The Awatere Tussock Track is giving exclusive access to a picturesque 4800 acres property

Glen Orkney Farm is a magnificent, picturesque 4800 acres property running Merino sheep and Angus cattle in the Marlborough backcountry.

This amazing property is currently owned by Simon and Lynda Harvey, who run the farm along with their eldest son Thomas and are part of a long history of farming in this unique high country, dating back over 100 years. On your walk, you will discover many remnants of this amazing heritage along with the breathtaking vistas and iconic New Zealand landscapes.

The beginning of Glen Orkney dates all the way back to 1908 when the Cunningham family immigrated from Orkney Island to New Zealand and took on the tough new life of farming on the land to run sheep and make a living.

You will get a rare insight into this era, as your first night’s accommodation is, in fact, the original family homestead, built by JW Cummingham in 1910, and now lovingly restored to offer unique, historic accommodation with all modern comforts.

Over the years, the farm has seen many challenges, triumphs and changes. JW Cunningham had two sons, Sinclair and Davy, who were particularly hardworking men. Davy was also a sniper in World War I and on his return put his skills to good use in battling the ever-growing rabbit population, along with succeeding in fencing almost the entire property with rabbit netting and growing their stock of sheep.

Later Sinclair and Davy decided to split Glen Orkney, and in 1966 the Harvey family was able to buy the part of the property belonging to Davy Cunningham. Simon and Lynda Harvey then took over this farm from Simon’s father in 1984 and went on to restore Glen Orkney to its original size by buying back the original land and once again uniting the property to its staggering size of 4800 acres (1926 ha).

Today, the award-winning farm runs about 5000 Merino sheep who supply wool to Icebreaker and Smartwool, as well as about 250 Angus cattle. Alongside this, large areas of the farm have been covenanted to protect some of the most beautiful native flora and fauna found here, including many native plant species and birds such as the New Zealand falcon. The track will take you through some of these areas where you can enjoy the unique peace and tranquillity.

Apart from sheep and cattle, you may also see goats, deer, pigs, rabbits, hares, possums, and chamois (all of which are introduced species and control work is being done to minimise their population).

The track itself is varied and winds through the vast high country farm, sometimes rough and steep, sometimes wide and open, with creek crossings, stiles, peacefully grazing Merino sheep and Angus cattle, patches of original native bush and little to no cellphone reception.

For the season 2021/2022 the Track was closed for the public - BUT open for Sidetracks Women!

View from Cregan Hut ; Glas of Red wine
Let your mind wander and relax

We invite you to immerse yourself in the backcountry, to let your mind wander, to relax, unwind, and enjoy a unique New Zealand experience in the company of like-minded people and expert care.

Closed to the public in 2022/23 - and, due to some accommodation and farm logistics rearrangements, maybe we can not make it work for this season either.

Are you keen to do this walk? Talk with us!