Today is National Alpaca Day – a day set aside each year when alpaca farmers from throughout New Zealand open their farms to the public.
“It’s a great day to celebrate all things alpaca and to share the joy of owning them and working with their luxurious fibre,” says Hermoine Richards of Alpaca Association New Zealand.
Richard and Rosemary Newson of Sonric Suri Alpacas in Apata, and Philippa and Neil Adamson of Rimu Creek Alpacas in Oropi, are co-ordinating the preparation work for farms opening up to the public in the Bay of Plenty.
“There are a good number of alpaca owners in the Bay who are opening their properties to the public to come and visit – all of them free of charge,” says Rosemary.
“There are also a variety of activities happening on these farms, from discussions and workshops to interaction with alpacas. Most people have cute baby alpacas running around at this time and a variety of product and animals for sale – just in time for Mothers’ Day the following weekend.”
Philippa says she specialises in the Huacaya breed of alpacas – “the ones where the fleece looks like merino wool”, and has them in a wide variety of natural colours from white, fawn, brown, right through to black.
“At Sonric we specialise in white Suri alpaca, where the fleece hangs down in a mop-like manner, feeling and performing more like silk, and being warmer than wool, it’s absolutely luxurious,” says Richard.
People are invited to bring family and friends and go out into the country – rain or shine – and enjoy the wonderful world of alpaca farming.
To find a farm to visit near you go to www.alpaca.org.nz