Episode 28 - At the Cape
On the next episode, screening 23 September 2018 at 7pm on TVNZ 1:
A Gordon family ancestor settled land at Hawkes Bay’s Cape Kidnappers in1886 and the family has proudly farmed the same land for seven generations since.
Angus and his son Tom are now at the helm, but they’ve taken the farm in a new direction their predesseors would have never imagined. They’ve added tourism to their farming income, to make the most of the tourst dollar in this popular region.
Tom Gordon loves the change of focus which has allowed them to diversify on their drought-prone headland. “I really like the way we farm because summer time is the tourism time on the farm.”
Instead of focusing their farming at a predictably dry time of year, they off-load stock before Christmas and leave the farm mostly bare over summer. This preserves the little grass they have till the autumn flush hits again.
Angus has been through hard times in dry summers before and it was his idea to reduce their risk. “You play to your strengths, not your limitations, and we are very limited here with the dry summer and the steepness of the country. So we decided to change the policy and just have cows and calves through the summer”.
Having low stock numbers over summer allows them to time to focus on woolshed shows for tourists from the cruise ships as well as a glamping site.
Tom and his wife Lucia run the glamping business. Their high-end glamp site has been a hit and they’re booked nearly year-round. They’re so busy they’ve decided to set up a new site further up the valley.
Clifton Station is steeped in history, a focal point being the impressive homestead overlooking the water. Angus has always had a passion for history and has been documenting the history of the Gordon family and also other historic woolsheds and homesteads in the wider area.
“I went around photographing the old wool sheds of Hawke's Bay, which gave me a lot of pleasure. It was quite fun nosing around, going up all these little roads and talking to the owners.”
The family has irons in many fires, but they all love this land and cherish the opportunities that it has given them.
Find out more about Clifton Glamping here.
Read more about events at Clifton Station here.
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