Blog

Read our latest high country news and find out about life on a Canterbury high country station.

Autumn at Lake Heron Station

One of the big jobs in autumn is getting ewes in prime condition before mating in May. Here a mob has been sorted and is being moved to autumn grazing by shepherd, Hamish Fraser.

Lake Heron ewes

Kea – NZ’s alpine parrot

One of the highlights of a day out in the hills, is spotting the birdlife. The kea is the world’s only alpine parrot and has a well-earned reputation for its cheek and intelligence. When out walking, its eerie call in the misty high crags, sends shivers down the spine. Then, next thing you know at a rest stop, these inquisitive birds will be hopping around your pack and poking at any objects left lying around.

Homeward Bound

Over 2700 merino wethers have arrived at the shearing shed after a 25km journey from the Upper Rakaia River. They will be shorn over the next few days. Each sheep produces about 5.5kgs of wool every year – most of it ending up in an Icebreaker garment. Check your Baa code to see if your Icebreaker comes from Lake Heron.

Winter Weather

It has been a winter of 2 halves this year. In Late June we received a metre of snow in the valley. This storm was forecast days in advance so we had plenty of time to get stock into paddocks close to home. However, even so, it was still a major effort to get around to feed all the mobs.

Since then we’ve been blessed with warmer than average temperatures and an early spring.

Methven Heliski opens 29 June

The countdown begins to the start of the heliski season. There is fantastic cover already so we’re all set for a great winter.

If you’re a skier or snowboarder, make sure we see you here!

Lake Heron Hunting

Autumn is the time of the “Roar” and the stags are now in full noise.

It is also the time of year that we offer guided red deer and tahr hunts on the station.

Our professional guides take you to the animals – whether you get photos, or a trophy, is up to you. The hunting is all free-range – a genuinely memorable wilderness experience.

Highcountry Summer

The last month on the station has been one of glorious days and high temperatures. In this weather the best time to get stock work done is in the cool of  the early morning. Once temps hit the 30s the going gets tough for sheep and dogs. Early morning is also a great time to get the best pics – here  shepherd, Angel Wood, is silhouetted against the rising valley mist.

Spring at Lake Heron Station???

Spring and early summer  are the most changeable time of year for weather on the station. In this image the temperature went from 25C one day to 3C the next  with accompanying snow falling nearly into the valley floor.

Lake Heron Fleece Gets a 3rd at Canterbury 150th A&P Show

The Canterbury A & P Show is always a big event in the local calendar. This year the show celebrated its 150th year. Well supported by city and country folk alike, the show is a great opportunity to showcase rural life to the wider community. Usually Lake Heron enters fleece wool for judging and this year we received a third for our entry in the merino ewe/wether category.

The fleece will go on to be judged at the Otago Merino Association’s Annual Competition and the proceeds of all competition fleeces are then donated to the Child Cancer Foundation.

Annual Ewe Shearing at Lake Heron

The Lake Heron merino ewes have all been shorn and the trucks have left to start the journey to Icebreaker.

As the wool comes off the sheep’s back, it is classed into various lines according to fibre diameter, length and strength. The wool classing is a family tradition and Bob Todhunter has been classing the “Lake Heron clip” for many years. Bob has a keen interest in the resulting wool, as he and son Ben, breed the rams  for the station.

The wool press is shown here compacting the wool fibre into bales of 180-190kgs – a convenient weight for shipment. Next time you purchase an Icebreaker garment, check out the “Baa” code to trace the origins of the fibre – it may be from here!

84 and Still Skiing the Mountains with Methven Heliski

Britta and Christof Wieser started skiing with Methven Heliski 20 years ago. Christof has just celebrated his 84th birthday with the Methven Heliski crew and both heliski every fine day for the duration of their 6 week stay in NZ.

They are heliski connoisseurs, having skied just about everywhere there is to heliski, but every winter they are back to ski with the team in Methven.

Pictured here, they are out in the Arrowsmiths for perfect spring skiing.

Congratulations Britta and Christof and here’s to many more runs to come.

P.S. Thanks for a great day’s skiing!