Have you ever dreamed of cantering along a wild, white-sand beach, or riding a high country ridge with views forever?
New Zealand has horse trekking operations in almost every corner of the country. Ask your nearest Visitor Information Centre for the pamphlet ‘Where to Ride in New Zealand’, produced by the International League for the Protection of Horses.
Commercial operators usually have a selection of horses and ponies to suit all ages and riding abilities. Treks are available in a great variety of picturesque landscapes. Often they traverse typical Kiwi working farms and high country stations. Sometimes they are centred on native rainforest areas or broad surf beaches and sand dunes.
Horse treks can be any duration you desire from one hour jaunts to all-day adventure rides and even 12 day riding and camping expeditions. The longest and highest rides are in the South Island in areas like the West Coast, Kaikoura, Mt Cook, Queenstown and Dunedin. In the North Island there are numerous options for wilderness trekking in places like Pakiri Beach and South Kaipara near Auckland, as well as Coromandel, Waitomo and Taupo.
Canterbury and Central Otago are renowned for their long, arduous backcountry saddle expeditions. This involves riding purpose-bred horses along high ridges of golden brown tussock surrounded by spectacular snow-capped mountains. Each day you load up a team of packhorses and shift camp, following pack tracks made by the early pioneers.
Check out the riding opportunities as you travel around the country. You’ll enjoy the vistas from high country stations and the exhilarating feel of the wind in your face as you canter across a broad green meadow.