Seasoned travelers may know that many international festivals involve animals, such as the running of the bulls in Spain or the elephant round-ups in Thailand. However, if individuals are interested in venturing on an Australia & New Zealand travel adventure, they may see a more unusual type of animal event happening on the streets of Waikato.
In New Zealand every March, locals and visitors alike have to make way for some traffic that will be barreling through the town of Te Kuiti. Approximately six truckloads of sheep are let loose to frolic and dash along the main street, watched by thousands of cheering spectators who try to guess the exact number of sheep that run by, reports Scoop Independent News. The amount of sheep usually is between 1,000 and 2,000, which often makes for a thrilling and rambunctious spectacle. Whoever is correct gets to take home a cash prize at the end of the race, which lasts around an hour.
The sheep run is part of the United Water Great New Zealand Muster festival, which features many different cultural, traditional, musical and culinary offerings throughout town. Guests are encouraged to peruse the local vending stalls to pick up some unique artwork and souvenirs, or hear some live entertainment on the main stage set up outside in the square. Others interested in sheep-shearing can see demonstrations by skillful residents who later turn the wool into a variety of products.
If travelers have ever wanted to participate i a truly unique and fun local extravaganza, they should not miss this annual sheep race held in Tu Kuiti. To sweeten the deal, there are several larger cities located a short distance from the main event that can be explored after the race.
According to Lonely Planet, Hamilton is a charming place to experience with some great attractions for guests, such as the 50 hectares that encompass Hamilton Gardens. This nature reserve is full of local flora and fauna as well as several exotic species that can be admired in the herb greenhouse. Guests may also grab a bite to eat at the cafe onsite, or view the statues created by various talented artists.
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