Five alpaca farms around Rotorua are throwing open their gates to the public to raise awareness about alpaca farming.

"Alpacas are the perfect animal for lifestyle blocks as they are easy care and friendly," said organiser Sue Richards.

"It's the chance for anyone curious about alpaca farming to come and have a look, get some information without any pressure.

"At this time of year, there are baby alpacas on the farm, so it's perfect for families to get out in the country with the kids and get up close to the animals."

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Ms Richards runs an alpaca stud and her animals are sold to farmers throughout the world who want to improve their herd.

She said alpaca had a very fine fleece that had a value "up there with cashmere", because it was very warm and didn't have lanolin which meant it didn't cause itching.

The open day is on rain or shine, and families can bring a picnic, enjoy the fresh air and relaxation of the farm and the best company of any farm animal there is.

The five farms are:

- Surico Alpaca, 215 Tauranga Direct Rd, RD 6, (07) 332 2362

- Greenbank Alpacas, 144 Dalbeth Rd, RD2, (07) 357 5338

Related articles:

- Cherry Lane Alpacas, 6 Sunnex Rd RD 6, (07) 332 3445

- Andigenetix, 45 Ward Rd, RD7, (07) 332 2001

- Brenor Alpaca, 200 Kaharoa Rd, (07) 332 2336

- See www.alpacarotorua.co.nz for more information.

Details:

What: Alpaca Trail

When: Sunday 10am-3pm

Admission: Free