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.
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 $230 per rider.
All prices in $NZ including GST (tax).