Being evacuated from Blue Duck Station was an adventure for most of the 120 visitors helicoptered out to National Park on Friday.
Those unable to meet deadlines, a young man with an injured shoulder and seven tourists whose canoe trip was cut short were the only ones upset by being stranded at the eco-resort which is also a working station.
All were out by Friday evening after two nights cut off by slips covering roads and washed-out bridges.
The station - 20km south of Taumaranui at Whakahoro on the Whanganui River - has eight volunteers working there, and three came out on the helicopters. One, David Richardson, had a possibly dislocated shoulder and an ambulance was called to take him to hospital.
The three said Wednesday night was a night of torrential, nonstop rain, with thunder and lightning. The weather was dry the next day, but they went outside to find massive damage and were called on to put up an emergency deer fence.
"The next morning the roads were all destroyed. There were slips everywhere. It was like after a war," Rene Grusa said.
A group of seven canoeists reached Whakahoro just as the rain started. They had canoed from Taumarunui, and had more three days to paddle.
They had to paddle up a side creek at Whakahoro, to pull their canoes out. The waters were rising and they just managed to get there. While they were inside the Conservation Department Hut having a cup of tea the river rose at least 3m and swept their canoes away.
It rained hard and campers came in to share the hut for two nights - 18 people for the 10 beds.
Leader Tim Mora said they were used to rain because most of them came from the West Coast. They would try to make the journey again.
"We will be back next March, but not in the same week."
About 70 of the visitors were young people on Stray New Zealand buses. Fleur Van Lieshout, from Belgium, said a big thunderstorm started half an hour after they arrived at the station.
Win McMinn and her male companion Alf were on a multi-day Forgotten World Adventure. They had travelled on railway cars to Stratford, been bussed to Whanganui and jet boated up the Whanganui River.
Ms McMinn said the hospitality at Blue Duck Station was fantastic, and visitors were put first despite horrendous damage to the farm.
"They have been just out of this world. It's the most beautiful spot and apart from torrential rain the night before last we have been able to enjoy walking around there."
Neither had been in a helicopter before.
"We had a ball," Ms McMinn said.
Six helicopters, from Taumarunui, New Plymouth and Taupo, were used to ferry the visitors to National Park, Ruapehu District Council emergency manager Nick Watson said.
Once there civil defence staff found stranded people transport and lodging.
The helicopters also took more supplies to Blue Duck Station, and to two other households blocked in by slips.
The damage was worst in Retaruke, Whakahoro and Tokirima but road access may be restored by Monday, Mr Watson said.