The Farm

Criffel Station is managed with an emphasis on providing a balanced ecosystem for people, land and animals. Owned and operated by the Bell family, it is the base for integrated tourism and agribusinesses with the goal of working within the boundaries of the pristine environment to add value to products and the associated value chain.

The Bell family have owned Criffel since the 1960s. The property was a sheep station from the 1850s and was home to an intriguing part of Otago mining history in the later part of the nineteenth century. Criffel Station was converted into one of New Zealand’s largest deer and breeding stud farms in 1993:

  • 2,000ha of rugged farmland with native bush, authentic farm buildings, stunning views of Lake Wanaka, natural water features and tracks, and a 1920’s built Homestead
  • 350 ha of finishing pastures on the flats and terraces with 315 ha irrigated
  • 1650 ha of breeding hill blocks on the steeper tussock country

Criffel Station also has a wonderful location and stunning aspects:

  • Convenient location only 7 km from Wanaka town centre and one hour’s drive from Queenstown International Airport
  • Panoramic views of the Cardrona Valley, Lake Wanaka, Tarras and Hawea
  • Gold mining heritage
  • 1940′s woolshed, beautifully restored and operating as an events venue
  • A fully operational hilltop airstrip

These days the farm runs predominantly Eastern European red deer comprised of a commercial herd, elite herd, finishing stock and stags for velveting and mating.

The property runs as four farming operations – hill breeding, venison finishing, velveting and a stud operation. The stud operation utilises breeding values with a primary focus on venison growth to 12 months. DNA technology is used to produce top quality breeding hinds and stags. The genetics are passed directly to the commercial operation and other commercial buyers.

Criffel Station History

Click here for more about our exciting history…

Taking Deer Farming into the Twenty First Century

Criffel Station has a philosophy of One Health – a healthy environment, healthy animals and healthy people. This encompasses future generation sustainability allowing ongoing enhancement and enjoyment of the land.

Both Jerry and Mandy are involved in various entities in the deer industry. Jerry has business interests in China and Mandy oversees the farm operation. She is a veterinarian and has been involved in a number of deer industry production projects – Johne’s Research Group as one of the key projects – and currently as Chairman of the Passion2Profit (P2P) Advisory Group.

James Dale manages the day to day operations on the property with Don Patterson..

For more information visit and Deer Industry New Zealand