This one is for you Ruth W. I reserved our lodging today for a two day sidetrip to the Matakana Coast in north New Zealand, the place your Saveur mag called a “gastronome’s paradise.” We’re staying at the Arapawa Sheep Stud and Farmstay. Perhaps they’ll have some fine knitting wool!

Arapawa Lamb

From New Zealand Rare Breeds:
Arapawa Sheep: A Rare Breed of New Zealand Origin
The fleece of the Arapawa is of Merino-like fineness and is of particularly high bulk which makes it of interest to textile manufacturers; it also makes excellent waterproof felts for head and footwear. It has, as well, great insulating properties – important for a sheep in the wild. However, individual fleece weights are considerably less than those found in commercial wool breeds, although the natural tendency for the fleece to be shed, which occurs in most wild sheep, is not so marked under farm conditions. Feral sheep are also naturally more resistant to fly-strike, and at AgResearch Lincoln in Canterbury, research is currently underway to introduce this characteristic of the Arapawa into a new “no-fuss” sheep breed.

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