Expect to swing your leg over a plucky mountain-bred horse into a stock saddle and delve deep into the heart of the High Country.
Your guides are Christian and Laura Hayes, a husband and wife duo who are renowned for guiding first-class riding holidays in two of Australia’s most iconic landscapes: the Kimberley and the High Country.
Astride your surefooted horse and with your bush guides leading the way, you’ll scale windswept mountain escarpments, canter along wildflower-fringed tracks and weave through groves of silver-trunked snow gums. The raw and rugged beauty of this region will take your breath away at every turn.
When night falls you’ll be rolling your swag out in either rustic pioneer huts or at a secluded campsite in the middle of the bush. Evenings are spent around a smoky campfire under a dazzling, starlit sky. The luxury of a hot shower is available each night. You certainly won’t go hungry on this ride – the country cooking is flavoursome and plentiful. Some of the trademark dishes that will appear magically from the well-equipped camp trailer are chicken risotto, rump steak, self-saucing chocolate pudding (made in the camp oven) and pavlova.
Alongside Christian and Laura is a team of horse people who have bush souls and will look after your every need from start to finish. This ride is a rite of passage for every globetrotter who has dreamed of riding in the High Country.
- Horse Breed:Mountain-bred stock horses, Quarter Horses, Percheron cross and Clydie cross.
- Pace:Variable depending on the day and terrain. Guests will have the opportunity to trot and canter. Remember, this is the Victorian High Country so you’ll be riding along steep and high mountain tracks – that’s why it’s called the ‘High Country’!
- Weight Limit:Maximum of 95kg/210lbs.
- Type of tack:Australian made swinging fender stock saddles.
- Seasons:November through to March.
- Group size:A minimum of 8 guests and a maximum of 16 guests.
- Time in Saddle:On average 5 to 8 hours a day, depending on the distance needing to be travelled.
- Riding Ability:Suitable for all abilities but a good level of fitness is required to wholeheartedly enjoy this ride and safely navigate the steep terrain and high mountain tracks.
*If you are a beginner rider, you’re expected to be capable of riding your horse at a walk and posting/rising to the trot, and be willing to try cantering.
**Please also note, the 8-day itinerary in February is suitable for intermediate to advanced riders only, due to the technical nature of the terrain you will traverse. If you suffer from vertigo this is NOT the ride for you.
- Accommodation:Bush camping - swags and simple dome tents are provided, but you will need to bring your own sleeping bag and pillow (these can also be hired for $50). A hot shower and a long drop toilet will be available each night (rustic, but clean).
- Ride Length:6 day, 5 night and 8 day, 7 night itineraries available.
The price includes meals, twin share accommodation and riding.
The price does not include flights, travel insurance (compulsory), alcohol, transfers to and from Mansfield and accommodation in Mansfield.
DEPARTURE DATES & RATESNEW! Secure your saddle seat NOW with just a 10% deposit.
|November 24, 2020||November 29, 2020||6 spots left|
|December 14, 2020||December 19, 2020||15 spots left|
|January 21, 2021||January 26, 2021||13 spots left|
|February 1, 2021||February 6, 2021||16 spots left|
|February 19, 2021||February 26, 2021||14 spots left|
|March 3, 2021||March 8, 2021||8 spots left|
PLEASE NOTE: The February 8-day departure is suitable for intermediate to advanced riders only, due to the technical nature of the terrain you will traverse. Also, the country around Mount Magdala is VERY steep, so if you suffer from vertigo this is not the ride for you.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
The price includes meals, twin share accommodation and riding.
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
The price does not include flights, travel insurance (compulsory), alcohol, transfers to and from Mansfield or accommodation in Mansfield.
Accepted payment is by credit or debit card only. There is a 2% surcharge on all card payments. Click HERE to read our recommendations on which cards are best to use to avoid international transaction fees.
WHY IS THE PRICE QUOTED IN AUD?
With our riding destinations, the currency is dictated by our ride partner in that country. Therefore due to fluctuating exchange rates we have to quote in the same currency.
ItineraryExpand AllCollapse All
*Please note, this is a suggested itinerary only and subject to change at the discretion of your guides due to weather and other influencing factors. This riding itinerary can also be run either way and is dependent on a number of variables.
You’ll need to arrive and stay in Mansfield (at your own expense) tonight, so that you’re ready to mount up first thing the following morning. We recommend staying at the Mansfield Travellers Lodge. There will be a group dinner at the Delatite Hotel tonight – this will be at your own expense but is a great way to get to know your fellow globetrotters and hosts before heading out on your ride.
You’ll be riding out from Sheepyard Flat and travelling along the beautiful Howqua River. It’s here where you’ll have plenty of opportunities for cantering through the river crossings. Stop for lunch at the secluded Ritchies Hut before riding into camp for the night beside the river at Pikes Flat. This is a great opportunity to go fishing or swimming.
After a hearty breakfast you’ll climb from the River up the 16 Mile spur to Bluff Hut. It’s here where you’ll gaze at the spectacular views back across the distant mountains. Lunch will be served at the Hut followed by an exquisite afternoon ride to Lovicks Hut, where you’ll spend the night.
Today is a day of exploring and meandering through the wild flowers and snow gums over King Billy. You’ll ride to Picture Point and the old King Billy tree, both of these locations are featured in The Man from Snowy River films. Camp will again be at Lovicks Hut.
On day four you’ll climb up the other side of the mountain towards Mt Stirling. A lazy lunch will be at one of the pioneer huts before descending down the other side of Mt Stirling and into camp at Razorback Hut.
Today we ride from Razorback Hut for a day ride to the iconic Craig’s Hut, made famous by The Man from Snowy River films. You’ll gasp at the spectacular scenery and ride amongst the snow gums and wildflowers. Tonight we will be camping again at Razorback Hut.
You’ll finish your riding adventure with a ride descending the side of Mt Stirling and onto the Delatite River Trail. You will follow beautiful fern-lined soft tracks and head to Mirimbah Park for lunch, before continuing on towards home in the afternoon. The ride will finish at around 5pm today, so you’ll need to book another night’s accommodation in Mansfield (at your own expense). Dinner is NOT included tonight.
8-day itinerary notes
The longer 8-day itinerary offered in February 2021 sees you ride deeper into the High Country, over Mount Magdala, across the Howitt High Plains and into the Wonnangatta Valley for two extra days. This fully immersive experience will enable you to switch off entirely, and wholeheartedly appreciate this mountain playground of the Great Dividing Range. Get ready for gobsmacking views that flirtatiously shimmer through the snowgums and a serenity you’ll be pining for long after you’ve returned home.
For a day-to-day itinerary, please download the fact sheet at the bottom of this page.
*Don’t worry, you’ll still be riding to Craig’s Hut in this itinerary, a location made famous by the iconic Man From Snowy River films. So you’ll be able to snap the ‘money shot’ in front of the hut for social media bragging rights!
Transfers to/from Mansfield are NOT included in the ride price. The cheapest option is the V-Line bus service which runs between Melbourne and Mansfield.
You could also hire a car and drive – Globetrotting can assist with teeing you up with another globetrotter booked on the same departure date so that you can share the cost of a hire car.
We require ALL guests to arrive and stay in Mansfield (at your own expense) the night before the ride begins, so that you’re ready for collection around 9am on day one. On the last day, please book another night’s accommodation in Mansfield so that you can enjoy a full day in the saddle on the last day. You can depart anytime the following day. There are plenty of accommodation options to choose from, however we recommend the Mansfield Travellers Lodge, which provides both motel and backpacker style rooms and is in the heart of Mansfield.
What to expect in the bush camp
Each night a hot shower and a toilet will be available (rustic, but clean). The tents will be a simple mosquito dome so you can still gaze at the night sky. We will provide you with a comfortable swag (a canvas cover with a mattress inside) but you will need to bring your own sleeping bag and pillow (these can also be hired for $50).
All our meals are prepared daily from our camp kitchen trailer. Please make us aware of any dietary requirements. Breakfast: Cooked breakfast daily, this might include bacon and eggs, pancakes or French toast. Continental breakfast items will also be available as well as fresh fruit and yoghurt daily. Snacks: Throughout the day muesli bars and fresh fruit will be provided. Lunch: Our lunch menu will vary; cold meats and salads, Australian BBQ, Ploughman’s lunch and antipasto items. We also provide cakes and biscuits to accompany your billy tea or plunged coffee. Dinner: Each meal will be prepared daily and will vary but items may include a Kimberley Steak and camp oven veggies, camp oven roast, Moroccan meat balls, pasta dish or a vegetable stir-fry. After each meal sweets and tea and coffee will also be available.
Alcohol isn’t included in the ride price. You will need to purchase any alcohol you might want in Mansfield before heading out on your ride (please use cans where possible, wine bottles are fine). Your guides will keep it chilled in an esky for you.
What our valued Globetrotters say about the Craig's Hut & High Country Ride
‘I just had the most wonderful time on the Craig’s Hut ride, with wonderful horses and great company! Every day was heaven; the horses were well matched with the riders, the guides and support crew were friendly, helpful and knowledgeable, and our group of riders were friendly and supportive.
I was impressed with the food (especially the sweets!), and I will never forget Woody, my wonderful mount for the week – he was very gentle and lovable, and I always felt safe on him. Each day just got better and better, but the day we got to ‘muster’ the cattle was my favourite – that’s when I felt that Woody and I really meshed.
Truly a memorable experience.’
‘The first word out of my mouth is ‘amazing!’ when friends ask about this trip. The owners, guides and staff were very friendly and super helpful. Nothing was ever too much trouble. The staff had the best sense of humour and there were lots of laughs. I rode a beautiful big mare called Audrey. She was quiet, honest and reliable and really looked after me. I loved the way she would stride out and be at the front. Our meals were absolutely amazing and delicious – we didn’t go hungry. Although I have visited the area before by vehicle, it was a completely different perspective on horseback. It was challenging at times; I had one afternoon off to recover and was well looked after. The horses were just beautiful. Well looked after and spoilt, they were a great herd. I definitely recommend this ride and would consider doing it again.’
‘Four days have passed since I did a trek to Craig’s Hut. Still Buzzing. Loved the campfires at night, sleeping in the rustic huts or in a swag, riding the sometimes stony, steep mountain tracks of Mt Stirling and surrounds, and trotting or cantering along the many trails we explored, picking the odd blackberry or raspberry. Awesome scenery – and I come from New Zealand, so I know awesome scenery. Billy, my steed, was gentle, yet with the right amount of pep when needed. I hadn’t ridden for about 20 years, and we were matched beautifully. I met some gorgeous people, guests as well as guides, and had a great night listening to Banjo Paterson poems being read and sung. Swampy’s ballads were great and the trip was everything I’d hoped for as a tribute to my dad – my ‘Man from Snowy River’.
Oh, and the food that was produced out of the back of that trailer – fantastic. I’d ride again just for that!’
‘This trip to the High Country of Victoria was the highlight of my year. It was a beautiful six days out in some of the most picturesque Aussie landscapes. I loved every part of it; from riding to the summit of Mount Stirling, to hearty meals around the fire each night, to seeing Craig’s Hut and cantering across Sheepyard Flat. I rode Prancer, one of Christian and Laura’s home-bred horses, and she was amazing. Surefooted, comfortable trot and canter, intuitive and so responsive. We made a great team and I didn’t want to say goodbye! Laura and Christian, their incredible team and their beautiful horses made this a trip to remember.’
‘My son and I took some time looking at differing rides and ride providers before settling on the Craig’s Hut Ride with Globetrotting and we weren’t disappointed. The ride, the terrain and the views were both spectacular and challenging, and as promised, we saw all four seasons in one day when we hit the High Country. The guides, crew and horses were fantastic and all looked after us well. All our guides were knowledgeable horse people and attentive to the needs of the group. Their local knowledge and narrative throughout the ride kept everyone informed, and in good humour. The ride was also split into two sub-groups depending on riding ability, thereby further enhancing and tailoring the experience to the needs and abilities of those participating.
The staff at Globetrotting made sure we had all the right information to enable us to properly prepare and couldn’t have been more helpful responding to any queries we had. All in all, a great trip, and for a must for any intrepid horse rider (especially if you’re a fan of the Man from Snowy River film).’
‘Myself and two good friends all went on the Craig’s Hut & High Country Ride with Christian and Laura Hayes. It was the most amazing experience and definitely did not disappoint on a lifelong dream! The staff are amazing and do everything to accommodate your every need. You couldn’t ask for better people to take you on a ride through the Victorian High Country! They know the ins and outs of the tracks, weather, huts, and stories that go with every stop along the way. The horses were matched to the riders almost perfectly, the tack was comfortable, and the meals… OMG! Robin and Christian cook you the most beautiful meals with all the flavour in the world. If you have even an inkling of trying this ride out… DO IT! We had the best experience and will be going back for another round… can’t wait!’
‘This trip was on the bucket list for a long time and now I have finally got to do it. It was the trip of a lifetime and passed expectations. Laura, Christian and all the staff do a wonderful job caring and catering for everyone in a happy friendly manner. The horses are well educated, a pleasure to ride and very well looked after.
No two days were the same and the scenery was spectacular. I meet some lovely interesting people from all walks of life and the meals were excellent. I would recommend this ride to anyone, you won’t be disappointed.’
‘Riding the Victorian High Country has always been a bucket list item for me and this ride far exceeded my expectations. The horses, gear, food and hosts were all amazing.’
‘Amazing! Breathtaking views! Great food! Wonderful guides and support crew! Fantastic horses! My horse Arrow – how could I not be happy riding “the bentley”? Cannot fault Laura and Christian’s rides!’