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Ever met an alpaca? If a poll was taken for the cutest, cuddliest, most child-friendly fun animal, these boys would be topping it.
Domesticated two thousand years ago in South America, they were introduced to this island for their fleece and to help look after and protect sheep when lambing. They’re gentle, inquisitive creatures and each has their own very distinct personality. Add great big eyes and a general furry adorableness and you really couldn’t hope for a better companion.
Don’t rush them: they’ll come to you. They’ll bat their eyelashes, they’ll tilt their heads, they’ll give you a sniff and then you’re friends. They tend to hum to each other. They might be humming about you. (The sound is a bit like a lamb bleating.)
If you’ve got kids aged 7 years and under we recommend that you take a walk with the alpacas in our large field. It’s beautifully located, this field - the views of Carlingford Lough and the Mourne Mountains are amazing. Here the younger kids can get a chance to take the reins of their own alpaca. At the end of the walk, it’s feeding time, with an opportunity to meet and mingle with the rest of the gang.
Alternatively, come with us on a coastal alpaca trek. There’s more majestic views as you meet your alpaca and take him for a...well, it’s more of a leisurely stroll, actually. Walk along country lanes and down to the beach. Breathe in that fresh salty air. Feel the stress evaporate in the company of a beautiful animal. This is mindfulness that’s got its fur on.
You’ll learn a little about the history of the area too from Viking invasions to an American World War Two bomber base. On your return there’s time to meet and feed the rest of the gang. There’s plenty of great photo opportunities along the way of course: Alpacas are very selfie-friendly. And they love starring in Tik Tok videos!
Winner of Best Tourism Experience (Small) at Tourism Northern Ireland's Giant Spirit Awards 2022.