Akaroa (Christchurch), New Zealand
Banks Peninsula Hill Country Sheep Farm
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Approximatelly 2¾ Hours
Visit a traditional New Zealand hill-country farm on the Banks Peninsula’s rugged eastern coastline, where the views (weather permitting) out over the Pacific Ocean are magnificent. To gain a sense of this country’s remoteness, it helps to know that the nearest land mass to the east is South America.
From the pier, you’ll head through the charming village of Akaroa, which was the first South Island settlement established by the French and British settlers in 1840. Its eclectic French and Victorian character remains intact to this day, and is best seen in its quaint wooden houses and pretty gardens.
Climbing out of Akaroa, take in the panoramic views of both Akaroa Harbour--the flooded crater of an extinct volcano--and the Banks Peninsula’s hidden eastern bays.
Upon your arrival at Paua Bay Farm, the Johns family will welcome you. They are a sixth-generation French family.
Owner Murray Johns will lead you into the woolshed where he will talk about the family and the farm’s history, and will explain how farming of today has changed since 1837. This will be followed by an expert sheep-shearing demonstration.
You will then be shown how important sheep dogs are in the operation of the farm as you witnessed their highly trained dogs round up a flock of sheep over the steep hills. This will leave you in awe. These dogs are hard-working farmhands and their understanding of what is required of them is almost superhuman. Before you know it, the sheep will be mustered into the sheep yards, and any stragglers swiftly disciplined by the dogs. Enjoy the hands-on experience of helping to separate the sheep.
Your tour ends with a visit to the family homestead and its cottage gardens surrounded by native bush. Refreshments will be served by Murray’s wife, Sue, before you return to Akaroa.