Two decades on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten, couldn’t quell Frank and Anya Walkington’s thirst for adventure. New Zealand beckoned after a brief holiday, and 24 acres near Auckland became their canvas.
Instead of cows, they bet on alpacas – charismatic creatures known for their gentle nature and those enchanting eyes. This leap into alpaca territory led to an intriguing journey into genetics and fleece, firmly tying them to the NZ Alpaca Association.
Then came 2011, and the couple relocated to French Farm, Banks Peninsula, just an hour from Christchurch. With a background in the cruise ship industry, they spotted an opening to introduce their majestic alpacas to global tourists. Leveraging the alpacas’ fleece, Anya collaborated with local knitters, birthing Shamarra Alpaca Farm Tours & Shop – a venture offering exclusive alpaca knitwear and farm tours, complete with up-close encounters with these lovable creatures.
As tourist numbers surged, the shop evolved to meet commercial demands. Today, they process a staggering three tonnes of alpaca fleece biennially, sourced exclusively from New Zealand and Australia. Their obsession with genetics and breeding ensures premium, low-micron alpaca fleece, resulting in irresistibly soft, luxurious products.
Their passion for genetics doesn’t end there; it’s the lifeblood of their operation. With over 160 alpacas, Shamarra exports progeny across Europe, the UK, and Australia, earning them accolades at A&P Shows throughout New Zealand. Their story is a testament to an unwavering love for alpacas and an unyielding commitment to excellence.
I Chen – farm manager
Hi my name is I Chen, originally from Taiwan and now living my best Akaroa life!
I have been working with different animals for few years, but my love for alpacas started around 5 years ago when I first came to New Zealand. These adorable fuzzy guys have quickly become my favorite animal to work with.
I know each of the Shamarra Alpaca residents inside and out, and am always ecstatic to help you see their varying personalities and tell you myriad stories about these fun creatures on the farm. Soon enough you’ll be just as much in love with alpacas as I am!
Hi, I’m Ching-Ni but you can call me Jenny. I’m head over heels for alpacas, the proud mum to Kai, and happily married to I Chen.
Not only do I get to enjoy the company of these gentle creatures every day, but I also have the privilege of being an alpaca farm tour guide. It’s not just a job, it’s my passion. Come experience the magic with me!
Hello I’m Jade. I am a free spirit originally from England, after years of traveling I am excited to call New Zealand home.
I am happiest spending time in nature, especially being around animals and wildlife.
As the newest member of the Shamarra farm I am loving getting to know the unique personalities of the Alpacas and learning from the team that care so much for them.
I will never forget my first visit to the farm as a backpacker and it’s a privilege to be sharing the joy these beautiful animals bring to visitors everyday.