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Benlea Sheep and Cattle Farm Tours

Join us at Benlea for a tour of a real New Zealand working farm.

Only one hours drive from Christchurch, nestled among the stunning landscapes of the Rakaia Gorge, our sheep and cattle farm tours take you on an in-depth experience of our beautiful farm. We will give you a glimpse of our busy farming lifestyle and how we look after a flock of 5,000 sheep and 400 Cattle!

Choose a tour to best suit your party’s interests:

  • Ultimate private farm tour 
  • Private farm tour (short version)
  • Animal experience
  • Bus tours (For Inbound/New Zealand tour operators only)
  • Garden Tours

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Ultimate private farm tour:

Perfect for couples, families, groups of friends or experienced farmers looking for a private, personalised farm experience on our property.

This is our top tour for truly experiencing all the amazing highlights our farm has to offer!

A family member will host you on a beautiful drive through the extensive property. We keep our tours as authentic as possible, showing our guests what is happening on the farm that day, during that particular time of year.farming

Whether you have never set foot on a farm, or are well experienced in the industry, we tailor the tour to your individual interests depending on what you would like to see/learn about on the farm.

Highlights of the tour:

  • Private access to a real working farm
  • Learning all about how the farm is run and how we care for the animals
  • Getting up close with big flocks of cattle and sheep
  • Learning about our journey into regenerative agriculture and our plan for a sustainable farming future
  • Meeting our working dogs
  • Opportunity to see a work dog herding sheep (on request)
  • Handling, touching and feeding friendly sheep
  • Bottle feeding lambs (End of September – October only)
  • Asking any questions you want to know about farming and how we do things
  • Touring the wool shed, learning about wool economics and why we shear our sheep *
  •  A delicious morning/afternoon tea of fresh home baking and tea/coffee**

Important details:farming

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Capacity: Up to 7 people (taking more is possible if booked well in advance)
  • Operates: Year round (subject to weather). Open Mon-Sat 9.00am – 5.00pm
  • Transport: All guests must make their own way to the farm
  • Booking a Tour: All tours by reservation only
  • Price***: $100 per adult (15 yrs+), $50 per child (3-14 yrs), Free 0-2yrs

*Our entire sheep flock is shorn professionally in early January. If you happen to visit our farm during that time, you may get to see real sheep shearing. 

** We can cater to any allergies/food requirements

***Minimum price of $200 per tour

Private Farm Tour (Short version):

Perfect for those looking for a personalised, private farm tour, but are on a tighter schedule/budget.

This tour includes many of the amazing highlights of the Ultimate Farm Tour, without morning/afternoon tea and we don’t spend as much time at each stop. It’s a great tour for anyone looking for a taste of a real farm with large flocks animals and incredible views.spring, ewe, sheep, lamb, baby lamb, new lambs, baby animals, farm animals, spring animals, spring time, farming, farms, new zealand farms, new zealand farming, nz farm tours, new zealand farm tours, benlea farm tours, sheep farm tours new zealand, sheep farm tours christchurch, benlea sheep and cattle farm tours

Highlights of the tour:

  • Private access to a real working farm
  • Learning all about the farm and how we care for the animals
  • Getting up close with big flocks of cattle/ sheep
  • Meeting our working dogs*
  • Handling, touching and feeding friendly sheep
  • Bottle feeding lambs (End of September – October only)
  • Asking any questions you want to know about farming
  • Touring the wool shed, learning about wool and why shearing is so important **

Important Details:farming nz, nz farmer, new zealand farm, nz farm, south island farm, canterbury sheep farm, romney sheep, sheep, cattle, farming, new zealand, nz tourism, farm tours, country lifestyle, farm work, farm tours, best farm tour in new zealand, sheep farm tour nz, farm tours nz, farm tours new zealand, sheep farm tour new zealand, farm tour canterbury, sheep farm tour canterbury, sheep and cattle farm tour nz, sheep and beef farm, farm tour christchurch, sheep farm tour christchurch, sheep and beef farm tour christchurch, benlea farm, benlea tours, benlea sheep farm tour, benlea sheep and cattle farm tours, benlea farm and garden tours, nz tourism, new zealand tourism, things to do in new zealand, best things to do in new zealand, winter, mountain views, mount hutt, rakaia gorge

  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Capacity: Up to 7 people (taking more is possible if booked well in advance)
  • Operates: Year round (subject to weather). Open Mon-Sat 9.00am – 5.00pm
  • Transport: All guests must make their own way to the farm
  • Booking a Tour: All tours by reservation only
  • Price***: $70 per adult (15 yrs+), $30 per child (3-14 yrs), Free 0-2 yrs

*Work dog demonstrations only provided in the Ultimate Farm Tour

**Sheep shearing is only done during early January with professional shearers who shear the entire flock

***Minimum tour price is $140 

Animal Experience:

Perfect those wanting a private experience to touch and feed animals, especially sheep. Everyfarming nz, nz farmer, new zealand farm, nz farm, south island farm, canterbury sheep farm, romney sheep, sheep, cattle, farming, new zealand, nz tourism, farm tours, country lifestyle, farm work, farm tours, best farm tour in new zealand, sheep farm tour nz, farm tours nz, farm tours new zealand, sheep farm tour new zealand, farm tour canterbury, sheep farm tour canterbury, sheep and cattle farm tour nz, sheep and beef farm, farm tour christchurch, sheep farm tour christchurch, sheep and beef farm tour christchurch, benlea farm, benlea tours, benlea sheep farm tour, benlea sheep and cattle farm tours, benlea farm and garden tours, lambs, baby animals, cute animals, spring animals, farm animals, mother and baby, spring time, animal care, lambs, feeding lambs, lamb feeding, springtime, baby animals, farm animals, baby lambs, year we keep an orphaned lamb to raise as part of the family. Our sheep are hilarious, full of character and we know you’ll love them as much as we do.

George, ‘R’, and Allan are completely tame, domesticated sheep that you can touch, pet and feed. They will love you for it! In springtime we get to bottlefeed the other baby orphaned lambs as well!

Our horses Whiskey (a beautiful chestnut thoroughbred) and Serafina (a black arabian/pasafino cross) don’t like to be left out either.

This tour is a great option for anyone who is tight on time/budget, or is just looking to handle and play with the animals rather than do a full farm tourfarm animals, sheep, pet sheep, feeding the lambs, feeding sheep, touching sheep, sheep, lambs, farm tour, sheep farm tour, nz farm tour, farm tour nz, new zealand farm tour, farm tour new zealand, canterbury farm tour, farm tour canterbury, farm tour christchurch, christchurch farm tour, sheep farm tour christchurch, christchurch sheep farm tour, tourists, things to do in nz, things to do in christchurch, best farm tour in nz, canterbury, christchurch, sheef farm, sheep and beef farm, nz farm, new zealand farm, sheep and cattle farm, cattle, horse, nz tourism

Highlights of the tour:

  • Feeding and meeting the pet sheep
  • Feeding the horses
  • Meeting the 5 farm work dogs
  • Bottle feeding the lambs (End of Sept – Oct only)

Important Details:

  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Capacity: Unlimited
  • Operates: Year round (subject to weather). Open Mon-Sat 9.00am – 5.00pm
  • Transport: All guest must arrange their own transport to the farm
  • Booking a Tour: All tours by reservation only
  • Price*: $25 per person,  Free 0-2yrs *minimum of $50 per tour

Bus Tours:

For Inbound/New Zealand tour operators looking for a unique, fun and interesting day trip to add to their busy schedule.

Perfect for:

  • Groups arriving on cruise ships at Lyttelton or Akaroa
  • Groups traveling the South Island by bus, who want a great tour option while travelling between Tekapo and Christchurch
  • Groups of experienced farmers
  • Groups who want to lean about farming, see a real farm and handle/touch sheep

Highlights include:

  • Educational commentary and stories of farm life as we travel around the farm in the bus
  • Incredible mountain views
  • Demonstration of a work dog herding a group of cattle/sheep
  • Tour of the wool shed and explanation of why we shear, and the economics of wool in NZ
  • Delicious morning tea of fresh home baking*
  • Feeding/handling our very friendly pet sheep
  • Exploring the wandering paths of the beautiful one acre homestead gardenfarming nz, nz farmer, new zealand farm, nz farm, south island farm, canterbury sheep farm, romney sheep, sheep, cattle, farming, new zealand, nz tourism, farm tours, country lifestyle, farm work, farm tours, best farm tour in new zealand, sheep farm tour nz, farm tours nz, farm tours new zealand, sheep farm tour new zealand, farm tour canterbury, sheep farm tour canterbury, sheep and cattle farm tour nz, sheep and beef farm, farm tour christchurch, sheep farm tour christchurch, sheep and beef farm tour christchurch, benlea farm, benlea tours, benlea sheep farm tour, benlea sheep and cattle farm tours, benlea farm and garden tours, nz tourism, new zealand tourism, things to do in new zealand, best things to do in new zealand, heading dog, work dog, farm dog, farm animals, farm tours, farm tour, farm tour christchurch, farm tour canterbury, farm tour nz, farm tour new zealand, sheep farm tour christchurch, sheep farm tour canterbury

Important details:

  • Price: Please contact for prices (discounts are available for large groups)
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Transport: Large groups must provide their own bus/transport for the tour
  • Operates: October-May. Open Mon-Sat 9.00am – 5.00pm.
  • Booking a tour: By reservation only. All bus tours must be booked in advance.

*Any food allergies/requirements can be catered for

Garden Only Tours:

Garden only tours can be arranged for garden clubs, or other groupsgarden views, mountain views, mount hutt, rakaia gorge, canterbury gardens, high country garden, garden tours, garden tours nz, garden tours new zealand, garden tours canterbury, benlea, benlea garden tours, benlea farm and garden tours, benlea tours interested in beautiful, large, country gardens. Our high country garden covers one hectare of land with many mature trees and shrubs, both exotic and native. There are many pathways meandering through the garden, two large rock gardens – one with a natural bird bath, and an art gallery to view. Tours include morning or afternoon tea.

Tours can be combined with other local gardens to make a day trip.

Important Details:

  • Price: $15 per person – minimum of 15 people or $200 per tour
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Operates: October- May. Open Mon-Sat 9.00am – 5.00pm
  • Booking a tour: All tours by reservation only.

Getting here:

All tours start at our farm house, 728 Coleridge Rd.

Most of our guests hire a car and drive themselves to the farm. We do not currently offer transport services.

If you are not comfortable driving here and are coming from Christchurch, we can help you arrange a driver, however please note, this is not part of the tour and will need to be paid for separately.

Should you need somewhere to stay the night, we have a lovely Air bnb cottage on the farm that can be booked suject to availability. If you would like to book the Benlea Cottage, please let us know! You can book it here on our website or we can book it directly for you.

Social Media:

Take a look at the Benlea Farm and Garden Tours facebook page, our farm page Benlea Farm for what is happening on the farm or our garden page Country Garden NZ for photos and videos in the garden and gallery.

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Email : benleafarm@benlea.co.nz

Phone:  +64 3 3186545

Mobile: +64 21 178 0744 (Katie)

+64 27 431 9079 (Cathie)