What a fun experience visiting a working sheep & cattle station!
The boat ride over to the farm, cruises through the most spectacular scenery. The boat’s Captain provides some historic info & interesting facts about Lake Wakatipu. Did you know that, with five rivers feeding the lake and one river exiting, Lake Wakatipu has a tide and can rise & fall over 20cms every hour!
Seating on the boat is warm and comfortable and there are amenities like toilets and a snack/drink bar.
It docks at the one end of the lake, on a beautiful, grey pebbled shore. Our station tour host & guide greet us, and we start with a visit to the wool shed where the knowledgeable Gail explains the sheep’s lifecycle, how & when they are sheared, how wool is graded, the process for sorting, cleaning & treating, and where the wool from the Mt Nicholas Station ends up. It’s very interesting and the smell of the wool shed is definitely unique!
We head over to see a few farm animals, including the most gorgeous, well mannered (retired) dogs Belle (who is on heat) and Khan (who really wants her), some pigs, chickens & sheep. The dogs can’t wait to give us a demo of their former trade; rounding up the sheep. We even get to see a lot of Khan chasing Belle around trying to mount her! It’s all incredible to watch.
Gale takes us on a bus ride to see a tiny bit of the 100,000 acres of the property. It’s the most spectacular scenery and she gives us some great history and knowledge of the current station owners & workers. She is interactive and easy to listen too.
We arrive back where we started for some Ploughman’s Lunch; some homemade soup, meats, cheeses, bread, pickles and sweet treats before the boat arrives to collect us for our return journey.
All up, it was a fun, informative and beautiful hands-on experience, that roughly took about 3 hours in total.
Definitely a recommended activity when you’re in Queenstown.