Updated: May 9
Check out this fun Canturbury farmstay.
Photo Credit to The Shed and Breakfast Instagram
Farms run on a mixture of tech and nature to produce food and products. So, I'm looking for a farmstay offering guests a farming experience. Each farm stay represents a unique lifestyle and business. However, all farmers grow things to sell in the market. They grow plants and animals for people to eat, use as a beast of burden or make into products. Farming operations use implements, equipment and buildings to run their businesses. The clip below shows the process of removing wool from sheep, known as shearing. After shearing the sheep return to pasture and grow another woolly jumper. Most New Zealand farmers grow food for their sheep to eat and wool grows on their sheep.
Cutting the wool from sheep ~Shearing~ Photo credit to Shed and Breakfast
The first reason, Airbnb hosts are commonly entrepreneurs, hands-on in their own businesses as opposed to a multinational or large firm. I really want an authentic grassroots experience that offers interaction with some plants, animals, machinery, buildings... Just the sort of experience an Airbnb host provides. Furthermore, Airbnb reports tourist dollars spent with local hosts benefits the local community. I know I have employed, for instance, tradespeople with my Airbnb earnings.
The Airbnb app allows me to filter for farmstays, then generate a list of stays in my target area, Canterbury.
Getting the Most from the Airbnb App:
I entered the Canterbury region as I plan to tour Wanaka and Queenstown as well.
Tapped places to stay.
I skipped the dates because my plans are not finalised.
Entered all the people in my group including children and infants. This is in Airbnb's terms.
Tapped 'search' and generated a list of all the types of listings
Select the filters option and stroll down to unique stays and check the farm stays box and search
Check out these Canterbury farm stays
My Preferred Canturbury Farmstay
I hearted the 'Shed and Breakfast' on my Airbnb profile. This listing is my top pick and I plan to book it. The listing description includes cattle, sheep, chickens, quad bike rides, farm produce and exploring David's 210-hectare property.
Another big positive is David's grazing animals are on pasture. Guests will see sheep and cattle displaying their instinctual behaviours, in a traditional pastoral environment, foraging for food and interacting with each other.
When booking an Airbnb, particularly, for a family stay I always check the reviews. David is a super host and has hundreds of glowing reviews. Below is a review from Emma:
From the home made fresh bread, to the hand woven woolen blankets this really is a wonderful eco organic farm stay. This literally lives up to it's name Shed and Breakfast, a handcrafted boutique shed accommodation and yummy breakfast suitable for the whole family. Our kids (4&7) had such fun exploring and helping out on the farm, meaning the adults were able to relax too! Thank you David!!
The reviews clearly support the listing
description with David involving his guests in his farming operation. Perfect! His wool growing business is a great
example as his guests get up close,
from the animals back and to the end product, a blanket. David's guests, also, enjoy the farms produce and products. He provides wool products and food for his guests to use and purchase. A great farm to plate/homeware experience!
The location is a bonus as it is just off the main highway on the route to Queenstown and Wanaka.
The Accommodation and Amenities
Photo Credit Shed and Breakfast Instagram
I see David's accommodation is self contained, is well appointed and has a kitchen! While checking the amenities I see he lists a cot and other child friendly amenities. Furthermore, David uses natural materials in the construction of his shed. Check out this Instagram pick of the bedroom, love the raw wood, natural fibres and cute nik naks. The rustic nature of the accommodation harks back to traditional farming and gives an authentic vibe.
Tips for booking for a family
First and foremost, when browsing listings on the app, I include infants and children in app search fields. This way I see a lot listings that are suitable for my group.
Prior to booking, I think I will send an enquiry rather than just an instant book. I will check if the cabin is fenced for a toddler. I will ask about 'out of bounds' areas and hazards such as nearby waterways.
I also will check I bring the correct clothing and equipment on our farm stay. For example, sun hats and insect repellant for summer and the right weight jackets for winter.
Books & Art Supplies Review
I use Faber Castle products myself and have them on hand for my Grandchildren to use. The travel set is a great way to get the kids involved with art. Consider making postcards and letters to mail back home. "Sheep Dog and Sheep Sheep" is an interesting play on words and forms the basis of a book that will consolidate young children's experience on the farm and extend their language skills.