Travel on an 8-wheel drive all terrain vehicle for an exhilarating cross country tour.
First stop is the mythical "Maori's Footprint" location which offers 720-degree panoramic views (because you will look around twice). Descending from 189 meters above sea level, we stop during the nesting season at a breeding colony of Cormorants (Spotted Shag) nestled on a rugged cliff face rising from the crashing Pacific below.
Continuing on we arrive at a hide for a very close encounter with a breeding colony of New Zealand fur seals and their pups basking on the rocks and swimming in natural pools in front of you.
From here a beach-front ride takes us to a covered, all weather track leading down a purpose built hide on Penguin Beach to view little blue penguins in their nests (in season) and spot the rare and shy yellow eyed penguin in the nest or on the beach any time of the day.
Then return to the highest point of the farm, 201 meters above sea level from where you have spectacular 360-degree views of the beautiful Otago Peninsula.
Tours depart from 10:15am until one hour before dusk in all weather. The tour duration is 1 hour, and visitors must report 30 minutes prior to tour departure. Group minimum is 2 people. Winter hours will take effect from the 02nd May 2016 through to the 19th September 2016.. Winter Tours depart daily at 3.00pm and 4.00pm. Booking essential.
Bookings essential for all tours.
Prices valid from the 01st October 2016 through to 30th September 2017
Wildlife Tour (coach) Adults $45.00 Children $22.50
Family Pass (2 adults and 2 children) $127.50
Family Pass (2 adults and 3 children) $142.50
Wildlife Tour (Argo 8 x 8 ) Adults $99.00 Children $45.00
Family Pass (2 adults and 2 children) $275.00
Family Pass (2 adults and 3 children) $320.00
Family Passes are non commissionable
As the dogs work the sheep masterfully into the holding pens and progressively through the shed, you walk alongside the action on the boardwalk. You are separated from the sheep and dogs only by a railing. You are part of the flow until, like the sheep, you reach the shearing platform. Here, so close that you can smell his aftershave, you will watch the experienced shearer skillfully removing the fleece and sliding the sheep unceremoniously down the slide below the platform; you will hear it scampering back to the tranquility of the paddocks.
You can inspect the racks where the fleece is first cleaned and see the press where the wool is compacted into bales ready for sale. The touch of raw wool; the smell of natural lanoline; the echoing sounds of the dogs and sheep and the occasional curse of the shearer all leave you with the satisfying knowledge that this was no stage-show. You have just experienced the real business end of a New Zealand sheep farm.
From the moment you enter the sheep shed you know: ‘this is the real deal’! You have just entered a genuine sheep-shearing shed (actually a large barn) and you immediately sense that although this shearing demonstration has been timed for your visit, it will be exactly the way life really happens on this working farm. Then your momentary reflection is shattered with the thundering hooves as the dogs drive the sheep from the outside paddocks into the shed. You are instantly caught up in the real business of farming.
Out in the paddocks, this appears a very relaxed and tranquil lifestyle, but in the shearing shed you are introduced to the high-energy business of removing the valued fleece from the sheep for export to the world’s most demanding markets for fashion woolen garments.
Adults $39.00 Children $15.00 (aged 5 to 15 incl)
If another tour is booked with Natures Wonders then adults are $29.00 and children $12.00.