Irishman Creek, New Zealand
Last Tuesday morning found me waking up about half a world away from NorthWapiti. After about 36 hours of travel, I had arrived at Irishman Creek Station just outside of Tekapo in New Zealand.
Irishman Creek is a very famous sheep station. It is about 160 years old, in its ‘day’ was home to more than 12,000 sheep, and is even the location where the modern day jet boat was invented.
Today it is home to just over 8000 very fine Merino sheep, about 200 head of prize winning Black Angus cattle….oh…and 18 sled dogs owned by station managers Ray and Diane Holliday!!!
Tuesday morning I tagged around behind Ray as he fed sheep and later in the day sorted and vaccinated cattle.
I’ve lived in the country for well over 20 years – and hung around farms and ranches for much longer than that, so the chores and lifestyle is certainly not new to me, but it was very interesting to see it all with a Kiwi twist!!
The sheep were a little puzzled by the crazy woman with the funny accent and the camera stuck to her face!!
Cricket – sorry, no place for you here. There are no predators to bother the sheep in New Zealand, so no guardian dogs hanging about!
These are the ‘working’ dogs at Irishman Creek – two collies (they just refer to them as ‘collies’, not ‘border collies’ as we do) Frost and Sam and a ‘Huntaway’ – Moss.
The ‘Huntaways’ job is to ‘push’ the stock away from the stockman. They aren’t a recognized breed, but rather just a ‘style’ of working dog. Much bigger and noisier then the collies.
Later on Tuesday afternoon, Diana came to pick me up in the field, we left Ray to finish up his tasks, and headed into Tekapo for a flightseeing tour of the area!!