Animal Farm & Nature Highlights virtual tour

A virtual trip to a lifestyle farm in New Zealand with a pop quiz element will make for a fun and immersive remote teambuilding activity.

With the shift to remote work and social distancing, virtual tours present a fresh way for corporate teams to bond with each other in a fun and immersive way. A virtual sojourn to a lifestyle farm in New Zealand run by Singaporean banker-turned-farmer Arthur Chin is part of Singapore-based agency Monster Day Tours’ latest virtual tour line-up.

Nestled in the city of Palmerston North, a two-hour drive from the capital city of Wellington is the postcard-perfect, unspoiled oasis that is New Zealand Nature Highlights. Founder Chin started hosting virtual tours since the pandemic last year to introduce his farm to the world amid global lockdowns.

During the online experience, live-streamed via Zoom, we got up close to the farm animals – sheep and lambs, kunekune pigs, and red shaver chickens – learnt about the back-breaking work that goes into running the 25ha property, and found out how Chin plays cupid for his ewe lambs during breeding season.

Tourism practitioners and corporate groups may be keen to take a leaf out of Chin’s sustainability playbook. Green practices he adopts on the farm include rainwater harvesting, and the utilisation of a septic system that compost waste into fertiliser.

Perhaps the most surprising takeaway from the virtual tour was learning how Chin employs technology to achieve economies of scale in his one-man operation, such as the usage of RFID tags for sheep tracking and a drone deployment strategy for farm surveyance.

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Corporate groups can contact Monster Day Tours to book a private session for a unique teambuilding activity. Employees can even be split into teams and engage in a little friendly competition with pop quizzes, where participants are tested on what was shared by Chin, with attractive prizes to be won.

Participants can also interact with each other or the hosts via the chat feature, or use the reaction function to give a virtual clap or a thumbs-up. For private tours, there is a minimum requirement of 20 participants, and prizes can be customised.

Several opportunities were made available to pose questions to Chin, who expertly fielded all queries. This was made possible via the chat feature which was closely monitored by a co-host, who promptly conveyed all queries to Chin.

Instructions given were clear and easy to follow, and a series of quick facts highlighting key information shared by Chin were also regurgitated in the chatbox, helpful for those who missed them.

Overall, the virtual farm escapade will make for a welcome respite for remote teams who are looking to escape to greener pastures, literally, amid ongoing travel restrictions.

Rate: S$20 (US$15) per person

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