Excursion

Paua Bay Hill Country Sheep Farm Visit

Murray Johns and his wife, Sue, welcome you to their hill-country farm for a chance to admire magnificent views, become acquainted with the history of farming here in New Zealand, witness expert sheep shearing and enjoy refreshments. A highlight of your outing is a demonstration of herding skills presented by the farm’s willing and agile sheepdogs.

  • Code
    AKA-DW
  • Level
    Soft
  • Walking Type
    Little
  • Activity Type
    Cultural
  • Age
    All ages
  • Duration
    Approximately 2½ - 3 hours

At the pier, board your air-conditioned minivan and head through the charming town of Akaroa. You will see that much of the city’s Victorian character remains intact, as revealed in its quaint architecture and pretty gardens.

Visit a traditional New Zealand hill-country farm on the Banks Peninsula’s rugged eastern coastline, where the views (weather permitting) out over the Pacific Ocean are magnificent. To gain a sense of this country’s remoteness, it helps to know that the nearest land mass to the east is South America.

From the pier, you’ll head through the charming village of Akaroa, which was the first South Island settlement established by the French and British settlers in 1840. Its eclectic French and Victorian character remains intact to this day, and is best seen in its quaint wooden houses and pretty gardens. Climbing out of Akaroa, take in the panoramic views of both Akaroa Harbour, the flooded crater of an extinct volcano, and the Banks Peninsula’s hidden eastern bays.

Upon your arrival at Paua Bay Farm, the Johns family will welcome you. They are a seventh-generation French family farming since 1837. Owner Murray Johns is a raconteur who will hold you enthralled as he recounts the history of the farming and social lives of his forbears. You will learn how today farmers in this challenging part of the world must diversify and develop to survive. 

This will be followed by an expert sheep-shearing demonstration. You will then be shown how important sheep dogs are in the operation of the farm as you witness their highly trained dogs round up a flock of sheep over the steep hills. This will leave you in awe. These dogs are hard-working farmhands and their understanding of what is required of them is almost superhuman.

Your tour ends at the homestead, set amidst a beautiful cottage garden surrounded by native bush where you’ll enjoy Sue’s warm hospitality while devouring her delicious scones smothered with jam and cream as you gaze at the coastline and wonder how you will ever leave this idyll to return to Akaroa and beyond

Bidding farewell to your newfound friends, return by minivan to the pier.

Important Notes:

As this excursion involves walking over a distance of approximately 200 yards, it is not recommended for guests with walking difficulties. Guests will be required to walk on grass and an unpaved walkway to the farm shed. This excursion is not suitable for guests with mobility issues, those with back or neck problems, or for women who are pregnant. It is recommended that guests wear casual clothing, sunglasses and flat, comfortable shoes. Guests should be aware that the transfer to the farm requires traversing a winding road. This excursion will operate in all weather conditions. Pre-reservation of this Crystal Adventures excursion is recommended.

Availability: Extremely limited