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 sure-footed horse and with your bush guides leading the way, you’ll scale wind-swept 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 camp site in the middle of the bush. Evenings are spent around a smoky camp fire 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 14 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.
- Accommodation:Depending on your itinerary you’ll be switching between bush camping and staying in rustic pioneer huts. Both swags and tents are provided.
- Ride Length:6 days, 5 nights.
- Inclusions:The price includes meals, twin share accommodation and riding.
- Exclusions:The price does not include flights, travel insurance (compulsory), alcohol, or transfers to and from Mansfield.
DEPARTURE DATES & RATES
|26th Nov 2019||1st Dec 2019||SOLD OUT!|
|13th Dec 2019||18th Dec 2019||SOLD OUT!|
|3rd Mar 2020||8th Mar 2020||SOLD OUT!|
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.
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.
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.
Your hosts, Christian & Laura Hayes, can also offer a transfer service to/from Melbourne Airport to Mansfield for $300 AUD per person round trip the day before and after the ride begins/ends (specific flight arrival and departure times are required to connect with this).
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 day six, 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.
‘A great Australian adventure. Wonderful horses and lovely people in an iconic environment. Everyone was knowledgeable, entertaining and fun. The food was fresh, varied and excellent, and catered well to all guests’ needs. I particularly liked the billy tea! I rode Prancer and she was lovely: willing and able to go, and very well behaved. Everyone in our group was very happy and well matched to their horse. We are already planning our next adventure!’
‘I had the most amazing ride to Craig’s Hut in the Victorian High Country. The scenery and views were absolutely spectacular and our hosts Christian and Laura were fantastic. A huge thanks to all the staff Gwen, Lou, Sarah, Ray and Dean – they were the ones who made it happen for us every day, so thank you all very much, you did a fantastic job. And a huge thank you to all the guests on the ride – you were all lovely and made the trip most memorable and enjoyable.’
‘Every day on our ride was amazing and it is hard to think that any one day was better than another. Our hosts Christian and Laura are exceptional operators and we felt really comfortable with our guides. Their knowledge of the country and history was great and we loved listening to their stories of the High Country. All of our guides were attentive and always looking out for the riders’ safety and comfort. Their sense of fun and humour was second to none. There was heaps of banter, songs around the campfire and just plain good fun.
This was the first holiday that my husband and I have had alone together ever. It is hard to get him off our farm and away doing something we both enjoy. This ride was perfect. He is still showing people photos whether they want to see them or not. We are still struggling to get back to our ‘normal life’, and are most definitely planning to join the Kimberley Ride next year and are also looking at more rides the year after.’
‘The Victorian High Country on horseback has been on my bucket list for as long as I have lived in Australia (30 years). It was everything that I had hoped it would be and more. I am so pleased that I got to do this with such a professional outfit and I’m already planning my next trip with Christian, Laura and their team because I know I can trust and depend on them. They really care. Not just about the horses, but our experience too – they are very genuine and authentic and that makes the whole time you’re with them even more special. There were times when the sheer joy and beauty of the trip brought a lump to my throat – I didn’t want my 7 days to end.’
‘The Hidden Trails team work so incredibly hard for their guests. They never ceased to support the multitude of requests from sunrise (billy tea or coffee) to sunset (hot showers!).’
“Best value for money holiday we’ve ever had!”
“The crew on our ride were fantastic and always available to assist when needed!”
“Every day was amazing and the visual memories will stay forever!”
“WOW – what an amazing adventure!”