Horse trekking Island Hills Station Hurunui Self Guided

Two day Self-Guided Private Trail Horse Trek – BYO Horse

2 nights – Cabin Stay – pack transport and accommodation

The Island Hills Station horse trail is a lovely ride through a diverse range of landscapes from open pastures to bush clad hills with breath-taking views into the towering mountain peaks of the Organ Range.

Bring your own horse and self-guide along the Island Hills, well marked, private trail. It is true station riding, with varied terrain and lots of hill work. Although there is plenty of easy wide grass track to canter through, there are also plenty of challenges including, creek crossings, rock/shingle surfaces, narrow single trail goat tracks, over hanging branches and plenty of gates to open and shut. We highly recommend that horses are shod.

This is a BYO horse self-guided private horse trail which is very well marked and easy to follow. The lodge style accommodation facilities are very unique, with fully serviced kitchen, BBQ and dining facilities, bunk beds and plenty of privacy.

What to expect
The trip starts with arrival at the Cook House (shearers quarters) accommodation the evening before starting on the trail. Your chosen booking date refers to the evening of your arrival. You can arrive any-time between 5:30pm and 9:00pm. There is float parking, sheep and cattle yards, a horse paddock and options to tape off an area to accommodate your horses overnight. Arrival to the property involves driving 9 km of gravel road and crossing a ford with your float or truck so please keep in touch with the track manager if heavy rain is likely. The ford is used regularly by stock trucks, bee keepers trucks and 4wd utes. The ford is about 1 km from the accommodation and there are options to leave floats parked there if necessary.

The overnight accommodation at the Cook House is a converted shearer’s quarters built in 1914, she has electricity, hot water, fully serviced kitchen, BBQ and dining facilities, bunk beds with pillows and fresh pillow cases provided. You must fully clear out of the cook house before you depart on the first day of riding. There is also a quirky farm museum which will provide you with a sure memory of your childhood and a glimpse into high country station life many years ago. There is no cell or internet reception on the property. The huts have VHF radios for 24 hour call in to base.

First day of riding
The ride begins at your leisure the morning after the first night’s stay, however your horse feed, tack gear, food, chilli-bins and bags containing your sleeping bag and belongings for an overnight stay will depart from the Cook House at 8:30am to arrive at the Valley Camp Hut by 10:00am. This first day covers about 18 km and has an average ride time of 5 hours.

You will arrive at the Valley Camp huts where your gear will be waiting for you. The area has a horse paddock with stream water and space to erect tape fences if required. It is recommended that you bring insect repellant for your horses and give them plenty of space to move about, as the sand flies will harass them at times.

The Valley Camp is a well equiped lodge style accommodation facility with fully serviced kitchen, BBQ and dining facilities, bunk beds and plenty of privacy. The luxury of hot showers, super comfortable beds, pillows and solar lighting makes for a neat hut experience.

Second day of riding
The second day covers about 12 km with an average ride time of 4 hours to return via some different trails back to the Cook House car park. There are options to short-cut back to the car park at any time during the ride by connecting onto the main arterial farm 4 WD tracks that run along near the trails. Most 4 WD utes and floats could operate along the main farm tracks to recover injured horses.

Dogs are welcome on the track, please check the requirements regarding dogs.

By the time you have finished this Island Hills Station trail riding adventure you will feel like you have experienced high country life and learnt a little about the history while travelling through a very beautiful part of our back country.

What to bring
Sleeping bag and all of your food and refreshments. There are full kitchen/dinning facilities available for preparing your meals. You may bring a chilli bin for your group and a back pack for each rider. Hard feed or lucerne hay for the horses (NO meadow hay). Saddle bags and/or day pack to carry extra warm clothing, gloves, beanie, wet weather gear, basic first aid, lunch food, snacks and drinks to carry while you ride. Decent footwear incase you need to walk, sun screen, cap or hat, headlamp and spare batteries, camera, bathroom towel and personal effects. Insect repellent (for sand-flies and mosquitos). Light covers, halters, lead ropes, horse feed, etc can be transported out to the back hut for you.

2 nights/3 days $270 per rider.

All prices in $NZ including GST (tax).

Island Hills Station
Based on 13 reviews
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Melissa Jessen
Melissa Jessen
08:27 21 May 21
Had an amazing guided hunting trip with Shaun, in the breath taking island hills. Shot my 1st south island red deer and... red stag. Shaun is a great guide, making you feel comfortable whether you are a beginner or seasoned hunter 👌 definitely want to go back again. A must do!read more
Kate Daellenbach
Kate Daellenbach
02:05 30 Jan 21
Beautiful place and a lovely walk. We did the two-day version, when our original tramping plans were scuttled by... shocking weather. They were able to accomodate us last minute. It still felt like a tramp - some nice little hills in there to get the heart rate up. Stunning, stunning views, some company in the form of cows (all very chilled out), and friendly informative hosts in Shaun and Hayley. Thank you Shaun and Hayley, and to the Shand family for sharing their bit of paradise. (PS. When you do this walk, plan to have a shower at the Valley Lodge!).read more
Julie Nixon
Julie Nixon
03:00 04 Jan 21
Thoroughly enjoyed our recent three day trek. Some good challenges along a well designed track that saw us enjoy... wonderful views along the way. Huts were a welcome sight at the end of each day. Great amenities and well stocked. Loved the pack cartage each day and walking with a day pack. Very well organised and Shaun makes you feel at ease out on the trail knowing there’s daily check ins at the huts and weather forecasts each night. Recommended to those wanting to visit our great outdoors and away from busy crowded more
Ray Fabish
Ray Fabish
05:34 23 Nov 20
We had a fantastic time. Shaun was professional, friendly, and faultless in the way he set us and the experience up.... The huts and showers have to be experienced to be believed. Would highly recommended to anyone who has a medium or better fitness levelread more
Christine Gabrielle
Christine Gabrielle
10:58 28 Oct 20
Highly recommend this guided trip-Kiwi value non-stop and memories forever.! You will learn things you did not know... about the NZ bush and wildlife and have such a better experience of the land!! Just carry a daypack and enjoy every minute. Super clean historic huts, toilets, showers (hot at every stop!!) Really well-organized..Plus awesome meals, wildfoods, treats and surprises-don't miss out! This one is a MUST DO even for experienced trampers-over gorgeous country with the Best Guide Ever (you can find the track yourself but you will miss half the experience without Shaun Monk with you!)--book it- you will NOT regret it. Plus if you're into hunting, teaching your kids to hunt-he is your man. Super thumbs up all around!???‍????????⛰???‍♂️read more
Dave & Lisa Anderson
Dave & Lisa Anderson
21:38 09 Oct 20
Had a wonderful trip during the school holidays with the children (aged 9 and 10). Fantastic track, great way to see... our own back yard. Beautiful native bush, birds, and wildlife. Make sure you take the time to check out the glowworms and have a go at catching some pests (the children were stoked to catch a possum). Totally more
Johannes Schulz
Johannes Schulz
09:24 28 Jun 20
Well, how to even start?This place resembles a tranquil and simultaneously wild area. Mountains, Manuka trees, rivers... - even mighty stags can be spotted. Beside the natural beauty of the Island Hills Station area, the hospitality and service of the owners leave nothing to be desired. Here I had my fist hunting experiences, extended walks through a natural paradise and a cozy resting place in the lonely huts that are provided.I can only recommend this place for anyone who seeks a close up encounter with New Zealand, its people and natural beauty, while having an andventurous blast for a more
Victoria Alexander
Victoria Alexander
04:49 23 Jun 20
What a way to rejuvenate! Island Hills truly has it all; well-equipped comfortable huts, diverse and interesting... walking options for every level of fitness and knowledgeable, enthusiastic, down-to-earth hosts. An adventure not to be more
Esther Riess
Esther Riess
01:01 22 May 20
You can truly call this place a piece of paradise! This is the first place in NZ I felt very sad to leave behind. Had... my first hunting experience and the walking tracks are something else! It’s a once in a lifetime experience. If cabins, outdoor wood heated baths under stars, mountains and hunting sound intriguing. Don’t miss out!read more
Arian Gaedke
Arian Gaedke
01:31 03 Mar 20
First hunt in New ZealandI come from Germany, hunting in Germany and New Zealand is very different. It was a great... challenge to hike and hunt in the mountains.It was very interesting to learn so many new things about nautur in New Zealand. Shaun taught me a lot of great tips for camping and survival in the bush or in the mountains.The trip was an exciting new experience for more
Haley Lloyd
Haley Lloyd
08:31 27 Nov 19
Such a beautiful place and the Bush Hut was amazing. The hosts were very down to earth and knowledgeable. A real off... grid kiwi back country more
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Island Hills, 1612 Tekoa Road, Culverden 7392

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