Middlehurst Station is one of New Zealand’s original high country runs. It covers 16,550 hectares in the Upper Awatere Valley, Marlborough at the top of the South Island…
We’re Willie and Susan Macdonald. We bought Middlehurst from the Stevenson family in 1998 and moved here with our four children Sophie, Henry, Lucy and Skye. We’re both high country people. Willie was brought on Davaar Stn, The Key. Susan was brought up at Halfway Bay near Queenstown. Together, we managed Cecil Peak and Mt Nicholas stations before moving north.
Middlehurst extends right to the top of the rugged Inland Kaikoura Range. It’s classic high country ranging in altitude from 550 meters to 2,500 meters. The homestead is at 800 meters. The station’s other boundaries are the Awatere, Tone and Winterton Rivers.
It is ideal country to raise merino – the hardy breed of sheep whose fleece is used to create soft, luxurious, warm and durable fabrics used in international brands like Icebreaker.
Merino has long been the breed of choice here. Today, Middlehurst, along with our Cheviot Block, runs 11000 Merino sheep and 1200 Angus X cattle. Our wool weight figures to date in 2017 were 67,000kg of wool.
Our aim is to establish a sustainable, productive family farming business. We want to make sure high country traditions are maintained and passed on – and to have fun while we’re doing it. We’re up for a challenge and love the diversity of what’s possible here. Building our merino stud has been especially rewarding and we’re proud of the work we’ve done to transform the genetics of our flock to create a distinctive type ideally suited to New Zealand environments and markets. We will keep raising the bar.