35 years ago these 40 acres of virgin bush in the Samsonvale area - now named Mt Samson - were purchased privately by a family looking for solitude and natural beauty. 


They named the property "The Lyell" as the valley that hovers beside Mt. Lawson, Mt. Samson, and Mt. D'Aguilar reminded the owners of Lyell, a gold mining town built on a mountain side above the Buller River on the west coast of New Zealand.

There the Lyell Deer Farm was established and in 1984, 20 Red Deer were purchased. From there, the area has come to attract visitors from near and far keen to interact with the beautiful, mysterious and unique creatures in a peaceful natural setting.


In 2016 a new family took over from the previous owners, Des and Maureen Pickstone, and vowed to continue caring for the deer and providing a place for visitors to come and visit all year round.