- Publish Date
- Wednesday, 29 July 2015, 8:54AM
Canterbury dairy farmer Harry Meijer reckons he has the world's best commute.
The 52-year-old wakes up, dons his trademark green overalls and faded floppy hat, and zips from his house to his milking shed on his 100m flying fox. "You're never too old to have fun," said father of-four Mr Meijer.
When he and wife Clare moved to the 210-hectare dairy farm, with 750 cows, on the north bank of the Waimakariri River ten years ago, the flying fox was one of the first things they did.
It forms part of Mr Meijer's philosophy that farming should not be limited to long hours and hard graft.
"Farming, for us, isn't all about the bottom line," he said.
"I also want to enjoy what I do and make the farm environment a productive, healthy, fun place to be."
While the flying fox is not open to the public, the families of three fulltime staff members, plus other part-timers and visiting truck drivers, all use it.
There are clear safety rules around its use. Mr Meijer always lays down the law e.g. when not in use, the zip line is locked.
Mr Meijer built it himself, and was even the nominated crash test dummy.
He admits to "falling off a few times", and now doesn't oil the pulleys.
"It was a bit quick," he said.
"Rest assured, I wouldn't offer it to anyone else to use if it wasn't completely safe."
Other de-stress techniques on the Meijer farm includes hitting golf balls off the terrace, aiming for water troughs in the lush paddocks below.
In late spring, they host an annual community BBQ for the rural area's workers to get to know each other.
"I reckon the dairy farm is a great place to bring kids up," Mr Meijer said.
"And there is no reason why we can't enjoy what we're doing while we're here."
Mr Meijer is aware that Aucklanders might be jealous of his morning commute. Not that he cares.
"Good. They're welcome to it," he laughs.
"The locals will probably give me a hard time ... I shouldn't have let anybody know about this place because this is paradise."
Source- NZ Herald