Brightwater Gypsy Vanners is in the beautiful Wairoa Gorge minutes from Brightwater and 30 minutes from Nelson City. Located at the top of the South Island in the heart of the sunny Tasman District, the area is a popular spot for visitors from all walks of life. It is renown for its plentiful wineries, crafts and is surrounded by some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. On top of that there are national parks all within a 30 - 45 minute drive. Nelson has the highest sunshine hours in the country with a lifestyle that is unparallel to none. Within 20 minutes of our farm we can be riding the horses on the beach with dogs and even a goat along for the walk. Pretty special I reckon!
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The farm is surrounded by native bush with the Wairoa River running right past for several hundred metres. We have 3 private swimming holes for a refreshing dip in summer, where our unfiltered drinking water comes from as well. The farm is approximately 80 acres with a combination of flat, rolling and steep land with a spectacular 20 acre grove of old native bush to wander through and explore. The top of the property lends itself well to fantastic views to the whole of the Tasman Plains and beyond. After a heavy snowfall in the winter, which never reaches the bottom of the farm, the view is amazing on a sunny day as you can see right through to the Southern Alps and their snow clad peaks. I keep promising myself that on the next ride to the top a good bottle of wine and cheese will be packed!
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We take great pride in running our farm in a sustainable, organic manner and our alternative principles applies to all walks of life including ourselves and the horses. We feel that nature can not be improved on and it is mans constant intervention and meddling that has upset the balance. Patience and time spent watching and observing these intricate workings and cycles of nature can teach you much about the horses and how they behave in a natural herd setting.
Brightwater Gypsy Vanners Farm seems like yesteryear, yet still very close to town. Most times all you can hear is the sound of the river running by and the native birds chirping away. Even the steady hum of traffic is not audible as the valley insulates us from outside noises. It truly is a place to relax and unwind while enjoying the peace and quiet of the surroundings and of course the horses! That is what you have come for and they never cease to amaze us still. We hope you enjoy the place as much as we do!
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About your Stud Owner
Brightwater Gypsy Vanners is owned by Kathy Andrus (centre in picture), a Canadian who immigrated to New Zealand back in 1986. She first came to NZ while training for the Canadian whitewater kayaking team and ended up staying permanently and has never looked back since. She spent 15 years in the Manawatu, until her heart finally took to the Tasman District which reminds her very much of her past home, beautiful British Columbia.
She started up a business quite by chance back in 1986 designing and manufacturing whitewater kayaking equipment under the name Down Under. That quickly expanded into all disciplines of kayaking and the first reusable nappy in New Zealand, called Down Undies. However it began to dominate much of her time with the 8 staff, plus the commitment that was required of running a larger business. After 15 years of building the business, she felt a calling to move to a more quiet lifestyle that kept her outdoors more often.
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On her first trip through the Tasman District she was adamant on relocating in the area. After a year of looking she purchased her dream property 10 years ago when she walked onto Brightwater Gypsy Farm for the first time. Even though it was a grey miserable day she knew the moment she stood on one of the high knolls overlooking the native bush, that this was her home to be. She has only recently moved to this stunning property and is now trying to establish her home, workshop, fencing and all other amenities that we take for granted living in the city.
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She has actively been involved in many sports besides whitewater kayaking, such as mountain biking, badminton, fastball, freestyle skiing, some at international levels. Her daughter Seymour (pictured at left with Pipi) discovered the gypsy vanner horse back in 2004 when she was surfing on the net. From then on it has been a love affair with the gypsy vanner and as they say, they are like potato chips.....you just can't have one. After five years now with a herd of horses, most think Kathy has owned horses all her life as she does her own training, feet trimming (when time allows) and breaking in of the horses. She owes much of her knowledge to Craig Doty and of course time spent watching the horses.
She firmly believes that eating the right foods and living in a chemical free environment has made all the difference in her life and is still as fit and strong as a 20 year old. Kathy has a passion for the outdoors and a very strong interest in organic principles. Her time is shared between managing 25+ beautiful horses, 3 faithful dogs, sewing kayaking equipment and the building of organic structures, whether that be mud, stone, timber or whatever medium is suitable to her needs. Even recycled tires come in handy at times and she has more than her fair share to do.
Below - Kathy with Pipi, Oscar and Teddi
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