Baby alpacas. I repeat, BABY, alpacas.
Barely able to stand on their new sets of legs, and awkwardly running to chase birds is what I watched these little cuties do every day that I woke up on Warwickz Farm.
Driving around New Zealand, there are clearly more farms than towns and more sheep than people. Seemingly a huge part of their culture, I wanted to get out of the van, away from the tourist sites and onto a farm.
I wanted to pet a sheep god dammit so a New Zealand farm stay seemed to be my best bet.
I sifted through a lot of farm stays but when I found Warwickz Farm, it seemed different, unique– my kind of deal. With its stock of over 200 rare breed animals and craft classes, I figured I could get in my dose of education while getting an authentic yet quirky New Zealand experience.
Warwickz Farm Stay
This rare breed animal farm is the baby of Elaine and Chris, a married couple who run the farm completely on their own. They got into rare animal breeds and now work to help conserve various species from alpacas and goats to pigs and chickens.
While Chris and Elaine both take care of the animals, Elaine also uses their wool to create hand-made crafts and clothing for visitors and themselves. With both of their talents and interests together, Warwickz Farm Stay has evolved into quite a unique and interesting New Zealand destination.
In fact, even the prop crew of Lord Of The Rings paid them a visit to source turkey feathers and raw materials to make props for the movie. Here is what this farm has to offer its guests.
• 200 animals with 40 breeds and 20 species
• Mini horses, arapawa sheep, gotland pelt sheep, donkey, rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, peacocks and loads more
• Garden tours
• Farm tours including feeding the animals
• Craft classes
• A shop with handmade goods from the farm animals
• A crystal collection
• Bed & Breakfast accommodation for singles, couples and families
What we didn’t realize until we arrived was that this farm stay was a private ordeal. It sunk in when we first pulled into the driveway and saw a welcome sign with only our names on it. After meeting with Chris in the driveway, he showed us where to park the van and led us to the big red barn, our apparently private getaway by the alpaca paddocks.
We put down our bags and had a look around. It was romantic, it was on a NZ farm and there were baby alpacas roaming around. We were happy.
Chris gave us some time to get settled and let it sink in to our modern minds that we were in for starry nights, silent days and a WIFI free world.
Even though we had the choice to put it off until the next day, I wanted in with the animals and Chris took us on our farm tour.
I wasn’t exactly keeping track but it must of took us over 3 hours to complete as I threw hoards of questions at him. I got to finally pet a sheep, feed almost everyone, hear some comical farm tales and see a baby alpaca up close and personal. Honestly, Chris even picked him up for me so I could pet his little face!
The tour ended back in the barn with a show of some of Elaine’s creations, an impressive crystal collection and few knick knacks from the farm.
While we totally dug the tour, we spent the rest of our time just relaxing and existing, something we don’t do often in our digital nomad travels.
We woke up when we wanted, ate Vegemite and toast for breakfast and saved some of our leftovers to give to the pigs as a snack. We picked up some wine at the neighboring winery during the day, had Indian food in the neighboring town for dinner and soaked up the farm life, swan gangs, testosterone fueled alpacas and all.
The Bed & Breakfast
Not everyone who visits this NZ farm goes for the Bed & Breakfast but if you want the full experience, a night or two is worth the $155 it costs per stay. The barn is decorated in some old farmhouse flare with all of the homey amenities and an adjoining bathroom.
It is completely private and there will be no other guests other than who you bring along. In fact, if you are traveling as a family, there are two extra rooms that can be used to accommodate children or parents too.
Breakfast is delivered at a time of your choice and will include multi-grain toast, a variety of spreads, cereal and milk, yogurt and cold juice.
This New Zealand farm is located about 40 minutes outside of Christchurch. It is close to neighborhoods with public libraries, restaurants and wineries. It is surrounded by the southern alps (making it a fantastic winter destination for New Zealand snowboarding and skiing) and is right on route to Author’s Pass National Park.
What Can You Learn At This Farm Stay?
If you want to learn new skills while staying on the farm, make sure to book a craft class with Elaine. She can teach you how to spin fibers into ready to use material, make felt and objects out of it, quilting and more. Just ask!
You will also learn plenty about farm life, taking care of animals, living off the land and rare breeds.
Who Would Enjoy This New Zealand Farm Stay?
• Vet students
• Aspiring farmers
• People who love crafts
• Aspiring fashion designers
• Those who love the outdoors
• Animal lovers
How To Make a Booking
Since the B&B is private and there is only one tour guide, make sure to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or give them a call at 643 325 4116 OR 643 211 411903.
At Warwickz Farm, you will not only get an authentic, New Zealand experience, but you will leave with two new friends and a whole lot of knowledge.
Note: My two night stay at Warwickz Farm was complimentary. However, all opinions and adorable animal pictures are my own.