Picton, New Zealand
Marlborough Farm, Garden & Sheep Round-Up
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Two beautiful Gardens of National Significance are found here in Marlborough -- the wine and garden province of New Zealand.
Travel from Picton to Upton Oaks -- the English-inspired garden of Dave and Sue Monahan developed around a restored 1911 South Pacific villa house. The manicured grounds feature brick walls, ponds, perennial borders and a 17th-century-style Elizabethan 'knot garden', divided into sections by color.
Passing through Blenheim -- the main town of the Marlborough region -- your coach climbs through the aptly-named Wither Hills, whose dry, yellow grasses yield to the rolling farmland of Dashwood Pass and the pretty Awatere Valley. Marlborough's weather is legendary, and a bright, sunny day will afford grand views across the valley to Mt Tapuaenuku.
Your destination is Barewood Farm -- a real working sheep farm that also has been identified as a Garden of National Significance. 3,400 Corriedale sheep and 100 Angus beef cattle are raised here on 1,500 acres.
Stop near the farm gate for a sheep dog demonstration, where the adorable and incredibly smart dogs skillfully muster a flock of sheep. Look on as an expert shearer relieves a ewe of its gorgeous fleece in a matter of moments.
Take the coach or stroll the short distance to the charming 100-year-old homestead. In typical New Zealand style, the wide verandah roof drips with wisteria and pale roses. Your hosts, Joe and Carolyn Ferraby, will greet you and show you around their amazing garden with wide expanses of lawn edged by borders of perennials and roses, a hawthorn-lined walkway, carefully-trained fruit trees creating a magnificent covered tunnel with arches, and a hidden garden that contains colorful shrubs and flowers.
A delicious country-style lunch will be served on the verandah or inside the homestead, accompanied by wines from Vavasour -- an acclaimed Marlborough winery located nearby in the Awatere Valley.
Leaving behind the serene splendor of the farm and the valley, you will return to Picton and the ship.
Not advisable for guests using a wheelchair.