It’s Queenstown, but not as ewe know it

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Hoofed interlopers sparked road rage in central Queenstown today.

Thousands of onlookers flocked to barriers to watch the spectacle of hundreds of merino sheep herded through closed CBD streets.

Dubbed the Running of the Wools, the event launches the inaugural Hilux New Zealand Rural Games taking place this weekend.

But it was less a stampede than an obstinate wander – sometimes in the wrong direction.

Dogs, shepherds and red-shirted officials tried to coax the reluctant sheep down the route from Athol Street’s car park, along Ballarat, Camp and Beach Streets to Earnslaw Park.

On Camp St, whistles were peeped and dogs yapped, nipped and climbed onto the backs of their stubborn woolly adversaries.

One spectator urged former All Black Jeff Wilson – who will MC the event – to jump in with his sprigs on.

The crowd cheered when good sense prevailed and the herd bolted for Beach St.

All that’s left now is for fire volunteers to clean up the resultant muck.