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Our Introduction to the Merino Wool Industry

May 16
Anna Fairbairn, IBIP Group Leader

By: Leyton Brown, Peter Laudeman, Sara Lemenager & Maggi Maxstadt

We woke up on May 16th at Mt. Nicholas Station in time to see our first New Zealand sunrise come up over the mountains. The group enjoyed a delicious breakfast featuring homemade jams and farm-produced Manuka honey. We then spent our morning with Kate Cocks learning primarily about the station’s massive wool production system and touring just a small portion of the 100,000 acre property. The tour, as with most of the trip, provided some fantastic picturesque views of the mountainous landscape. 

As we returned to the lakefront, we had another great meal of pulled pork, homemade barbeque sauce, date muffins, and chocolate chip cookies. We enjoyed our last views of Mt. Nicholas Station after lunch, skipping rocks across the still clear water, before packing our things and boarding the ferry back to Queenstown.

On the ferry, we got to meet the captain of the ferry, where we all took photos in his chair.  We spent a lot of time taking in the awe-inspiring views of the mountains around Queenstown. As we neared the dock, we saw our teaching assistant Anna in the distance. This is also when we met our bus driver Maxine. We headed off to our next stop, the Cardrona Hotel.

At the hotel we had dinner and spoke with Sam and Cynthia Kane, owners of a merino wool station nearby. We were eager to learn how the Glenfoyle Station worked, and Sam had a lot to say about his experiences with New Zealand Merino company. We thanked them for visiting with us and left for Wanaka.

The group checked into the accommodation for the night, a backpacker’s hotel in downtown Wanaka. We visited a pub in town to relax from the long day, before heading to bed to prepare for an early morning.