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Lake Hawea and Hunter River ride, New Zealand

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Category: New Zealand South Island
  • horse riding holiday new zealand
  • horse riding holiday new zealand
  • horse riding holiday new zealand
  • horse riding holiday new zealand
  • horse riding holiday new zealand
  • horse riding holiday new zealand


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This is the perfect itinerary for those that have limited time but still want to go deep within the South Island’s High Country from the back of a mountain-bred horse. This five day itinerary starts at Hunter Valley Station, which is a iconic South Island property that fringes Lake Hawea, and ends at Dingleburn Station also on Lake Hawea. Both High Country Stations aren’t open to the public, and there lies the unique privilege of viewing this remote, end-of-the-world farming country by the best mode of transport possible – the horse!

It’s thanks to your guide and host John Wall who has been trailing across this country for decades that he’s pinpointed the very best riding country in the South Island, arguably New Zealand. Your head will literally spin at the achingly beautiful landscapes that you’ll traverse from native beech forests, expansive valleys that are shadowed by snow-capped mountains and river crossings that are translucent and inviting. What we also love about this 5 night, 5 day itinerary is the freedom to trot and canter on a daily basis as you don’t have a team of pack horses with you. You’ll literally feel a million miles away from the civilised world in pristine, wild country with just you, your horse and fellow riders.


time in saddle: on average between 6 to 7 hours a day

breed of horses: Station-bred stock horses that have all been home-bred and educated by John Wall and his son Hamish.

pace: due to the steep terrain and mountainous landscape, the majority of the ride will be completed at a walking pace.

riding ability: suitable for intermediate to experienced riders

weight limit: 110kgs *please contact us if you’re above this weight.

accommodation: Guests will stay in a range of shearer’s quarters with hot showers, flushing toilet and bunk bed rooms to a musterer’s hut with long-drop (clean) toilet and solar hot shower. The last night of the itinerary guests will stay at the Hawea Lodge on the bank of Lake Hawea with fresh linen, hot showers and flushing toilets.

seasons: December to April

group size: Minimum of six guests and a maximum of ten guests.

ride length: five days, five nights

2018 departure dates:

March 30 to April 4 *Easter holidays – SEVEN globetrotters booked, SOLD OUT

2018 ride prices:

$3,624 NZD per person, based on twin-share on day five.

*Single supplement is available on a request for an extra charge on day five.

*This price includes transfers to and from Queenstown airport or accommodation.

*Price includes wine at dinner.


Accepted payment is by credit card only. There is a 2% surcharge on all credit card payments. Since you’ll be paying in a foreign currency, in this case NZD, we believe paying via credit card is the most cost effective and easiest option for you.

Why is the price quoted in NZ dollars?

With our overseas riding destinations (rides other than in Australia), the currency is dictated by our partner in that country which in this case is New Zealand. Therefore due to fluctuating exchange rates we have to quote in the same currency.


We recommend flying into Queenstown the day before the ride begins, so you’re ready for a pick-up from your hotel on day 1 of your ride. On day 6, please book your return flights after 4pm, so there is no rush. Please remember transfers are only included on day 1 and day 6.


Discover more about the wonderful gentleman who will be your guide for this trip here. Yes, we are talking about the brilliant John Wall.

Fancy taking a spin with John on some other rides he guides through the South Island? Check out the beautiful Twin Lakes Pack Trail and Musters Mountain Pack Trail.

Flying in and out of Queenstown? Check out our blog post here about the best way to spend your day in this beautiful city.

To gain a true appreciation of the blow-your-socks-off landscape that you’ll encounter on this horse riding holiday, you MUST watch this video.

Desiree Charlesworth

"The ride was fantastic, with scenery that is just jaw-droppingly amazing - ancient glacial flows now winding riverbeds with crystal clear water, steep hills/mountains with waterfalls cascading and natural NZ bush, add in a few gorgeous Hereford cows - just so beautiful!"

Lake Hawea & Hunter River Ride

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