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Well I Never! Running of the Sheep

January 12, 2021

As with all countries there are quirky activities often in quiet little corners. Our “Well I Never” series tells you about just a few of these events or activities we feel really are iconic and quintessentially Kiwi …

Today we are looking at an annual event held in the small King Country town Te Kuiti, 78 km south of Hamilton.

Every year, usually the weekend after Easter Te Kuiti hosts the New Zealand Shearing Championships and puts on the Great New Zealand Muster with the “Running of the Sheep”!

Te Kuiti The Running of the Sheep

OK so it may not be as big as the running of the bulls in Pamplona and perhaps doesn’t hold quite the danger element but the fun and enthusiasm elements more than make up, especially for the first time visitor!!

Known (at least locally) as the “Sheep Shearing Capital of the World” Te Kuiti puts on a show that is well worth a stopover.

Whilst the sheep don’t always realise they have the freedom to race down the main street and perhaps don’t initially want this privilege offered to them they can perhaps need a little initial coaxing, inevitably the do as sheep do and all finally race down the main road.

Before the Running of the Sheep an equally amazing event is the sheep shearing contests. An activity there is little doubt you need to be very fit to do both men and women can shear full sized sheep in less than a minute and not just one, but one after another! There’s also lots more to enjoy with sheep races, street stalls and Maori cultural performances.

So if you happen to find yourself in the depths of King Country around about Easter time make sure you put this iconic New Zealand event in your calendar!

How quintessentially Kiwi …

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