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Farmyard Fun in Canterbury

9 December 2015 

For a fun day out with the family, head along to one of Canterbury’s many farm and wildlife experiences! See what it’s like to be a farmer and visit real sheep stations, meet and greet Alpacas, see the rare native Kiwi, or spot rhinos and lions like you’re on safari - Canterbury has got you covered when it comes to all creatures great and small!


Willowbank Wildlife Reserve is the place to head for the ‘Big 5’ – the cheeky kea, ancient tuatara, native bush parrot the kaka, the rare Takahe, and of course the iconic kiwi – although, you’ll have be very quiet to spot one in their dark enclosure! Grab a bag of pellets for the kids and feed the farm animals, and even the eels! 

While they may have seen lions, rhinoceros and giraffes in picture books, give the kids an experience they won’t forget at Orana Wildlife Park! Feed giraffes, travel through the lion reserve and see Gorillas, the latest addition to the park. 

Banks Peninsula 

Look into the big, beautiful eyes of a woolly Alpaca at Shamarra Alpaca Farm on Banks Peninsula. Home to over 100 alpacas, visitors can get up close to one of these gentle creatures, leading them through farmland in their natural environment. 

Enjoy the hospitality of the 5th generation farmers at Paua Bay with Akaroa Farm Tours. See sheepdogs working on the steep hills, take part in sheep shearing and mustering and learn about life on a New Zealand farm.


Middle Rock Station offers farm tour experiences in the Lake Coleridge high country. With over 7,000 sheep producing fine wool, they also have a large garden, framed by a stunning panoramic view of Mt Hutt.  


For a hands on farming experience, head 20 minutes north of Christchurch to Wee Dram Farm Park. The kids will love the chance to get up close and personal with animals that will delight and entertain. 

Hanmer Springs 

Hanmer Springs Animal Park is a sheltered purpose-built farm park where you can wander freely among the animals. Hand feed the range of farm and exotic animals including sheep and lambs, goats, pigs and water buffalo – pony and donkey rides are available too.


Experience a Llama trek, accompanied by an experienced guide at Kaikoura Lama Treks. All the Llama treks include a personalised introduction to familiarise you with the Llama you will be enjoying your walk with. 

Check out the daily shows at Point Sheep Shearing, and take in the atmosphere of an original shearing shed. Watch the hand feeding of their Ram “Ram-Man” and see a sheep being shorn and the wool being sorted and pressed. 

Get up close and have a cuddle with the animals at Kaikoura Farm Park. See Llamas, goats, miniature ponies, alpacas, donkeys and more – a great way to spend a day with the family.  

Lynton Downs is as close to living on a real New Zealand farm as you can get! Watch working farm dogs as they heard sheep, enjoy a horse ride, go bird watching or take a stroll out in nature on this unique farm stay experience. 


New Zealand Alpine and Agriculture Encounter has something for everyone. Drive a grain harvester, view a ski film or watch the bees in the hive. Visitors and Kiwis alike will enjoy this exciting new experience and hear stories of the people who made Mid Canterbury.  


For an alpaca, llama and sheep experience all rolled into one, head along to Gem Alpaca Stud in the Mackenzie. Learn the difference between the two camelid species, and depending on the time of year, perhaps get to meet one of the baby alpacas. Alpaca fleece and other garments are available to purchase as a souvenir of your farm visit experience  

At Balmoral Farmyard and Shop, you’ll find sheep, alpacas, chickens, lambs and more! A great way to see all the barnyard animals in one place. 

For a genuine farm experience, head to Morelea Farm, and meet real life farmers who make their living from working the land and looking after stock, including beef and lamb. The farm is 800 acres, and is at home in a stunning high county setting. 

  • Julia Hunt

    International Trade Marketing Manager

    Where's Julia? In Sau Paulo attending the inaugural Kiwilink Brazil and Argentina trade show organised by Tourism New Zealand, showcasing our region to the emerging South America market. Over the course of a week, over 80 meetings were held with Product Managers from across both countries, and over 260 Frontline agents were educated on what to see and do in the city and the region.

    Julia Hunt