Experience true station riding
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 recommend that horse are shod.
2 days, 2 nights
This is a bring-your-own-horse self-guided private horse trekking 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.
Evening arrival at Island Hills
The trip starts the evening before starting on the trail with arrival at the Cook House accommodation (converted shearer’s quarters built in 1914). Your chosen booking date refers to the evening of your arrival.
You may arrive any-time between 5:30pm and 9pm. Please note, you must fully clear out of the Cook House before departure on the first day of riding.
There is electricity, hot water, a fully serviced kitchen, oven, microwave, BBQ and dining facilities, bunk beds with pillows and fresh pillow cases provided. You must bring your own sleeping bag.
There is no cell or internet reception on the property. All accommodation has VHF radios for 24 hour call in to base.
There is float parking, sheep and cattle yards, a horse paddock and options to tape off an area to accommodate your horses overnight.
The farm museum provides you with a sure memory of your childhood and a glimpse into high country station life many years ago.
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 gravel based 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.
Ride to Valley Camp
18km, 5 hours (approx)
Your horse trek begins at your leisure the morning after the first night’s stay. This first day covers about 18 km and has an average ride time of 5 hours.
Your horse feed, tack gear, food, chilli-bins and bags containing your sleeping bag and belongings for an overnight stay need to be ready for transport to the next accommodation by 8:30am. The track operator will meet you at this time to welcome you and conduct a safety briefing.
The Valley Camp Hut was built for pest control and mustering and now gives you the chance to spend your second evening in the heart of the high country.
You will arrive at the Valley Camp where your gear will be waiting for you. The Valley Camp is a large, well-equiped open plan lodge with fully equipped kitchen, gas cook tops, BBQ, a small gas fridge/freezer for perishable items and dining facilities. There are comfortable bunk beds pillows and interior curtains for added privacy. The luxury of a hot shower and solar-powered lighting. It makes for a neat hut experience.
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.
Have your packs ready for transport by 9:30am. You can expect your packs to arrive back to the Cookhouse by 1pm.
Ride back to Cook House
12km, 4 hours (approx)
The second day of riding 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 4WD tracks that run along near the trails. Most 4WD utes and floats could operate along the main farm tracks to recover injured horses.
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.
Dogs are welcome on the track, but they must meet stringent criteria and controls so as not to upset other track and hut users, or disturb farm animals and wild life. Permission to bring a dog must be pre-organised with the track ranger at least one week prior to arrival at the property.
What to bring
We provide gear transfers to your accommodation and back to the start on your final day. We are limited to one pack of 20kg or less per person and one chilli-bin per group. You need to bring all of your food, but there is no need to bring any cooking or dining equipment.
- Sleeping bag
- All your food and refreshments
- 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, in case you need to walk
- Insect repellent
- Cap or hat
- Headlamp (with good, fully charged batteries)
- Personal effects
- Medical treatments. For example, there are beehives present on the farm. Any riders with bee sting allergies should carry appropriate medications
- Towel, soap and toiletries
- Light covers, halters, lead ropes, horse feed etc can be transported out to the back hut for you
Pack and/or gear transport is included, but limited to 1 pack of 20 kg or less per person and 1 chilli-bin per group. We take the utmost care with your belongings, however you need to pack breakables well and liquids in sealed containers as the access roads are bumpy and items will move about.
You can expect your gear to be at the accommodation facilities before noon, gear arrives back to the Cook House car parking area at approximately 1pm on your last day.
You may be required to carry your pack/gear a small distance in some extreme and rare circumstances such as an evacuation due to flooding or other acts of nature.
Throughout the season there will be some cold, rainy and some extremely hot conditions so please ensure you and your group are prepared for all weather, as conditions may be very changeable.
We provide a pack/gear carrying service so you will only need to carry what you need during the ride.
There are UHF radios in the isolated huts, follow the instructions to connect directly to the track ranger.
If a person in the group becomes ill or injured to the point where they can no longer ride, please administer first aid and make sure the casualty is warm and comfortable, take note of the location of the patient on the track using the provided map zones, note the type of injury/illness and any medical history, leave at least one caregiver with the casualty and go to the closest hut to radio the information through to the track ranger.
The track ranger will take over the response from here.
There are honey bee hives present on the farm for most of the horse trekking season, if anyone in your group have bee sting allergies please carry appropriate medication to treat.
- If you’re sick or unwell, stay at home.
- If you have cold or flu symptoms, call your doctor or Healthline and follow their testing advice.
The Island Hills Station Track may have very cold conditions at any time, so be prepared.
Check the weather forecast before you leave so you know what to expect during your walk.
If there is extreme weather causing flooding, the Island Hills Station Track may have to be evacuated.
Food and Water
YOU ONLY NEED TO BRING YOUR FOOD
All kitchens are fully equipped with: gas cooker, fridge, cutlery, plates, pots, pans, coffee plungers, tea towels, items for washing up and lots more. The Cook House on the first night also has an oven. There is also a BBQ at each night’s accommodation.
We recommend that you bring food that does not perish quickly or leak en-route.
It is necessary to carry some water. There is clean drinking water at each hut and some places along the track for refilling your drink bottle, however we advise that only hut supplies are tested.
Regular testing is not carried out. If you wish to treat water, either boil it for five minutes, filter or chemically treat it.
Horse Trekking Availability and Prices
View available start dates on the calendar, select the number of riders in your party, when you spot a date that works, click Book Now.
The trekking season runs from the second week in October through to mid-March. The booking date refers to the evening of arrival prior to the first day of horse trekking.
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Island Hills, 1612 Tekoa Road, Culverden 7392