Glenorchy Back Country Ride, New Zealand

4 NightsIntermediate to AdvancedFrom $2,800 NZD?Tour costs $2,800 NZD which is approximately $2,691 AUD

Globetrotting has the PERFECT, accessible, summertime riding escape in the name of the Glenorchy Back Country ride.

This gem of a 5 day, 4 night itinerary is situated one hour from Queenstown in the cute-as-a-button, lakeside community of Glenorchy. With five days of unrestricted hours in the saddle this ride has it all – from wet and wild canters along river banks, wandering through native beech forest, circumnavigating a mountain and exploring a quintessential High Country property.

Owners Deana and daughter Casey, have exclusive access to over 100,000 acres of pristine back country stretching from the Dart Valley through to the Rees Valley with Mount Alfred sitting in the middle.

Guests will stay at Rees Valley Station’s shearer’s quarters on day one. Rees Valley Station is a 37,000 acre working sheep station that borders World Heritage listed Mt Aspiring National Park. On day two and three, globetrotters explore the Rees Valley with its glacial fed rivers and wild, untamed beauty. Accommodation is beside Arthurs Creek Musterer’s Hut, where it’s back country camping at its best. Think waterfalls, starry nights and silence. On day four, cruise through enchanted landscapes made world-famous from blockbuster movies like The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Mission Impossible and The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe. The last night is at Miller’s House, a historic, bespoke guest house set within Paradise (quite literally)!

Seriously, the Glenorchy Back Country ride typifies everything we love about New Zealand. All you need to do is get yourself on a plane to Queenstown, in the south island of New Zealand and we’ll take care of the rest!

Fast Facts

  • Horse Breed:NZ Stationbred, quarter horse and first cross, percheron and clydie first cross.
  • Pace:This will vary depending on the terrain and weather conditions. Some days are more mountainous than others. When terrain permits there will be opportunities to trot and canter.
  • Weight Limit:Maximum of 95kg / 210lbs.
  • Type of tack:English all purpose saddles which are all correctly fitted to the horses. *Please be advised, a select few horses are ridden in Western saddles simply because they provide a better fit for that specific horse, but we will not accommodate saddle requests. It is much preferred to match horse to rider based upon ability. Thanks for your understanding.
  • Seasons:October to March
  • Group size:Minimum of 6 and a maximum of 10 guests
  • Time in Saddle:On average between 5 to 6 hours depending on the distance needed to be travelled which will be between 15 to 25km per day.
  • Riding Ability:Suitable for intermediate to experienced riders. All riders MUST be confident riding outside an arena at all paces over uneven ground.
  • Accommodation:For the first night guests stay in bunk bed rooms with a hot shower and flushing toilets a short 1min walk away in a separate building. The next two nights guests will stay in tents with camp stretcher and swag) beside a station muster hut where there is a camp shower and a long-drop toilet. The last night guests stay at Paradise Homestead which is a historic, bespoke accommodation house with laze-about beds, hot showers, flushing toilets and kitchen.
  • Ride Length:5 days, 4 nights
  • Inclusions:

    The price includes twin share accommodation, transfers to and from Queenstown, meals and riding.

  • Exclusions:

    The price does not include international or regional flights, travel insurance (compulsory) or alcohol throughout the trip.




The price includes twin share accommodation, transfers to and from Queenstown, meals and riding.


The price does not include international or regional flights, travel insurance (compulsory) or alcohol throughout the trip.

Accepted payment is by credit or debit card only. There is a 2% surcharge on all card payments.

Why is the price quoted in NZD?
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.


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*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.

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  • Day 1

    After enjoying the scenic transfer from Queenstown to the Glenorchy stables, you’ll be introduced to your knowledgable Back Country Guides. The staff will help sort your baggage and gear before introducing you to your horse for the trip. Gear checked, your first day you’ll ride alongside the pristine Rees River flats and enjoy a lunchtime picnic on the tip of Lake Wakatipu with views across the water to the local township of Glenorchy. After lunch you’ll head to the opening of the Rees Valley.

    Your first nights’ accommodation will be at the Rees Valley Station Shearers Quarters. The wool shed here is still the hub of the station and is worth a peek. The owner has panels of photographs and information in there to explain some of the Station’s history and people who work it. The Rees Valley Station Shearer’s Quarters has bunk-bed rooms, flushing toilets, showers and electricity. Keep in mind, in summer the sun doesn’t set until around 11pm so you’ll have plenty of daylight hours to roam on foot after dinner.

  • Day 2

    After a leisurely breakfast you’ll start your journey into the dramatic, pristine environment of Rees Valley. The Rees Valley Station is rated one of the area’s most scenic places to ride. This 37,000 acre sheep-station borders the World Heritage Mount Aspiring National Park. You and your fellow globetrotters will travel through virgin Native rainforest (NZ Beech) crossing over a glacial fed river many times.

    This is a shorter day but it’s a challenge for both horse and rider. Enjoy the climb up glacial terraces and looking up into snow-capped mountains. We will camp at Arthurs Creek Musters Hut for a night under the stars. This is camping in it’s simplest form, there is a musterer’s hut (the main hub of the campsite) and inside your tents you’ll find a camp stretcher and swag for you to sleep in. There is a long-drop toilet, glacial fed waterfall (freezing, but oh so good for the skin) or a hot camp shower.

  • Day 3

    Today is spent exploring the very top of the valley which boarders onto the World Heritage listed Mount Aspiring National Park. You’ll visit 25 mile creek and the rock chasm within, swim the horses in glacial fed Hunter Creek (weather permitting), stand at the foot of Lennox Falls and enjoy a saddle-bag packed lunch at its base. There will be time to explore by foot before we head back to our base camp at Arthurs Creek Musters Hut.

  • Day 4

    Time to leave the Rees Valley, riding into Paradise Valley. You’ll wander through native beech forest towards the opening of Paradise Valley, or what’s adequately known as Heaven’s Gate. From here you’ll traverse the north shores of Diamond Lake, and there may be the possibility of swimming the horses again if you wish.

    Coming into the Paradise Valley you are entering LORD OF THE RINGS COUNTRY! This is ISENGARD and MIDDLE EARTH. Your guides will take you through scenes and places used in many movies including – The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Vertical Limit, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Lovely Bones, Mission Impossible, Wolverine and more. This is some of the most pristine back country to travel through.

    On your last night you’ll stay in Millers House which is a beautiful, turn-of-the-century house within the Paradise Foundation. After bush camping for the last two nights, you’ll love the hot showers, flushing toilets, electricity and freshly made bed.

  • Day 5

    The final day of your riding holiday where you’ll venture through the mouth of Lake Diamond and ascend the southern side of Mount Alfred. At the top of the track you’ll be able to take a moment and contemplate where and what you have just experienced in the last few days. As far as the eye can see and further is where you have traversed from your sure-footed station horse. You’ll creep down the mountain and back onto our farm to finish your ride with a welcoming hot drink or cold beverage.

    *Depending on the weather, you might instead venture into the Dart Valley today – the views and scenery are equally as rewarding.

  • Transfer Information

    Transfers to and from your Queenstown hotel accommodation are included in the price (on day one and day five). To avoid travel delays, we ask that all guests arrive and stay in Queenstown (at their own expense) the day before the ride begins, so you’re ready for collection between 9 – 10am (traffic depending) on day one. On day five, please book an extra night’s accommodation in Queenstown so you’re not rushed getting back into town. You can fly out the following day.
    *Please note, it is preferred you stay in Queenstown’s city centre or out in the direction of Fernhill, NOT at Frankton. Should you choose to stay at a private residence or B&B, you will need to make your way to a specified central location for pick up.


The Glenorchy Back Country Ride, New Zealand - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Kristin Merrington

‘I’m still trying to adjust back to normal life with a crazy amount of emotions still resonating from memories of my Glenorchy experience. I was most fortunate to have two dear friends join me, which added to how wonderful it all was because I was able to share each extraordinary moment with them.
My horse, Doobie – if only I could have brought him home with me. He was very special and I felt honoured to be cared for by him each day. I’m not sure how he did it in such a short time, but he certainly impacted forever my heart and my mind. Corny but true.
Our guides, Nat, Shaun and Bijmin, were absolutely outstanding in every way! From their extensive knowledge and care of the native flora and fauna and the wonderful history of the region, to their intuitive horsemanship, to their complete professionalism and awesome cooking skills. We consistently felt safe, organised, informed, catered-for and important.
Thank you for all your hard work in organising such a special experience.’

The Glenorchy Back Country Ride, New Zealand - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Michelle Banning

‘I would highly recommend this ride as the scenery is unbelievable and you can only see this on horse or by foot. I loved day 3, when we got to gallop and swim in the canyon. The guides, Shaun and Jess, were fantastic… so knowledgeable and helpful. I rode Gizzy and he was amazing. He took me over some pretty hazardous crossings and never put a foot wrong. When we had the opportunity to gallop he was fantastic… I nicknamed him Bonecrusher, after the famous NZ galloper, as he always came from behind and won all the races!’

The Glenorchy Back Country Ride, New Zealand - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Deb Pippen

‘I absolutely adored every moment of this trip, except possibly the few hours of riding in the rain, but even that was not bad and part of the adventure. An unbelievable, beautiful setting each day. I had a fabulous little steed in Rusty and I know everyone else was happy with their mount. We were looked after so well by our knowledgeable guides. I’d do it again if there were not so many other rides I have not done, so will recommend it in a heartbeat.
Thank you so much, Globetrotting. You should be so proud of what you do.’

Glenorchy Back Country Ride - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Julie McLaughlin

‘What an amazing adventure. Lasting friendships forged throughout the ride with outstanding views, challenging weather and plenty of laughs. JT (AKA Justin Timberlake) was a perfect match for me, and our guides, Shaun and Nat, were fabulous.’

Glenorchy Back Country Ride - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Helena Stevens

‘This trip has reignited something in me which I can’t quite put into words… so thank you. For someone who had only recently returned to riding after a prolonged break, this was the perfect opportunity to get back in the saddle, enjoy some wonderful company and see beautiful NZ! I rode Jungle, who looked after me and brought back my confidence galloping and jumping! He was just brilliant!

I personally can’t thank our guides enough for making us feel so welcome, comfortable, confident and safe. My sincere thanks also go to Deana, Casey, Di and the rest of the support crew, who made it a wonderful experience I will never forget. Our guides and crew were the first up in the morning and last to bed, ensuring we had everything we needed and that the horses were well fed and rested. They could not have done anything more for us. It was great to see them looking after the environment along the way, too, ensuring we were only leaving hoofprints behind.

Overall, the experience was one in a million and I can’t wait to book my next one!’

The Glenorchy Back Country Ride, New Zealand - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Kim Connor

‘I really enjoyed my five day ride through the Glenorchy back country. The whole experience, from booking with Globetrotting to the pre-trip information to the ride itself, was easy and seamless. The guides were amazing – knowledgeable, helpful, always thinking of safety, tolerant, enthusiastic, cheerful, great role models and fabulous horse people. The horses were great, the food was fabulous, the place itself was magnificent – and I met some wonderful new friends! Cantering through the forest, the occasional gallop and going to the waterfall were some of my favourite moments. Loved it!’

Glenorchy Back Country Ride, New Zealand - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Jenny Horner

‘My third Globetrotting experience was all about the superstars of Glenorchy. Being greeted by the infamous Bijmin was a semi-surreal moment. But there was no time for autographs because the all-important four legged crew were saddled and waiting to take our all-Aussie girl group to the glaciers.
The gallops, the gals and the guides (Bijmin, Shaun and Nat) made this trip special. The backdrop of the snow-capped mountains and glacial waters made it unforgettable.’

Glenorchy Back Country Ride, New Zealand - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Korin Clark

‘The Glenorchy Back Country Ride would be hard to equal if you have a deep respect and passion for immersing yourself in unspoilt, stunning scenery and environments. Every day holds its own magic and I didn’t want it to end. Our guides were exceptional with both the horses and guests. They are knowledgeable, friendly, hard working, patient and kind people. The horses were well matched to the riders, well looked after and well educated. I have only compliments on every aspect of this wonderful journey. This ride far exceeded my expectations and will forever remain as a treasured memory. Thank you to all involved in providing such a well run trek, you’re a terrific and polished team. Just keep doing it this way, it’s the right mix!’

Glenorchy Back Country Ride - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Jessica Smith

‘I really struggled to write this as I can’t find the exact words to describe the trip. But I did manage to find one fitting word: FREEDOM. This ride is absolutely stunning from start to finish. The environment is something out of a fairytale (quite literally): the pristine forestry, snow-capped mountain ranges, glacier-fed rivers and waterfalls that hold the cleanest and purest water in the world. Our guides, Jess and Bijmin, were outstanding in their knowledge of the land, horses, people and cooking. Every night the meals were cooked to perfection, and although I’m a little disappointed I didn’t lose weight, I don’t regret for a second not eating the delicious food they provided each and every day. The horses were all superb and well educated – some of the hardiest yet most responsive I’ve had the privilege of riding. If you are thinking of doing this trip, JUST DO IT! The memories and friendships I made over that week will forever be in my heart, and I am so grateful to Globetrotting for allowing me to be a part of something so surreal.’