Farmstay on the Forgotten World Highway – Day 40
What it’s really like to do a Farmstay in New Zealand
Today on New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year we are with our farmstay family doing a farmstay in New Zealand down the Forgotten World Highway!
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Today we are waking up the Ghost Town, we survived the night. We didn’t get haunted to death.
Simon is getting some bee suits prepared for us. And when he comes back and shows us the bee suits him and Robin get these really cool brand new yellow bee suits and I sort of make a joke like: “Aw, you’re disguising to be a bee in those?” And so basically they’re suited up and they become one with the bees while I get the old bee suit which is a huge suit that used to be white but now it’s covered in dirt. So anyway. We all look awesome. I look more awesome than the rest – we get on the gaiter and we head over to where Simon is keeping his bees.
They build their natural comb on the frame and that’s out of wax and then they’ll fill it and cap it with honey. He’s using some kind of like bag fabric that he’s burning and putting in the smoke gun so any kind of smoke will actually calm the bees which I didn’t know. i thought there was a special concoction like probably weed. At this time of year in winter the bees are generally calm anyway. He says in summer it’s a whole different story – the bees go nuts and you can barely see your surrounding because you’re just in a black swarm of bees. I’m kind of scared by that story so I am kind of happy that it is winter and they are calm because just a few hundred bees going around me is enough for me to deal with. Simon opens the first beehive and straight away you see a swarm of bees just getting out. So he told us that this beehive right now only has about 15,000 bees in there. In summer, there will be about 100,000 to 150,000 so ten times more and it woulds be much much more active to much more aggressive. So that’s all honey there yeah. Oh wow.
He just gave me about 200 bees and just left and said just be gentle. So right now he is replacing this one which is full of honey with one which is full of nothing. Simon’s just taking the time to take out the trays and check the honey and see how much is being produced and stuff and me and Robin we are like kids on a school trip, we have so many different questions and especially from robin who his dream was officially to see how beekeeping is done. We only talked about this a couple of weeks ago and just by chance he’s dreams have come true in New Zealand.
What an entrance.
Oh wow that’s really liquid. that’s incredible.
That’s really different than.. did you want to try it? Mmmm. that is good, eh? That’s the best honey I’ve ever tasted. By far the best honey I’ve ever tasted.
Are you guys going to hold tight. This family arrive they’ve got two young children of their own and all we know is that we’re going to a canyon today. Simon is making a trailer and now there’s a total of 14 people going to the canyon, i’m just looking at this small little gaiter and this small little trailer and thinking how the hell is this going to carry all of us people? We need a bus here. We need a four by four bus. So we keep on driving and there’s a lot of gullies and little streams and muddy parts and Simon just passing through them you get the trailer which is bouncing left and right. This whole whole trip is complete chaos and I am loving it.
But eventually we get to a landslip which is thick with mud. There is no way the gaiter is getting through. this is absolute madness. It’s so wet and sloppy there is no way we are getting across. the only way we’re getting across this landslip is by foot. Now because everyone else is from New Zealand they all have their gumboots on so they are all prepared. that’s alright mate a bit of mud sliding. It’s pretty crazy how they make their way through this forest with very small kids so smoothly. I mean, I admire them. they put their plank in, they walk on. Because we pass kind of last we have the most slippery plank that we can barely see on the mud we just kind of like guess where to put your foot we kind of jump from one tree to another and try to wooo woooo… There’s some sharp branches and all of that, so yeah, just really hard-coring it through the mud and that is pretty epic to me. We don’t need gumboots she said. She said we don’t need gumboots. Easy.
We’re just slipping and sliding around and we’re like this is crazy! I cannot believe we are doing this like what the hell. But it’s also a lot of fun at the same time. It’s kind of laughing because it’s a crazy adventure and so unexpected as well. But nevertheless, we get through the landslip we survive that section.
There’s just short bit of track just to walk until we reach our final destination today. Along the way, there is a steep bit of cliff edge with some water the kids run there they already know it’s there. They pick it up and start drinking the water and say this is the freshest water you can get!They is fresh water. That is good H2O right there. So finally, we’re doing our last bit of walking down the track there’s still one more plank of wood to get over and we come into this huge opening. It’s actually huge. Hello! The [Fossil] canyon is really gigantic it’s towering over 250 metres high. All around us. I can’t describe how amazing that is. All the kids start scattering around, running to the trees and go and have fun while all the adults have a nice cold beer just kind of relaxing. that’s your good Sunday right here. It looks like an awesome place if you were to have a campground here or have a festival it looks like a really awesome place and we get this all to ourselves. Except for there’s 14 of us so it probably does feel a bit like a festival here. It’s time to go back exactly the way we came but this time, you know, because we’ve already know we can get over that landslip it’s easy enough to make our way back. What are we doing?
The only thing we are a bit iffy on is how are they going to turn the gaiter and the trailer around in a track that is only as wide as the gaiter but we find we just back up the trailer a little bit back up the gaiter a bit and we find a bit that’s a bit wide so you can navigate the gaiter around. Laura what do want to when you grow up? I want to be a health and safety officer. A … fighter… I want to be a cop. A world famous soccer player or a Formula 1 driver.
We just stopped along the way at an old sheep shearing station which is now the house for the hippy sister of the family. Yeah we just got a quick visit of the house which is that is really embodying Ghost Town you know. There is a lot of wool which have been freshly sheared which Laura loves to play with.
So we get back to the house and this is where Robin and I have to depart because we are going to… We’re leaving New Zealand and we’re going to the Republic of Whangamomona tonight. And staying at the hotel there. I will tell you all about the republic of Whangamomona tomorrow cos we’re going to be spending more time here. Robin is flying the drone which is much to the entertainment of the children who are running around after it. they want to catch it out the sky.