Southern Discoveries - shearing experience in Queenstown
For the first time in 25 years the annual shearing season at Mt Nicholas High Country Farm is open to visitors courtesy of tourism operator Southern Discoveries, the only company with boat access to the station.
Once a year 29,000 merino sheep are mustered down from the surrounding hills and mountains for the shearing season. The family owned Mt Nicholas supplies wool to Icebreaker clothing company.
A team of shearers and wool handlers arrived at the station late last week for 30 solid days of shearing. Spread over seven weeks, to allow for mustering and bad weather, six shearers will shear about 1,200 sheep per day - about 200 each. By the end of shearing the gang will have clipped over 115,000kg of wool and made over 600 bales.
From now until mid-October, Southern Discoveries will run two trips daily from St Omer Wharf in Queenstown specially to view the shearing activity. An experienced farm guide will show visitors through the shearing process and explain all the different jobs that are going on around the shed.
The spring shearing season leads into the company’s busy summer season, when four departures a day will run to Mt Nicholas for either a Mt Nicholas Farm Experience or 4WD Wilderness Experience.
Both trips run for three hours 45 minutes, include a traditional morning or afternoon tea and a sightseeing cruise across Lake Wakatipu on Spirit of Queenstown.