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An Alpaca Photo Essay

alpaca new zealand

Is it just me or are alpacas the coolest animals ever? I mean, my god, just look at their faces! How can you not love them?

Delightful, fluffy creatures that just ooze sass and charm, I would go as far as to say that alpacas are my spirit animal.

If you follow me on social media over the years, you would have probably seen me freak out at one point or another when I spot an alpaca while traveling. In fact, sometimes I go out of my way to visit alpaca farms. Because why not.

alpaca new zealand

alpaca new zealand

alpaca new zealand

And sure, llamas certainly make me happy and smile too, but alpacas are the more lovable little cousins.

Their colorful, hypoallergenic fleece is softer than any wool you could bury your face in, and let’s be honest, sometimes their hair styles and cuts can make even the grumpiest person laugh.

And don’t even get me started on the funny sounds they make!

It’s a Monday here and I thought I’d go ahead and share some of my favorite alpaca photos from a recent trip to make you smile. Enjoy!

alpaca new zealand

alpaca new zealand

alpaca new zealand

I often stop and say hello to alpacas in New Zealand when I pass by a paddock and I think no one it watching. How can you not?

But before I run away with myself and start to sound even weirder than I already do, let me just share with you a secret amazing spot in New Zealand where you can visit alpacas yourself.

Shamarra Alpacas is a farm tucked away on the beautiful Banks Peninsula near Akaroa south of Christchurch. Canterbury is one of my favorite regions in New Zealand because it has just so much to do here, and Banks Peninsula I’ve found to be one of the most underrated but best spots around.

In fact, this is one of my secret getaways in New Zealand, so be cool about it, ok?

alpaca new zealand

alpaca new zealand

alpaca new zealand

I first heard about this place from my friend Jodi from Legal Nomads, who also shares my bizarre fondness for alpacas.

Shamarra Alpacas is a beautiful farm only 20 minutes from the little French town of Akaroa with the most amazing views of the surrounding harbors and volcanic crater. Rolling hills meet turquoise water here making it a stunning little spot to getaway from it all.

And to hang out with alpacas.

You can join in on a farm tour and wander around the fields and say hello to the alpacas all without potentially pissing off the farmers. Though to be fair, I’ve found most people who raise alpacas are super friendly. Or just a little bit weird.

alpaca new zealand

alpaca new zealand

alpaca new zealand

Frank and Anya who run Shamarra are really nice and lovely and have been farming alpaca for over a decade.

I had a great afternoon running around the paddocks and trying to make friends with the herd, especially the babies. Though they weren’t having any of it, except when I fed them.

And now I’ve got a new dream of moving to Banks Peninsula, buying a farm and raising baby alpacas. Who’s with me?

alpaca new zealand

alpaca new zealand

alpaca new zealand

If you have always dreamed of frolicking through a herd of alpacas, here’s your chance.

You’re welcome.

Do you love alpacas as much as me? Please say yes. 

alpaca new zealand

Many thanks to Canterbury Tourism for hosting me in Akaroa – like always I’m keeping it real – all opinions are my own, like you could expect less from me. 

59 Responses to An Alpaca Photo Essay

  1. Cate August 9, 2016 at 12:32 am #

    I love alpacas to! These pictures are great. Thanks for the sharing this hidden alpaca haven

    • Liz August 9, 2016 at 8:37 am #


  2. Ména August 9, 2016 at 1:39 am #

    Lovely pics ! 🙂

    • Liz August 9, 2016 at 8:37 am #


  3. Kristen August 9, 2016 at 2:01 am #

    Love, love, love alpacas! Thanks for making Monday better!

    • Liz August 9, 2016 at 8:37 am #

      They rock don’t they?

  4. Uganda safari advice August 9, 2016 at 2:29 am #

    Cuteness just, I love the pics, had never heard of them actually.

    • Liz August 9, 2016 at 8:37 am #


  5. Our Wanders August 9, 2016 at 2:48 am #

    Embarassing, but we’ve never seen any, only in pictures. But they look sooo loveable!

    • Liz August 9, 2016 at 8:37 am #

      they are feisty but awesome!

  6. Patti August 9, 2016 at 5:01 am #

    They’re so cute! When I was in NZ a few years ago, we went on a wine tour on Waiheke Island. Our guide was hilarious – he knew nothing about wine, but knew everything about Waiheke. He would give us random facts about different vineyards and farms on the island. My favorite was when he told us about one farm that had just gotten Alpacas and he described them as “funny little stretched out sheep”. Best wine tour ever.

    • Liz August 9, 2016 at 8:46 am #

      best description ever!

  7. Taylor August 9, 2016 at 7:32 am #

    Oh my heart!!! Freaking adorable. And they look way more chill than any Llama I’ve ever come across..all llamas ever made me do is wipe their spit from my clothes and hide my keys from their pickpocketing selves…

    • Liz August 9, 2016 at 8:46 am #


  8. Elizabeth August 9, 2016 at 2:34 pm #

    I love alpacas! I’ve only seen them in New Zealand. They’re so soft! I love the yarn made from Alpaca fur too! Your photos are adorable!

  9. Stephanie August 9, 2016 at 2:50 pm #

    Omg! They’re so stinking cute!

    • Liz August 9, 2016 at 6:41 pm #

      yes they are so!

  10. Jane August 9, 2016 at 4:42 pm #

    I love alpacas!! I have a scream sound that I can’t hold back whenever I see a baby alpaca. My family doesn’t understand this part of my life and I think I need to buy a plane ticket so I can live out alpaca dreams 🙂

    • Liz August 9, 2016 at 6:40 pm #

      hahahaha #twins

  11. Holli August 9, 2016 at 9:43 pm #

    What a fantastic article! I want to meet an Alpaca now too.. I’ve seen them in my own travels but never got up close. The ones you’ve depicted are adorable.

    Your passion for alpacas shines through 😀

    • Liz August 10, 2016 at 7:37 am #

      haha thanks!

  12. sophie nadeau August 9, 2016 at 11:32 pm #

    I really enjoyed reading this and the photos are just adorable!

    • Liz August 10, 2016 at 7:38 am #


  13. Sarah August 10, 2016 at 4:08 am #

    Very cute photo’s! You can never go wrong with fluff animals. I have always loved alpacas eyes. They are so big and beautiful. Thanks for posting it looks like you had a great time.

    • Liz August 10, 2016 at 7:38 am #

      they are!

  14. Brooklyn @JustBeingBrooklyn August 10, 2016 at 10:43 am #

    They are so friggen cute!!!!

    • Liz August 10, 2016 at 1:09 pm #

      so cute!

  15. Michelle August 10, 2016 at 2:48 pm #

    Aaah, so much love! I used to live in Christchurch, and actually visited Akaroa a number of times, but had absolutely no idea about this place!! Next time I’m back in NZ, I will most definitely have to visit – I adore alpacas!

    • Liz August 11, 2016 at 8:37 am #

      you have to go back!

  16. Alex Johnson August 18, 2016 at 2:21 am #

    I love this article, my mother’s favourite animal is the Alpaca. We have a farming show near our hometown and some of the exhibitors are alpaca farmers, so we always go down and see them!

    I’m going to send this to her, she’ll love it to.

    P.S Just how beautiful is New Zealand? I’ll have to add it to the travel bucket list.

    • Liz August 18, 2016 at 12:16 pm #

      put it at teh top!

  17. Lynn August 18, 2016 at 7:16 pm #

    Omg they’re so adorable! Especially the little one with the poodle hair! Ahhh I’m dying!!!

    • Liz August 19, 2016 at 10:38 am #

      hahah me too!

  18. Renee August 19, 2016 at 9:03 am #

    I just finished reading a book called, “Seriously, Mum. What’s An Alpaca?”, by Alan Parks. Great read, and kind of an eye-opening tale of raising Alpaca’s from a newbie perspective. It had a good bit of humor, and some heartbreak, as well, but I would definitely recommend it for Alpaca fans. I’ve not had the pleasure of meeting one yet, but if I will if I ever have an opportunity. Thanks for sharing your photos of these adorable animals. 🙂

    • Liz August 19, 2016 at 10:39 am #

      adding it to my wishlist haha

  19. Fran August 23, 2016 at 9:59 pm #

    We got some epic selfies with Llamas in Machu Picchu, but also got spat at which was a good laugh! Wouldn’t want to cross them again, the feisty wee things. Still super cute tho!
    Will make a detour to this farm when I’m taking my forienger partner to Akaroa, thanks for the tip!

    • Liz September 12, 2016 at 8:54 am #

      hahaha so feisty!

  20. Susanne August 27, 2016 at 6:43 am #

    I adore Alpacas, like you probably just a little too much! I visited a farm on Orkney in Scotland recently and the lovely couple that own it keep a few Alpacas and I didn’t want to leave. I got to feed them, brush the pigs and feed the goats, my idea of heaven 🙂

    • Liz September 12, 2016 at 8:57 am #


  21. Rick Stevens August 27, 2016 at 10:27 pm #

    In Australia, they put them in with the sheep to protect them from foxes

    • Liz September 12, 2016 at 8:57 am #


  22. Brittany from Boston September 2, 2016 at 11:17 am #

    Such great photos of these cuddly duds! I loved seeing alpacas when I was in Ecuador, and I’m thinking that these guys have just bumped NZ up higher on my travel to-do list!

    • Liz September 12, 2016 at 9:00 am #

      I want to see them in Ecuador!

  23. Victoria September 8, 2016 at 4:46 pm #

    These little dudes are incredibly adorable! They must also be socialized to human touch a lot more than the ones I met. I stayed and volunteered at a goat and alpaca farm a while back, and they alpacas were very against being touched. Though they liked a good hose-down on hot summer days. I’ve heard that bottle-fed alpacas can be incredibly loving, though! I can certainly guarantee you that baby goats are.

    • Liz September 12, 2016 at 9:10 am #

      baby goats!!!

  24. Clara September 8, 2016 at 5:02 pm #

    Alpacas are so cute and funny! Never knew they are used for wool also.

    • Liz September 12, 2016 at 9:10 am #

      their wool is so soft!

  25. Art Travel Eat Repeat September 10, 2016 at 4:56 am #

    This is the cutest thing I’ve seen all day.

    • Liz September 12, 2016 at 9:10 am #


  26. Sunil @ Taj Mahal tour by train  October 8, 2016 at 1:09 am #

    Awesome travel blog posts, thank you so much to giving the alpaca new Zealand.

  27. Leah November 23, 2016 at 4:30 pm #

    Alpacas make me so happy and your pictures have captured their personalities perfectly! I got to see a lot of alpacas and llamas in a recent trip to Peru 🙂

    • Liz November 24, 2016 at 8:50 am #

      they are the best

  28. Anna L Heiser December 9, 2016 at 8:58 am #

    Oh my gosh. I have been following you for a few months now and oh my gosh. This is my favorite thing. Alpacas are the best thing ever! I need to go there!

  29. Afzal Zaheer December 24, 2016 at 4:33 am #

    Hi Liz,

    Seeing those cute alpacas (‘long-necked’ with furry bodies) remind of my daughter’s teddy bear which incidentally due to scuffle between my daughters, resulted in long neck (sort of), after all of that snatching …lol

    I fancy these images just by looking and I can very well imagine your exciting state of watching them live.
    No wonder, why all the images involve alpacas


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