When you take a New Zealand staycation with Trafalgar, you’ll do more than just experience all the natural wonders, rich culture and superb cuisine of the country. You’ll also support many local businesses in New Zealand and leave a positive impact on their incredible communities and families. From meeting local farmers and pottery artisans, to discovering the best local coffee and hazelnuts, here’s how your domestic travel in New Zealand will make a difference around the country.
Morris & James Pottery
Located in the pretty town of Matakana, Morris & James Pottery is an incredible locally owned and run enterprise. Community is the core philosophy of this business and it all began in 1977, when world traveller and artist Ant Morris and his wife Sue James bought the Tongue Farm Road property. The land was filled with clay deposits, so the couple bought the property and Morris & James Pottery was born.
After steering the business through ups and downs, Ant offered the business for sale to Kieran Rice and his partner Deby, along with long-standing staff, Mike Rose, Ian Foote, George Steele, Trish Allen and Nick Charlton. Today Ant lives in his original home at Tongue Farm Road, but his presence continues to inspire the pottery whenever he strolls through the grounds and chats with staff.
Today, all the staff are locals and pass their skills on to their family who also work in the business. All the colourful ceramics are individually handcrafted by these skilled artisans and they use clay sourced from the banks of the Matakana River. They also ensure they care for their site, replanting their excavations with native bush that attracts a wide variety of wildlife.
We’ll take you behind the scenes at the pottery, to see how they’ve created such an iconic local brand. You might even like to purchase some of the stunning ceramic pieces and help support this special local business in New Zealand.
GET INSPIRED BY: Winterless North
Laura Douglas’ Real Country Farm
After nearly a decade working in the corporate world, ‘Southern Girl’ Laura Douglas knew she wanted to come home to her beloved southern land. Switching her stilettos for gumboots, she started running the Real Country Farm, set in the deep south outside Queenstown.
She was born and raised on a nearby sheep farm, and spent her childhood horse riding, fishing and working on the family farm. Today she shares ‘the Real New Zealand’ with visitors at the Real Country Farm, offering experiences like sheep mustering, whip cracking and petting and feeding the farm animals.
Not only will you get a taste of the famously friendly Southern Hospitality, you’ll also learn first hand about New Zealand’s farming heritage. Best of all, you’ll support this wonderful local business and help Laura continue to share the southern love.
Kerry Shields & Peter Fleck‘s Newlands Hazelnut Farm
With locally and sustainably produced products at the core of New Zealand’s economy, it’s people like Kerry Shields and Peter Fleck who help keep the country running. They’re the owners of Newlands Hazelnut Farm in North Otago, and have been delivering delicious hazelnuts to the community for over two decades.
After planting their first 1,500 trees in 2000, they’ve since planted thousands more, becoming one of the leading hazelnut growers in New Zealand. They harvest tonnes of hazelnuts each year and hand sort each hazelnut into bags to be sold around the country.
When you visit Newlands Hazelnut Farm with us, you’ll get to meet Kerry and Peter. You’ll hear their stories about local country life and learn all about growing hazelnuts in New Zealand. You’ll also get to taste their wonderful hazelnut products and support these heroes of the New Zealand economy.
GET INSPIRED BY: Southern Stories
Rob & Carol Schluter’s Pekerau Hills Coffee Farm
Local business owners are often the visionaries of their community, and this is especially true of Rob and Carol Schluter. They run Ikarus Coffee Roasters and Pekerau Hills Coffee Farm, the only coffee growing project in New Zealand.
Located in the rolling green hills above Doubtless Bay in the Northland region, they’ve been operating a coffee haven since 2008. They also pioneered coffee in New Zealand with the first seed-to-cup experience. As the only commercial growers in the country, they currently bring their coffee to several Far North cafes. You can also catch them in their mobile coffee unit at the local Farmers’ Markets.
You can sample their caffeinated delights at their farm, and learn how they work with the climate to produce high-quality coffee. If you prefer a cup of tea they’ve also got some fantastic varieties like coffee cherry tea and coffee leaf tea.
When you visit Rob and Carol Schluter, you’ll help keep the only coffee-growing project in New Zealand going strong. With your support, they’ll be able to bring their amazing coffee products to even more people around the country.
You’ll support these local businesses in New Zealand and more when you travel on our new Near Not Far trips.
What are your favourite local businesses in New Zealand? Are you planning a New Zealand staycation? Let us know in the comments below!