The History

The name, Blanket Bay, recalls the events over 150 years ago when pioneer farmers from Europe sheared their sheep on the shore of a bay under rough shelters stitched together from blankets.
In 1861, a mob of sheep owned by Mr William Gilbert Rees were sheared on the shore of Lake Wakatipu, in a bay just south of where the small town of Glenorchy is situated. This bay was to be named Blanket Bay after blankets used to create the shed and shelters used to protect the eight Maori shearers and the wool from the elements.


During the gold rush of the 1860s miners came to this place seeking their fortunes, first at the Invincible Gold Mine in the Rees Valley and later at Wyuna where still exist remnants of over 20 sheelite mines.

Today Blanket Bay Lodge sits on Wyuna station – a working sheep, cattle and deer farm, historically part of the original Rees station that occupied the entire eastern side of Lake Wakatipu and beyond.


No one knows for sure whether the quiet valley called Paradise, just up the road from Blanket Bay, takes its name from the beautiful ducks that flock here or the magnificence of the surrounding landscape.

The valley has been home to the Paradise duck long before humans arrived. When you hold their rich feathers up to the light they shine a brilliant green.

These gentle ducks illustrate a love story as old as the valley itself. When two birds find each other they share a lifelong partnership.

Today, their bright feathers are identified with the sanctuary of romantic seclusion found on the doorstep of Paradise and at the centre of the Blanket Bay brand.

The Region Today

Today the Southern Lakes region is known for its natural splendour as well as being the adventure capital of New Zealand.
There are few places else on Earth where there are so many activities so close by. From fly-fishing in the nearby Greenstone and Caples rivers, heli-skiing, the country’s best hiking on the Routeburn or Milford Tracks, jet boating and kayaking, 4WD tours, horse riding, art trails and vineyards, plus flight-seeing over the World Heritage Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound are just a few of the possibilities.

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