Think You’re Too Old For A Ranch Vacation? Think again!

BY Kate Hammaren | Fri 10 Feb, 2017

You’re never too old for a ranch vacation! This lady’s amazing story proves we should never let our dreams go, no matter how far along in life we are!




Have you seen the film ‘The Bucket List’? The one where two guys are lying in their hospital beds, but decide that they want to spend the rest of their lives living out all their dreams and having wonderful, crazy, wild adventures… it’s a story of inspiration, of get-up-and-go, of not letting those precious days slip by unnoticed. A story that has inspired people to make ‘Bucket Lists’ of their own, to spend their lives and free time ticking off all the things they want to do before they die.


For some, it’s bungee jumping in Nepal. For others it may be to complete a marathon or lose weight. For 88 year-old Polly, her lifelong dream was to take her family on a ranch vacation to the mountains, air and sea of the stunning, rugged New Zealand, to experience life on a real working sheep farm, to ride over the rolling green pastures. But it wasn’t meant to be until a family tragedy occurred that made her realize life’s too short to miss out on your dreams…



Washington, 1950s

“I’ve always loved the mountains, sea and ice in between. My dreams of places like these began when I was studying Alaska in grade school. Then, when I was a graduate student at Washington State University, I had a chance to fish for salmon, fly to Sitka on the Panhandle and climb up into the mountains to try goat hunting. I truly had the travel bug!



When a research scholarship over in New Zealand opened up, I jumped at the chance to go. From the pictures there were the rolling green hills of my dreams, the huge mountains and the deep blue seas. New Zealand had it all and I couldn’t wait to go. But my manager had other ideas. Being the ’50s, I had done as much research as I was permitted to do in a ‘man's field’. My boss wrote the letter of reference, but it was designed to keep me in Washington, working for him. My dreams of New Zealand slipped from my grasp.



Washington, 1980s

Three children grown, and extensive European travel under my husband Dave and my belts, life was good. But one afternoon back in our hometown, a lady showed us her pictures of her trip to New Zealand. I was instantly drawn back to my dreams of the beautiful rolling, green hills with the mountains in the distance…



Sadly Dave was no longer up to far away trips and he knew that New Zealand was on my Bucket List, so he said: “As soon as I kick the bucket, I want you to buy your tickets.” Tragically, Dave died from a massive stroke, and my family and I were devastated. But time passed and one day my daughter Sal, said: “So, when do you, Nan and I go to New Zealand?”



Beaumont High Country Experience, Southland NZ

So the planning began and we decided to spend five fun-filled days at the Beaumont High Country Experience, a family owned and managed sheep farm in Southland, New Zealand. It was a dream come true, I’d finally made it at aged 88!



The country was as beautiful, unbelievable and fascinating as we could have wanted, but the hospitality and warmth from Lynn, Struan and Martha made every minute enjoyable and memorable. The horses were great, too and every view is of course better between your horse’s ears. There are not enough superlatives to describe our lovely visit. Thank you Lynn, Struan and Martha!”



Says Lynn, owner of Beaumont High Country Experience: “Polly is quite an accomplished horse rider. She’s feisty and capable, and really inspiring. I’m so excited to say they’ll be returning in March 2017!”



Were you inspired by 88 year-old Polly’s story? Take life by the horns and make your own bucket list!

And if a ranch vacation is something on that list, then we at Top50 Ranches are more than happy to help you arrange your dream dude, working or guest ranch vacation; we have stunning properties in North and South America, Canada and of course, New Zealand. All you have to do is give us a call to get started, it’s that simple!

Our friendly, knowledgeable Concierge team is waiting, we can’t wait to hear from you  

Happy trails,

The Top50 team



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TAGS: ranch vacation, beaumont high country experience, top50 ranches, new zealand

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