Bullswool Heritage Farm has been owned by the same family for two generations.
The farm has had a few incarnations over the years, starting as a dairy farm, to becoming a sheep farm, to being a boutique stud specialising in breeding rarebreed animals. For the last decade the farm has been a popular visitor attraction, and has been enjoyed by both Kiwis and visitors from all around the world.
Tony and Sue Howse and their children Matt and Tallis currently run the farm. Sue grew up on Bullswool and is responsible for the farm's day-to-day management. Tony is an award-winning sculptor, specialising in working with the heads and roots of reclaimed Kauri felled in the 1800s. Tony's creative talents are displayed in our unique Play Paddock, which he developed when his own children were young. Tony's other passion is conservation. He developed our Native Bird Reserve, which he continues to develop, and supports the bird population with ongoing pest eradication.
Tony's newest project is the Spring Creek Reserve and Wedding Venue. Covering about 3 acres, this area is being landscaped and planted out to be a beautiful location for the most special of occasions.
Sue and Tony love sharing this little piece of paradise with others, and helping tell the story of the Southern Coromandel's colonial past.
Curl up on a comfy chair in Bullswool Heritage Farm's garden, and be charmed by the stories New Zealand's rural past... Read or listen to recordings of poems written by Bullswool Heritage Farm's owner, Keith Austen. read more
Bullswool Books & CD's
Click on the audio file below to hear excerpts from the"Bullswool & Barbed Wire" CD.
Keith known locally as 'the Bard of Paeroa' has always penned humorous poems inspired by his love of rural life. A few years ago his poems were broadcast on National Radio. To his enormous surprise, afterwards, letters flooded in from all parts of the country, requesting copies of his poems. In response to the demand, a collection of his poetry, "Bullswool and Barbed Wire", was published. Since then, the book has been reprinted several times, been followed by "More Bullswool and Barbed Wire", further media appearances, and Keith has become a popular after dinner speaker.
As Keith’s fame as a rural poet spread, so did word of what an interesting place Bullswool Heritage Farm is. Tour groups and schools started to request visits, and a constant stream of coach parties began to arrive. 2011 was the first year the Farm opened daily to the public. While making a programme about life on Bullswool, the producer of TVNZ’s Country Calendar asked Keith to write a poem about Bullswool Heritage Farm’s menagerie, and this was the result…
“I was happy with my farm, it satisfied my needs,
With my herd of breeding beefies, and sheep to eat the weeds.
But then my wife got in the act, I thought that she’d gone crackers
When the stock-truck backed up in the yards, and out leapt ten alpacas.
I didn’t mind the ducklings, but the emu ate my watch,
And then came goats and llamas, what an animal hotch-potch!
Her stroppy mini horses, all chase the deer around,
Her growing herd of donkeys, are tearing up the ground,
And so my farm’s diversified, an animal who’s who,
In fact it’s not a farm at all - it’s just a blinking zoo!”