Get ready 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 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. Not sure what your riding experience is? Watch THIS video to find out.
- 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 a 10% deposit - as part of our 10x 10% payment plan!
|December 14, 2020||December 19, 2020||3 spots left|
|January 21, 2021||January 26, 2021||Only 1 spot left!|
|February 19, 2021||February 26, 2021||9 spots left|
|March 3, 2021||March 8, 2021||Only 1 spot left!|
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
‘The Craig’s Hut ride is amazing for so many reasons. It is truly an Aussie experience, from sleeping in swags under the stars to listening to Swampy sing songs around the campfire. The scenery was absolutely amazing – like nothing you could ever experience unless on horseback, and all the different secret trails we were taken down added to the amazing experience. The staff were friendly, knowledgeable and welcoming and the horses were extremely well trained and fun to ride. I rode Ronnie, a well-behaved, friendly and responsive horse who was very comfortable and also very photogenic, which is always a plus. All of the meals were absolutely fantastic and the variety was very impressive considering we were up a mountain in the middle of the bush! My favourite day was probably the day we climbed Mt Stirling. The view from the summit and the wind whipping around you was truly an amazing feeling. The trip flew by so quickly between the breathtaking views, absolutely amazing food and wonderful company, and I cannot wait to ride with Christian, Laura and their team again.’
‘An amazing ride on brilliant horses with fantastic people who really know their stuff. The whole experience was great and I feel it is very well priced. Our guides were all extremely pleasant and fun to be with. They all had great knowledge of the area and its history. Christian and his team are just amazing cooks! I rode Questro and was more than happy with him. He was very sensible and a pleasure to ride with his free-going, long stride. We were perfectly matched. I would definitely recommend this trip!’
‘When Dean announced we were going to canter whilst walking through thick undergrowth on a narrow twisty track, we all thought, “Really? Here? Where? Well, okay, let’s go!” And then we burst out in to the open and cantered up to Craig’s Hut! A brilliant ‘Man from Snowy River’ moment!
Our guides were all brilliant. I could not recommend Christian and Laura and their crew highly enough! My horse Blackie was brilliant, too – a fabulous little Stock Horse who was super keen to pick up the pace when ever we could. All of the horses were well trained and well cared for. I was very happy with this ride.’
‘I recently went on the Craig’s Hut & High Country Ride, which has been a bucket list item of mine for many years. The ride far exceeded my expectations in the way of scenery, beautiful horses and amazingly accommodating hosts. The guides were absolutely fantastic. They all went out of their way to be accommodating for their guests. The food was absolutely amazing, and the campsite was wonderful. I highly recommend this holiday and will definitely be doing another ride via Globetrotting in the future.’
‘The Craig’s Hut & High Country Ride was my 50th birthday present to myself and I enjoyed every minute. I especially loved when we were riding up Mount Sterling and it started to snow. Reaching Craig’s Hut was a special moment, too. The guests who did the ride with me were a fantastic bunch of people. Laura and Christian Hayes and their staff were excellent, and always willing to help when needed. Lou was a fantastic cook – her meals were tasty and filling. The week went so fast! It was sad for all of us when it was time to go home. I truly recommend this ride. It’s a great experience that will get you out of your comfort zone.’
‘There is just no feeling like the mountains and high country in Victoria, but experiencing it on the back of Billy Button through my Globetrotting holiday with Christian and Laura Hayes put it completely over the top! I saw things so few people get to see, got to truly feel them and learned details that made it so meaningful. The ride through the high plains was just magical! The variety of plants, the wide open space, the greenery! I loved the bush riding too, with the ghostly gums and the winding tracks. My horse Billy was lovely, with terrific gaits and a sweet personality. The crew was a picture of friendly professionalism, with every day handled with aplomb, even the day when it hailed! Suffice it to say that this was an amazing, terrific, superlative experience with great horses, crew, fellow riders, food, and location. This is a ride I would do again!’
‘Christian and Laura and the team were amazing. They catered to our every need and provided us with beautiful and reliable horses on which to explore the most magnificent scenery. They catered to varied riding abilities and provided a compete experience. I rode Pokey, a lovely mare who didn’t put a foot wrong. My mum rode Audrey, my aunt rode Clyde and my sister rode Donna. Some of my favourite moments were being a part of the family and sharing stories around the fire, and definitely the river crossings! Thank you so much.’
‘This ride is a bucket list must. The horses were amazing and obviously well cared for, as they were in such good condition. Blacky was the bomb – I loved him to bits and still think of him. The food was as good as any restaurant meal. We couldn’t wait for each meal to see how spoilt we were. Our guides were amazing. They knew exactly what sort of rider each individual was and catered for us perfectly everyday. Their description of the countryside and the stories they told were unforgettable. I honestly couldn’t say enough about this ride, the people we met, the food, horses, guides – it was all just way beyond our expectations. Looking back, I cant believe it was so cheap. The time and effort put in by all the staff from before we arrived til after we all left was amazing. Not to mention the year-round care of the beautiful horses! We will definitely do another trip with Christian, Laura and their team.‘
‘This ride was something I had wanted to do for a long time. I had grown up loving the Man from Snowy River movies and had always wanted to see the mountains with my own eyes. I finally figured that turning 40 was as good a time as ever. With approximately three hours’ riding experience in my 40 years of life, I decided to dive in and go for it.
I am so glad that I made that decision. To spend six days up in the High Country on the back of a beautiful horse was something I will never forget. My trusty steed, Donna, looked after me from the start (even though I am sure there were times she wanted to throw me off her back). She was steady, stable and calm.
It was great to be able to share this experience with other riders from all over Australia and the world. You start out as a bunch of strangers, but by the end you know everyone’s story. It’s amazing how easy it is to get along with people when you spend all day with them with no phones, no TV and no internet. We all sat around and ate our meals together and told each other our stories of the day’s riding. It was impossible NOT to connect with everyone.
As for the staff, honestly, I could not give them enough praise. Personally, they looked after me and made sure I was okay, as I was by far the least experienced person on the ride. But outside of that, they made sure EVERYTHING was covered. The horses were very well looked after, the food was faultless, the fires were always lit, the drinks were always cold and the whole crew became a part of the experience. I honestly could not think of anything that could have been done any better. If you have ever thought about it… do it. It doesn’t matter if you have no experience like me: the team will look after you and make sure you have the time of your life.’
STORIES FROM THE SADDLE
Get ready, globetrotters, you’re in for a real treat! The wonderfully talented Erica Neumann kept a journal ...Read More