The Farm at Tikana
Located in Southland, New Zealand, Tikana is a 100 acre farm which covers a fertile valley complete with stream through the middle and up to rolling hills at the top.
When staying at The Lodge at Tikana, you are welcome to walk down the farm, see our farm stock and get some light exercise. The panoramic view from the top of the farm is magnificent – apart from vestiges of the native forest that covered the farm a century ago you can see for miles over the farmland of the Southland plains to Stewart Island or the snow–capped mountains toward Fiordland or back over the Hokonui Hills. You will see limestone outcrops which harbour numerous fossil shells testament to the region's origins 20 million years ago.
The Lodge at Tikana is part of a working New Zealand farm so there are lots of activities unique to the New Zealand rural lifestyle. A few sheep, horses and pigs graze the pastures but our primary focus is the elite Wapiti deer stud that Tikana is home to.
Deer are the last animal to be domesticated by man for centuries. New Zealand has the largest numbers of farmed deer in the world and this has only occurred in the last 30 years. The challenges associated with this have been fascinating as are the unique patterns of animal behaviour they exhibit – you can observe this yourself through the windows at the lodge.
Deer are farmed for venison and velvet. Farmed venison is a very healthy red meat being naturally low in fat and high in iron. Couple this with its ease and quickness to cook makes this mild tasting product ideal in our modern world. Velvet is an amazing tissue which grows each year on stags and has been used for centuries in Oriental medicine to aid human well being.
Here at Tikana, we are passionate about our deer and have enjoyed the challenge of learning how best to manage them and improve their performance. We hold an auction at Tikana each year where farmers from throughout New Zealand purchase sires for their herds. In recent years we have enjoyed considerable success with Tikana stock achieving National Velvet Competition titles.
The farming calendar means things are always changing – the “bugle” of the wapiti echoing around the valley at mating time in Autumn, to velvet growing in Spring, to newborn fawns over Summer.