his work in coal mining and the Ohai Railway Board. For a short time that Board had a terminus at Birchwood.

A school was built on former station land but closed in 1943.



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