7-night/8-day sample itinerary for singles packages (can also be tailored for couples):
AM – Pick up from Winton around 11 am.
PM – Once settled into the cottage, meet and greet the horses and enjoy an afternoon horse ride in the high country.
Days 2 and 3
Explore the sheep ranch during an overnight expedition to Barretts Hut. Situated at the foothills of the Takitimu Mountains on the fringes of a beautiful beech forest, this private hut offers you the opportunity to relax in unspoiled, secluded surroundings. Originally built as musterer’s accommodation, Barretts has 4 bunks, a separate long drop toilet and basic facilities, hence, expect a genuine back country experience. The horse ride on the first day offers opportunities to canter on the journey and includes a couple of river crossings (providing the chance to swim in the pristine, mountain waters). The following day, the return excursion climbs up over Centre Hill, where panoramic views of the surrounding countryside can be enjoyed.
Participate in an authentic NZ high country farming experience as you join us on a sheep or cattle muster by horseback. This is where you help the musterer’s and their dogs gather (herd) the sheep, or cattle in the high country for moving to another area.
AM – Assist in the sheep or cattle yards. The sheep and to a lesser degree, cattle, are regularly brought into the yards. This enables them be handled individually and attended to as required. Hence, this is a wonderful opportunity to be ‘up close and personal’ with the animals.
PM – Visit a local woolshed to view a shearing gang in action. Shearers take the wool off the sheep, Roustabouts then skirt it and place the different grades into the appropriate bins and when these are filled, a ‘Presser’ packs the wool into bales for cartage.
Saddle up to ride around some of the sheep in the high country grasslands. Check on their health and well being and search for any ‘cast’ sheep. (Sheep often get itchy, especially when in full wool, or heavily in lamb. They roll on their backs to scratch them and sometimes they become unable to get up, hence the term ‘cast’.)
AM – Help with handling of the foals. Having recently acquired an appaloosa stallion, we are now enjoying the ability to breed and sell our own foals. Our daughter Lenore is managing this new venture.
PM – Assist with the trimming some of the horse’s hooves and gain a basic understanding of this skill.
AM – Free morning to pack and say goodbye to the animals.
PM – Return to Winton.