Alpacas, enthusiasts say, are addictive. Start with two, and you may want a herd of 250!
Breeders will come from around the country to share their love of this cuddly South American quadruped at the inaugural Glen Innes New England Alpaca Show this weekend.
130 alpacas will be on show at Yarringford Hall, Glen Innes Showground, both fluffy Huacayas and curly-haired Suris, from nearly 40 studs.
66 fleeces will be judged in a closed session on Saturday.
The public will be able to admire both the fleeces and the animals on Sunday. Entry is free.
“They’re very intelligent, and they’re used as guards, because they’ve got a naturally protective nature,” fleece show conveners Suzanne Boyle (Humminghills Alpacas) and Tam Lamson (GrayLeigh Alpacas) said.
Alpacas have been in Australia for 27 years, and breeders are trying to set up a commercial alpaca fleece industry.
“Glen Innes is fine wool country,” Suzanne said, “and it would be fantastic if we could introduce more and more alpacas into this area.”
The show, organised by the Australian Alpaca Association, has been held in previous years at Uralla, but has been brought this year to Glen Innes.
The Glen Innes New England Alpaca Show is at the Glen Innes Showground from 9am to 4pm on Sunday; entry free. Tea, coffee, and food available.