Gray's Hills Station - MacKenzie, New Zealand

The Urquhart Motto: “Mean Well, Speak Well, Do Well”

(trans. from the Scottish: Meane Weil, Speak Weil and Doe Weil)

LogoGrays Hills Station is located right in the heart of the Mackenzie Basin, 350-960 metres above sea level. It is a vast and spacious land known as ‘big sky’ country, with open sweeping views across the tussock, matted Mackenzie to the snow capped Southern Alps in the west.

The name ‘Grays Hills’ combines the name of the first station manager, William A Gray, with the dominant characteristic of the station’s land: hills that descend from a peak of 942 metres, cascading into an array of slopes and gullies.

The station was established in 1858 and has been owned and managed by the Urquhart family for the past 60 years (link to Urquhart Family History page). The current owner, Mark Urquhart, is a high country farmer through and through. Many station owners today chose to put farm managers in place. But for Mark Urquhart and his wife, Sherie, living and working on Grays Hills Station is a total way of life, one they enjoy and feel passionate about.


Urquhart Family History

The Urquhart family came from the Lock Ness area in the Highlands of Scotland; they have always been farmers.

The area around Lock Ness consists of hilly or marginal land, with sheep farming predominating.

The ruin of Urquhart Castle, one of the most romantic and famous sites in Scotland, still stands on the edge of Lock Ness.


Grays Hills Station History

Grays Hills Station was established in 1858 by George Gould (a Christchurch financier). Mr Gould took out a licence for ‘Run 237’, which comprised 30,000 acres.

The run was occupied by William A Gray, the son of a curate of Castle Carey, Somerset, England. The run boundaries were Haldon on the South, Grampian on the east, and Sawdon on the north. The western boundary was the Tekapo River. Gray did not stay long and at his leaving, control of the station handed over to John Hayhurst, with John Burgess as manager.



Stud Principals: Sherie & Mark Urquhart
Gray’s Hills Station, New Zealand

Established: 1962 from Flock 116 (est 1938)
Stud Classer: A D Paterson
Ewe Numbers: 550 MA ewes, 100 2ths
Sale Method: Private. End Feb/Mar


Area: 22,000 hectares 
Rainfall: 400mm<
Stock Numbers: 6,200 ewes, 4,500 MA wethers, 1,000 wether hoggets, 2,000 ewe hoggets, 300 Angus cows, 50 replacement heifers


Runs 5500 commercial ewes under dryland conditions. 1200 are mated to terminal sires (Suffolk & Border Leicester). 3000 replacement hoggets and 4500 MA wethers are run on areas less suitable for lambing. Lucerne hay and grain are fed for long cold winters.

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