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. 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. 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.
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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, after which you are free to depart.
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, the ride will finish after lunch at around 2pm, after which you are free to depart.
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.
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
‘Five star horses, food and outfit. Great riding through some iconic Australian country. I rode Packer. She was soft and responsive with a bit of go, and clearly loved her job. All the horses were calm, sensible and solid. The guides and crew were great – hardworking, friendly, competent and nothing was too much trouble. Decisions made to adjust the itinerary meant we didn’t get wet once, or caught up in storms. Very well done! Riding through the fern covered logging track, cantering up to Craig’s Hut and swimming in the river at the end of a hot day were my highlights. A thoroughly enjoyable holiday!’
‘It was the best! Truly challenging; gobsmacking; world class.
I came back fitter and wanting to get up early to do good things in my day.
It was the routine and physicality that got my body and mind cracking and inspired when I got back home.’
‘Since growing up reading the Silver Brumby books, I have always wanted to travel to the alpine areas of South Eastern Australia just to be in the type of country where the Silver Brumby roamed. To be riding in the mountains made it all so real. The feeling of being in the snow gums and looking out across the endless mountains was just terrific. Our guides had many interesting tidbits of information for us, my horse, Arrow, was keen and surefooted and the weather was just perfect. All of this made for an amazing experience.’
‘I recently returned from the Craig’s Hut & High Country Ride for a second time. We had mostly sunny days and the scenery was just magic. I rode Penty, a sweet girl who was very easy to ride. The guides, support crew and staff were very caring and nothing was ever too much trouble. They made the trip the best ever! The group of guests were various ages and professions, and such great fun to ride with. My most special memories for this trip were our Man from Snowy River experiences at Craig’s Hut and Mt Stirling. If you are thinking of doing this ride, then do it! You will be well looked after and have the most amazing experience. The staff, crew and horses are just beautiful, the food is amazing and the camping is so easy. These are memories that will last a lifetime.’
‘What a dream this ride was! I loved every minute and the horses were amazing. I rode Packer, who was a delight. The guides were friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. We had 14 solo female travellers and a mother-daughter pair, and we all couldn’t have felt more safe, comfortable and – by the end of the week – bonded! I would definitely recommend this ride!’
‘Where do I start?! This was my fourth ride with Christian and Laura, and my third with Globetrotting. Every ride so far has been amazing! The horses are always a pleasure to ride, the food and camp locations are great, and the guides – what can I say? Laura, Christian and their gang are a great bunch of people, always up for a chat and a beer (once the work is done). I rode gorgeous little Snowgum, who was super sweet and an absolute pleasure to ride. I will definitely be back again!’
‘I’ve always dreamed of riding in the High Country and this holiday did not disappoint. The whole experience was wonderful from start to finish, with river crossings, mountain climbs, long canters, amazing scenery, and five star service all the way. The staff were all amazing in every respect: extensive knowledge of the area, lovely, friendly and informative. All the meals were generous and delicious. I rode a Paint mare called Mouse, who was very surefooted, free-moving, light, responsive and pretty. The only down side was having to say goodbye to her!’
‘Turning 60 and having my daughter with me made this ride a very special time that I will never forget. Thank you, Kate and Laura, for your excellence in managing our horse holiday of a lifetime. The comprehensive information provided on your website is a credit to you. I love your enthusiasm and encouragement, always reminding us that we shouldn’t wait to book these extraordinary rides. Covid threw a spanner in a lot people’s lives but you kept me confident to look forward and believe! My special time on the Craig’s Hut ride has ignited my enthusiasm and I trust Globetrotting to find the next perfect ride for me.’
‘This was the most amazing experience and I would highly recommend it. I was fortunate to ride both Bella and Matilda, and I was ecstatic with them both. Our guides were friendly, knowledgeable and so helpful. It was such a surprise to realise that Christian is not only an expert horseman and a great tour operator but an amazing chef, too. The pancakes and maple syrup measured up to Canadian standards! I also loved our little excursion at Wonnangatta Station, when Swampy, Al and Don took three of us out on horseback to explore the valley a bit more. Sleeping under the starry sky at Pikes Flat and Lovicks Hut was another stand-out.
There were so many special moments because the scenery was so spectacular. My top three were: 1. Hell’s Window atop Mount Magdala, a location made famous in ‘The Man from Snowy River’; 2. the beautiful Wonnangatta Station; 3. getting a video of me cantering up to the iconic Craig’s Hut. I can’t wait to join Christian and Laura again on another excursion.’
STORIES FROM THE SADDLE
Get ready, globetrotters, you’re in for a real treat! The wonderfully talented Erica Neumann kept a journal ...Read More