Wednesday 8th October – Wellsford to Ahipara

The first stop of the day was “Sheepworld” which I had read about as being a “sheep themed amusement park”.  Although there wasn’t a wild sheep rollercoaster or bumper sheep the place didn’t disappoint.  We had a brief look around prior to the “sheep show” which started at 11AM.  The show started with a sheep dog demonstration with an eye dog bringing sheep in from the end of the field and then a big noisy dog barked at them to make them move into a gated area.  The initial dog seemed to disappear for some time but was eventually quite good whereas the noisy dog (I don’t think it was technically called that but it should have been) seemed to be slightly more random.  After the sheepdog demonstration we headed back inside and I was somehow roped into drafting.  Drafting is basically sorting the sheep out into types as they rush through wooden gates.  The sheep in question had pink, blue or no colour on their heads and I had to move the gate so that they ended up in different pens.  It was all going really well until I clonked one and then got all paranoid about hurting the sheep.  Evidently I didn’t need to be as the guy said that they had very hard heads and small brains.  I don’t think he should have made so much of this though as the guy who followed after me was seriously brutal to the extent that I was wincing as the wood smacked against the sheep.  They said that I did a good job but I think they were just being kind to be fair.  After they had seen how great Poms are at drafting the guy did a shearing demonstration and then lambs came flooding in for the small children to feed.  I must admit that I was slightly envious at this stage but I did get to feed a cute calf so it wasn’t all bad.  Following the show we headed out to the area where you could feed the animals.  Although I explained the warning signs to Lance he somehow managed to taunt an alpaca until it spat in his face.  Actually that may be slightly unfair as the two alpacas in question were seriously evil looking.  Although in fairness this is what made me move out of the way quite quickly and explain the warning signs to Lance initially.  After the alpaca spit incident we fed some other less feral animals including a very sweet, if slightly tatty, deer.  There was a nice walk through the forest and a playground which was fun.  The place was great actually and I would highly recommend it – just steer clear of the evil looking black alpaca!


We drove North from Warkworth and headed to the Kauri museum.  Kauris are large trees native to New Zealand and used to be one of the main timber sources in the country.  The museum also had the World’s largest gum display.  I’m not talking about Wrigleys here but tree sap which has been fossilised and hardened, a bit like amber.  The museum was fascinating, a bit too much so actually as we suffered a bit from information overload.  It was also much bigger than we expected initially.  In one of the largest rooms they had all the old tools including the saws that were used to cut the huge trees.  For some reason, unbeknown to me, as I was leaning into the machinery to take one of my funky industrial style black and white photographs Lance pressed a demonstration button which started a saw in motion dangerously close to my head!  Maybe he was finally sick of listening to my “hour of Golden yodels” C.D. which I had overplayed in his car since buying it for my father!


We left the museum but continued the Kauri theme by heading to the largest living specimen in the World, “Tane Mahuta”.  The tree was pretty awesome, more so because of its girth than it’s height.  I’m not sure I should have used girth there, perhaps diameter may have been more appropriate, or maybe it’s okay if you don’t have as rude minds as I do.  Anyway, it was very impressive.


Having seen sheep, been spat at by alpacas, seen dead trees, nearly been decapitated and seen a very wide, alive tree we finally arrived in Ahipara (in Northland) where we checked into a holiday park. 

RSS 2.0 | Trackback | Comment

2 Responses to “Wednesday 8th October – Wellsford to Ahipara”

  1. Hi, great article!! I got you bookmarked. Thanks and best wishes

  2. Great read. I also think it could be a bit longer

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.