Not to far north of Auckland, you can find a place called Sheepworld.
Now I know what your thinking. “HA! Sheepworld! Isn’t that ALL of New Zealand already?!?!”
Well, your kind of right. Back in the early 1980s, there were over 70 million sheep. The numbers have declined to about 27 million since though.
We’ve seen our share of sheep along the way and we through it would be a great day to actually learn about Sheep Farming.
There was a lot more to this place than just sheep though.
We found a whole farm full of pigs, ponies, goats, bunnies, alpaca, deer, cows…
Oh and birds. Yeah. Roland is not a big fan of most birds. he enjoys pointing them out, seeing them from afar or approaching on his terms.
However, when the birds are accustom to being fed by every single person holding a brown paper bag….
We tried to get Roland chasing the birds like a Dinosaur to scare them off. Sometimes it worked. This kid does not like birds!
You can buy these bags of food that is safe for the animals to eat. Super cheap and lots of fun. We had a great time feeding everyone.
The thing that truly makes the Sheepworld is the show they run twice a day. This is where you learn about farming.
We got to watch the sheep get rounded up and herded into the show barn. It turns out there are two dogs. The well-known dog that goes out, runs fast and silent, convincing the sheep where to go with nothing more than a stare.
Then there is the loud guy. Best for close quarters and great at getting the sheep to go places they would rather not.
That’s this guy on the right. A mix of English Fox Hound, Labrador and Whippit or Greyhound. They are loud, fast and driven.
Enter in our new friend Teryn.
She even got us working. We helped to sort the sheep by colour.
She taught us all about the markings used to keep track of gender, age, and ownership of each sheep. Then she sheared a sheep for us. You can make some pretty good money sheering sheep but you gotta be fast, it’s piece work and hard work.
After all that work, HA! we got rewarded with the cutest experience you could hope for on a sheep farm. Just look at the enjoyment of Roland’s face!
We spend at least a few hours here with the show and wandering around. So, we headed into the aptly named Farmer’s Wife Cafe.
Tomato soup with scones (cheese and onion jam!) yum!
Dan said the Shephard’s Burger is quite possibly the best he has had yet (he didn’t know it was lamb either)
Plenty for the kids to play with, Roland gave Scarlet this one. See the purple dress below? I bought that one for Scalet. I’m thinking First Birthday.
We had a great day and now we drive back to Auckland. We don’t have much planned for the rest of the trip. We will go to an aquarium and generally hang around the area.