Farm Tour – Dunedin Day Trip
Suitable for cruise ship visitors.
A little over an hour’s drive from Dunedin City near the Moonlight Valley is Foulden Hill Farm. At first glance this appears a normal NZ farm, with iconic scenery, green pasture, rocky outcrops, sheep, cattle, dogs, horses and chickens. However something very special is going on at this hill country property. This is a family run business with Anton and Liz Gibson, their son William and daughter Jodie all contributing.
This commercial farming operation includes two cattle studs - Hereford and Santa Gertrudis. As some of the cattle are shown at agricultural shows they are used to being handled. Along with the cattle the Gibsons also run a Suffolk sheep stud (black face). The largest part of the business however, is the production of very high quality, ultra-fine Merino wool.
This wool is grown in a range of naturally occurring colours from ivory to chocolate brown with various shades of taupe and silvery greys in-between. From these high quality fleeces white wool is destined to be used for high quality suiting fabric in Italy. All of the coloured merino wool (including some white) is used by Jane Shand from JS design to produce a range of beautiful scarves, hats and baby shawls. We will take you into the shearing shed where you will be shown examples of the processes the fibre goes through from the raw fleece to the end product. A short video of shearing will also be shown. The wool fibre is all pure, sustainably grown and natural with no chemical additives at all.
The Gibsons are passionate about their animals and their way of farming. They have won numerous awards for their outstanding quality livestock and wool and meet very high industry standards for humane and sustainable farming practice. At Foulden Hill the animals are raised with exceptionally high standards of care and compassion.
About the Tour: This 6-7 hour tour (9am – 3-4pm) takes you onto the Gibson’s farm and lets you get up close with the animals. You can touch and feed some of the animals and talk to the farmers to find out more about their way of farming at the same time enjoying the stunning setting with the majestic Rock and Pillar range as your backdrop.
Pick up and drop off is from Dunedin and may be at your cruise ship or elsewhere in the city by arrangement. From here we transport you to Foulden Hill farm with a knowledgeable driver/guide who can give you information about Otago and the Middlemarch region along the way. The tour includes a packed lunch to enjoy at the farm.
Animals you will see and get up close to include a variety of sheep of different breeds (including the iconic merino) and cattle including large tame Hereford and Santa Gertrudis bulls. There will also be a working dog demonstration. During the tour we visit the woolshed where you can view and touch the fabulous coloured fleeces. Fine wool products by JS Design are available for purchase at the farm. Check out http://www.jsdesign.co.nz/ for more information about these wonderful products. Meet the sheep that grew your scarf!
This is Heartland New Zealand at its best. Off the beaten track and meeting the locals.
The visit to Foulden Hill Farm is suitable for Cruise Ship passengers as we can visit the site and get you back to your ship without time pressure.
For other visitors to Dunedin with more time to spare we can offer the day trip to the farm and combine it with other options such as a visit to a Hobbit filming site and a scenic trip home via the Eastern Coast.
We do have a minimum of 6 required for this tour.
Tour Duration: 6 hours
Start Time: 9:30 am from ship’s wharf at Port Chalmers or pick up at your accommodation in town.
Tour Price: NZ$175 per person. For smaller groups please contact us for charter rate options.
Activity Level: light (sturdy walking shoes are required). Prices include our transport to and from ship’s wharf (or central Dunedin), a packed lunch as well as the farm entry fees.
NOTE: Tours run with a minimum of 6 people and a maximum of 10 people. This tour is a little weather dependent.