There are numerous corners and pockets about the globe exactly where I have left bits of my heart.
Specific areas resonate with us as travelers in numerous one of a kind and mysterious approaches. Irrespective of whether I can envision myself setting up a dwelling there or just falling in like with a unique region, I normally locate myself returning to these spots once more and once more.
One particular of them is proper right here in New Zealand, Lake Heron Station, smack dab in the center of the Southern Alps.
A higher nation merino sheep station complete of charm and character, run by the outstanding Todhunter loved ones, Lake Heron has a hold on my heart as opposed to any other spot. I cannot wait to go back once more and once more.
Tucked away in the attractive Ashburton Lakes region, inland from Mt Somers, the station has been in the hands of the Todhunters for more than a century.
Sheep farming has been the really backbone of the South Island for decades, and it is fairly outstanding to have such a magnificent piece of land open for guests like me who are immediately after a correct kiwi expertise and are keen to pull on their boots on a sheep farm.
No, you will not be asked to shear something or herd any lambs, even though it certain is fairly funny watching foreigners attempt and catch a sheep. Spoiler alert: they are quicker than they appear.
An sheep farm (station) that covers 75 square miles of amazing wilderness, Lake Heron Station begins by a attractive tiny lake in a tussock-covered valley surrounded by amazing mountains that leads up into the Alps and even onto glaciers.
Right here merino sheep reign supreme in harsh circumstances, developing the wool we like so significantly.
One particular valley more than you will locate what was Edoras in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but Lake Heron Station remains quiet and in the hands of the sheep.
In reality, I like Lake Heron so significantly I celebrated my 30th birthday there final year with mates at the New Hut, a private backcountry hut that is accomplished up good and cozy out on the farm.
I’ve also stayed in the Lake Heron Cottage with mates, a much more modern day and cozy decision for travelers seeking for a farm expertise in New Zealand. Constructed in 1900, it is been lovingly restored and has 3 bedrooms (if necessary) and it is the great spot to base your self in the mountains for an genuine expertise.
You will not run into any vacationers right here, just sheep dogs and pure wilderness as far as the eye can see!
Philip and Anne Todhunter will welcome you with open arms and you will actually really feel at dwelling after you arrive, and trust me, you will not want to leave.
Now, the very best way to expertise Lake Heron is by air, and guests can discover the huge station and surrounding wilderness by way of scenic flights and even heli-skiing in the winter.
Philip has been flying about New Zealand’s backcountry as a industrial pilot for more than 35 years and knows the land like the back of his hand. Unquestionably partake in a tour of the farm from the air to expertise the scale of it, cruising more than herds of sheep and playful chamois in the mountains.
I in no way get tired of seeing the attractive glacial rivers from above, snaking blue and shimmering in the sunlight in a way that you couldn’t picture from the ground.
Lake Heron is surrounded by some of New Zealand’s most picturesque mountains, numerous of which are really hard to access by foot and call for really extended hikes in and out of the valleys to even attain their foothills.
From the air you can take in the Upper Rakaia River and Rangitata Valley, like the glaciated peaks of the Arrowsmith Variety. This is the correct heart of the Southern Alps and the genuine backcountry expertise right here. With Philip you can also fly more than the fabled ice fields of the Gardens of Eden and Allah, which is on the prime of so numerous bucketlists but extremely tricky to access.
A large scenic flight would also contain checking out Aoraki/Mt. Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain and the old stomping grounds of Anne, who was a mountain guide there.
Seriously, how cool is this loved ones?
Based on the climate and what you are seeking to see, you may even cross more than to the West Coast.
After the land turns lush and green, and normally with a bit of cloud, you will know that you have crossed the famed Divide of the Southern Alps to the wetter and somewhat wilder West Coast, one more favored spot I like to escape to.
From Philip’s Cessna 185, you can genuinely get a really feel for how modest New Zealand is and how significantly the land packs a punch right here.
Folks generally ask me what is the very best activity to splurge on in New Zealand, and my answer is generally the very same: a scenic flight. No matter how impressive the land is right here from the ground, it is even much more profound from the skies.
I in no way get tired of flying about this outstanding nation. Probably 1 day I should really get my pilot’s license also (sorry mom!).
Till then I’ll stick the much more strong and skilled guys like Philip to shuffle me about. Now I just require to figure out when I can get back to my favored haunt of Lake Heron, heaven on earth.
Would you like to remain on a merino farm like Lake Heron? Have you been on a scenic flight prior to? Spill!
Several thanks to the Todhunters for hosting me at Lake Heron. Like generally I’m maintaining it genuine – all opinions are my personal – like you could anticipate much less from me!