In 2011, not long after the earthquake that devastated Christchurch, Craig Musson and I discussed a plan to open a farm park. We were in an area that suffered virtually no damage and was easy to locate, making it a perfect place for families to come and escape their stressful lives, if only for a day. It was a peaceful place – free of damaged buildings and liquefaction; somewhere kids could run free and enjoy themselves amongst animals while their parents unwound in the tranquil surroundings.
We already had a small collection of animals, and with little funding or planning we set an Easter 2011 opening date. Cost for entry was relatively low, and children under two entered for free; further strengthening the family environment. The opening could not have gone any better, with the park filled with enthusiasm and excited conversation. Originally, we were going to close and develop our infrastructure, but people just kept turning up. We kept our doors open until Winter, and reopened in Spring with a festival.
That was the beginning……..
Farm Park Manager and Co-Founder
For a small fee, you can pick up a cup of animal feed as you enter the park.It’s the best way to get up close and personal with the animals who call the park home. Feed the animals, get some great photos and even touch them!
This is an experience your child will remember for years to come. Our ponies are the perfect size for young children (6 years and under). For older children, have a look at the opportunities available through the Arion Riding Centre. Or contact us in advance.
We are more than happy to host your child’s next birthday party at the park in our special party hut! Kids get an opportunity to meet the animals in a fun and educational environment. Each child will leave with treasured memories from their party experience. Arion Farm Cafe is open 9am to 3pm everyday. You can buy coffee/tea, cold drinks, ice creams and snacks while enjoying the ambience of the Nursery Plants and sheltered seating.
For wet days we now have a marquee you can use so no need to cancel your outing.
Feeling peckish on your family outing? Bring along your own food and have a picnic or barbeque while enjoying our natural environment with the animals. Or grab a coffee, cold drink or ice cream from the Arion Cafe on site.
Arion Farm Park Cafe, a ambient place to rest while the young ones play, or order to go while strolling around our park. Hot and Cold drinks, ice creams, chips and snacks available. Sheltered seating surrounded by nature, or take a look at the range of plants available from the Arion Nursery onsite.
Hi, I’m Mervyn the Merino ram. I try to be the boss, but Arnie the Arapawa mounts many takeover bids!
All our girls are friendly and quiet, and enjoy interacting with visitors. We have coats of many colours and love to give them up in the summer to make warm jumpers for you. By the time the winter comes I’ll be all woolly and warm again.
My name is Elizabeth. I am an Alpaca. I am smaller than my mate, the Llama, but we are all from South America, and are all related. We like to spend time with visitors although we get a bad rap for spitting (a very rare occurrence!). We are used for our fleece and as pack animals.
Children love to ride me and I love children! My name is Tonto and I am a purebred Shetland pony. Some of us are miniature horses, and then there is Kayla. She’s a donkey. We look forward to seeing you, but please don’t feed us treats as it’s too hard for us to resist – and we pile on the kilos too easily!!
Hi my name is Piggles and I’m a Kune Kune. Like many of your parents, I grew up in a student flat, but I got too fat to climb the stairs! My carers’ decided to take me to Arion Farm, where I now live my life as a happy pig. I am 7 years old now and have lots of friends. Some are different breeds to me, but we all get on well until some yummy food comes along! Days in the sun, being patted by visitors, grazing the grass – life is just great for us.
My name is Poppy. I am a Boer goat and my ancestors came from South Africa.I can be a naughty goat who jumps fences. Sometimes you will see me tied up under the tree for a while during the day, but it’s not long before I am set free to play with my other well-behaved goat friends.Some of my companions are happy to give their milk for cheese and yoghurt and the Angoras have lovely fleeces to make warm clothes.
This is our home, we all have a nice roomy hutch and are able to get out onto the grass to play with our friends. My name is Princess and I am the youngest member of my family. I am a Mini Lop, but there are many different breeds of us. Some of us are can even be taken home by you to become a member of your family, along with our Guinea Pig and Rat friends.
Hi! I’m one of the Farm Park rats and I’d love to play hide-and-seek with you. If you are very gentle then I will let you hold me and we can snuggle. Sometimes my friends and I have babies, so keep an eye out!
Hello, I am a Cavy or Guinea Pig, and no I’m not a hamster, nor am I a pig! Like our alpaca friends, we are from South America and are members of the rodent family. We make great pets as we are very social and friendly. I make lots of different noises that range from wheeking, which is specially for you humans only, to chutting, which is a happy sound like a purr of a cat.
‘Cock-a-Doodle-Do!’ My name is Bert and I’m a Barred Rock rooster. There are many of us at the farm park along with plenty of other breeds of birds. Sometimes you might see an egg that has been laid, but not by me.
Hi, my name is Albert and I am the resident male of the peafowl family. My mate is called a peahen and our babies are pea chicks, and we would all be very ‘pea-sed’ to see you at the Farm Park.
You and your family, school, club or business can take a special interest in a group of animals at Arion Farm Park by becoming an adoptive parent. Adoption funds go towards the high costs of food, veterinary care and the maintenance of our animals’ homes. Adoptions are valid for one year with renewal optional. All animals are available for adoption.