Real Country was founded by ‘Southern Girl’ Laura Douglas in 2016. Laura was born and raised on a sheep farm in Southland and after nearly a decade in the corporate world, she switched the city and stilettos for the farm and gumboots.
Growing up hunting, fishing, horse riding, and working on the family farm, Laura has a love of the land like no other. Sharing what she calls ‘the Real New Zealand’ with visitors is what Laura and Real Country is all about.
Confidence is not something you are born with, but it can be earned and Laura believes that you can earn confidence by doing unfamiliar tasks in a safe and fun environment which helps you understand that you are much more capable than you know.
Hunting Skills Workshops
Real Country hosts a variety of ladies only hunting workshops designed to improve confidence, build capability and teach women all the basics they need to hunt safely. From duck shooting workshops that teach women how to set a pond, call in ducks, shoot with a variety of different shotguns, pluck, gut, prepare and cook duck, to deer stalking workshops that teach women how to shoot a range of different rifles, how to hunt in different terrain, how to gut and cut up their animal, our workshops kick-ass and we love watching the ladies develop new skills.
Like our Facebook Page and follow the Events section to find out about upcoming workshops.
“Amazing two-hour workshop run by two extremely experienced and passionate women for women. We learnt technical aspects of shooting shotguns, ammunition types, stance, how to set up a maimai and plucking, butchering and gutting a duck. This was such an awesome experience to participate in and I can’t wait for all the future workshops” – Trip Advisor Review
“Words cannot describe the confidence I gained from the Women’s Hunting Course with Real Country. 10 ladies bonding over getting taught all the nuts and bolts of how to hunt from the ground up.No question was silly. Teachers that are so informative and supportive. The ladies were so amazing that we already want to run into the bush and give it another crack.” – Facebook Review
Farm Skills Workshops
The Southern Girl Finishing School was a passion project that was first launched by Laura in 2019 and was the original farm skills workshop. Traditional Finishing Schools taught young girls how to become ‘proper ladies’ by learning how to walk with books on their heads, how to mind their p’s and q’s and how to use the correct cutlery at a formal dinner. Laura’s finishing schools teach slightly different skills because Laura’s definition of a ‘proper lady’ is one that is practical, confident and capable and walking with books on your head isn’t very practical!
The aim of the workshop is to build confidence in young girls aged 11 to 16 by teaching them a series of practical farm skills like changing a tyre, cracking a stock whip, fencing, clay target shooting, working with horses, jump-starting a tractor and learning how to secure loads with strops and tie-downs.
The activities offered in the Southern Girl Finishing School workshop are now offered to everyone. We now run boys only farm skills workshops and ladies only farm skills workshops which are also designed to build confidence in their abilities, learn some handy new skills and have a blast while doing it!
Activities included in the 5-hour workshops are
- Working with horses
- Using strops and tie-downs
- Straining up a fence wire
- Changing a tyre
- Jump starting a flat battery
- Clay target shooting
- Stock whip cracking