The Alpaca Place is a humble, scenic farm along Rangitumau Road that has not only captured the hearts of its owners, but has also captured hearts around the world, making it the number two attraction on TripAdvisor in Masterton and Wairarapa.

Owners Cheryl Hughson and Liz Barnes are two sisters that left their nine-to-five jobs in office work to fulfil their dreams of owning an alpaca farm.

The sisters, who live by the advice of their late father, have gone from establishing an alpaca farm with two alpacas in 2001, to running what is now a guided tourist attraction of everything alpaca.

Mrs Barnes read their father's advice from a plaque that was tucked away in their on-site shop.


"This is something our dad said years ago, "I can join two pieces of wood together. A house is a series of wood joined together. Therefore I can build a house," and he did," she said. "And it's still standing strong today nearly 60 years after he built it. We learned from Dad if you start from something small, it becomes something big.

"In 2001, we started the Alpaca Place with just two alpacas. Now we have more than 60, and we've overseen about 140 births."

Miss Hughson thinks Alpaca Place appeals because tours are fitted to suit each group that comes in.

"We run our tours around the people who are here," she said.

"Some people want to spend an hour, some people want to spend three hours, so we accommodate the tour to what they like. Neither of us can really remember what triggered our love for alpacas, we just both really loved them, and who couldn't?

"It's as if God made sheep and had a think about it afterwards and then made the alpaca."

The sisters said they feel so privileged to "have a life like this - sharing with alpacas and out in the country".

"We found the property that was right for us." Miss Hughson said. "We call it the hidden valley, it's part of our advertising - the hidden valley of Rangitumau. Everything starts with a dream, then it gets to a goal, and then in the end you succeed if you're determined.


"We set a goal and we did it, it was never easy, but we did it. Once upon a time, we would have never thought this was remotely a possibility. We thought we would be just like most people and have a job till we retired, then retire, and always live in town, and this just completely changed our lives."