New Zealand Tour Experience

This is a favorite 'off the beaten track' travel experience that we often recommend to our customers on a New Zealand self drive tour. It's called Erewhon Sheep Station, located in the South Island. Most of the farm work at Erewhon is undertaken by teams of magnificent working Clydesdale horses. It was also the majestic backdrop to the Peter Jackson 'Lord of The Rings' movie 'The Two Towers'.

At New Zealand Vacations , we can arrange a tailor made high country Erewhon experience as part of your New Zealand self drive tour . This can range from a one hour wagon ride to a genuine New Zealand adventure staying overnight at a remote mountain hut. It's a place with a fascinating history and a modern 'Lord of The Rings' involvement.

In 1872 the English author Samuel Butler published his utopian novel 'Erewhon' (based on the word 'Nowhere' spelled backwards). The first few chapters of the novel, dealing with the discovery of Erewhon, are in fact based on Butler's own travel experiences when visiting New Zealand, where from 1860 to 1864 he worked as a sheep farmer on the nearby Mesopotamia Sheep Station.

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Today, Erewhon Station (farm) is a 35,000-acre property at the headwaters of the Rangitata River in Canterbury. The station is a wild, dramatic and ever changing natural environment that is truly breath-taking.

A wonderful feature of Erewhon is that most of the farm work is undertaken using teams of magnificent Clydesdale horses and all stock work, including the traditional autumn muster, is carried out on horseback or on foot. The station runs Merino sheep, cattle, deer and includes a large Clydesdale Horse Stud. 

All visits include stunning landscapes of rivers, tussocks, mountains and glaciers. You'll venture into a magical landscape, with loads of great photo opportunities and the chance to experience the high country at the horses pace. 

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For a once in a lifetime journey and to genuinely experience the high country of New Zealand, we strongly recommend the overnight hut adventure. This is the ultimate off-road trip into the mountains from the comfort of a full suspension rubber tyred wagon pulled by six strong horses. Overnight accommodation is provided in a recently completed hut beside the Clyde River looking up into the mountains and glaciers. The word 'hut' is an understatement because it’s actually a large, warm 4-bedroom building with incredible views, retaining much of traditional mustering charm with open fire cooking and horses grazing nearby. 

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Another delight of staying overnight at Erewhon, is the opportunity to stargaze as there is no light or air pollution so on cloudless nights, the skies provide a brilliant display of our solar system, the Milky Way.

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The team at New Zealand Vacations can incorporate a visit or a stay at Erewhon on any self-drive itinerary that includes the South Island. We'll make it easy for you to get to Erewhon, with a scenic drive that takes you right to the station. If you are interested in including Erewhon, just mention it when you make contact with us.

For Lord of The Rings enthusiasts we can also arrange a guided walk to stand on the summit of Edoras and enjoy, just as Eowyn did, the breathtaking 360º views. You'll see See the Misty Mountains, the area that formed the backdrop to Helms Deep and see for yourself why the actors and crew fell in love with this breathtaking location.

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A wonderful image of drivers showing their skills as they maneuver a 20 horse train across a river at Erewhon.

You can also watch this video for some great shots of the horses and landscapes of Erewhon.

Lindsay Barron

Lindsay Barron • May 17, 2017