New Zealand Sheep

This is the time of year when thousands of cute little lambs can be seen cavorting around New Zealand farms (see the video below). But first, an interesting statistic. Sheep numbers in New Zealand reached a peak in 1982 when there were 70 million sheep, 22 for every person in NZ. That's a lot of sheep!

Today there are just 6 sheep for every person, but there's still a lot of them, over 29 million in fact, mostly found in the large sheep stations of the South Island. This is a New Zealand Vacations itinerary that passes through some of the attractive sheep rearing countryside of Otago & Southland, the 26 Day New Zealand Revealed. 

The decline in sheep numbers can be attributed to the growth in dairy farming, driven by the massive demand from countries like China for New Zealand dairy products, especially dairy milk powder for infants.

A popular attraction for visitors interested in New Zealand farm life is the very popular Agrodome, just 10 minutes from Rotorua; it's educational and fun showcase for New Zealand farming that includes sheep shearing and sheep herding displays. 

So, to the cute video - Click Here

And for a great video of a farmer moving his sheep to a new grazing field - Click Here


Sheep Station near Aoraki Mt Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain


Yes, this happens. Not very often, but when farmers move their stock the sheep have right-of-way. In this case a small number, but sometimes numbering hundreds. A perfect photo-op.


Ruby Bartlett from the South Island town of Ashburton gets to know a new arrival. Thanks for letting us use your photo Ruby and to your Mom who takes such nice photos of her favorite daughter.

Finally, here's a more extreme example of what can happen when large flocks of sheep are moved on New Zealand back country roads.

Lindsay Barron

Lindsay Barron • Aug 17, 2016