Glenorchy Back Country Ride, New Zealand

4 NightsIntermediate to AdvancedFrom $3,285 NZD?Tour costs $3,285 NZD which is approximately $3,044 AUD

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

This gem of a five day, four 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: wet and wild canters along river banks, wandering through native beech forests, circumnavigating a mountain and exploring a quintessential High Country property.

Your hosts, mother and daughter Deana and 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 smack bang in the middle.

On day one you’ll stay at Rees Valley Station’s shearers quarters. Rees Valley Station is a 37,000 acre working sheep station that borders World Heritage-listed Mount Aspiring National Park. On days two and three, globetrotters explore the Rees Valley with its glacial fed rivers and wild, untamed beauty. Your accommodation is beside Arthurs Creek Musterers Hut – back country camping at its best. Think waterfalls, starry nights and silence. On day four, you’ll 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 (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. Not sure what your riding experience is? Watch THIS video to find out.
  • 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.

 

DEPARTURE DATES & RATES

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Departing FinishingAvailabilityTotal
November 2, 2020November 6, 2020Only 1 spot left!
$3,285 NZD ?Tour costs $3,285 NZD which is approximately $3,044 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same genderBook
November 9, 2020November 13, 20209 spots left
$3,285 NZD ?Tour costs $3,285 NZD which is approximately $3,044 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same genderBook
November 16, 2020November 20, 2020SOLD OUT!
$3,285 NZD ?Tour costs $3,285 NZD which is approximately $3,044 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same gender
November 23, 2020November 27, 20202 spots left
$3,285 NZD ?Tour costs $3,285 NZD which is approximately $3,044 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same genderBook
November 30, 2020December 4, 20203 spots left
$3,285 NZD ?Tour costs $3,285 NZD which is approximately $3,044 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same genderBook
December 7, 2020December 11, 20204 spots left
$3,285 NZD ?Tour costs $3,285 NZD which is approximately $3,044 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same genderBook
December 14, 2020December 18, 20207 spots left
$3,285 NZD ?Tour costs $3,285 NZD which is approximately $3,044 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same genderBook
January 11, 2021January 15, 20216 spots left
$3,285 NZD ?Tour costs $3,285 NZD which is approximately $3,044 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same genderBook
January 18, 2021January 22, 20219 spots left
$3,285 NZD ?Tour costs $3,285 NZD which is approximately $3,044 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same genderBook
February 1, 2021February 5, 20217 spots left
$3,285 NZD ?Tour costs $3,285 NZD which is approximately $3,044 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same genderBook
February 8, 2021February 12, 2021SOLD OUT!
$3,285 NZD ?Tour costs $3,285 NZD which is approximately $3,044 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same gender
February 15, 2021February 19, 20217 spots left
$3,285 NZD ?Tour costs $3,285 NZD which is approximately $3,044 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same genderBook
February 22, 2021February 26, 2021Only 1 spot left!
$3,285 NZD ?Tour costs $3,285 NZD which is approximately $3,044 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same genderBook
March 1, 2021March 5, 2021Only 1 spot left!
$3,285 NZD ?Tour costs $3,285 NZD which is approximately $3,044 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same genderBook
March 8, 2021March 12, 20219 spots left
$3,285 NZD ?Tour costs $3,285 NZD which is approximately $3,044 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same genderBook
March 15, 2021March 19, 20215 spots left
$3,285 NZD ?Tour costs $3,285 NZD which is approximately $3,044 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same genderBook
March 22, 2021March 26, 20219 spots left
$3,285 NZD ?Tour costs $3,285 NZD which is approximately $3,044 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same genderBook
March 29, 2021April 2, 20215 spots left
$3,285 NZD ?Tour costs $3,285 NZD which is approximately $3,044 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same genderBook

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?

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

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?

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. Click HERE to read our recommendations on which cards are best to use to avoid international transaction fees.

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.

Itinerary

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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, 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 night’s accommodation will be at the Rees Valley Station shearers quarters. The woolshed here is still the hub of the station and is worth a peek. Panels of photographs and information inside the woolshed explain some of the history of the station and the people who work it. The Rees Valley Station shearers 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 around on foot after dinner.

  • Day 2

    After a leisurely breakfast, you’ll start your journey into the dramatic, pristine environment of Rees Valley. 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-listed Mount Aspiring National Park. You and your fellow globetrotters will travel through virgin native rainforest (NZ beech), crossing over a glacier-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 with the snow-capped mountains looming high above. Tonight you will camp at Arthurs Creek musterers hut for a night under the stars. This is camping in its simplest form: there is a musterers 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, glacer-fed waterfall (freezing, but oh so good for the skin) and a hot camp shower.

  • Day 3

    Today is spent exploring the very top of the valley, which borders Mount Aspiring National Park. You’ll visit 25 Mile Creek and the rock chasm within, swim the horses in glacier-fed Hunter Creek (weather permitting), stand at the foot of the gorgeous Lennox Falls and enjoy a saddlebag-packed lunch at the grassy base of the Falls. There will be time to explore here by foot before riding back to your base camp at Arthurs Creek musterers hut.

  • Day 4

    It’s time to leave the Rees Valley, riding into Paradise Valley. You’ll wander through native beech forests towards the opening of Paradise Valley, which is better 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 & The Wardrobe, The Lovely Bones, Mission Impossible, Wolverine and more. This is some of the most pristine back country you could ever hope 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 Trust. After bush camping for two nights, you’ll have a newfound appreciation for the hot showers, flushing toilets, electricity and freshly-made beds.

  • Day 5

    On the final day of your riding holiday, 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 over the last few days. As far as the eye can see – and further – is where you have travelled astride your surefooted station horse. Finally, you’ll creep down the mountain and back onto your hosts’ farm to finish the trip with a welcome hot drink or cold beverage.

    *Depending on the weather, you might instead venture into the Dart Valley today – the views and scenery are equally 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 that you stay in Queenstown’s city centre or out in the direction of Fernhill, NOT in 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.

What our valued Globetrotters say about The Glenorchy Back Country Ride

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

Dawn Lucchese

‘This was my first multi-day ride and it was outstanding! I had minimal experience (riding friends’ horses as a child, trail rides on holidays and several lessons/rides in the lead-up to this trip). I highly recommend this holiday for riders of all levels. The guides were outstanding and split the group up according to ability so that everyone could maximise their experience. They were encouraging and easy to follow, and took great care to check on the horses and the tack, as well as helping advise on skill improvement. By the last day I had gained the skills to canter with confidence. The food, accommodation, horses, supplies and scenery were top notch! They didn’t miss a thing.’

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

Leonie Martin

‘I loved this ride. The scenery was genuinely breathtaking at every turn and it is an experience that will last a lifetime. I would actually go back and do it again. It was very well run and organised by the team in Glenorchy. Their local knowledge was great and their horsemanship was exceptional. It was great to see that the staff had a genuine love for the animals in their care. The horses were incredibly fit, well looked after, and well-matched to their riders. They were all cool, calm and collected and had plenty of ‘go’ when asked. Each day I enjoyed a great ride, lovely healthy fresh food, stunning scenery, a nice glass of local wine, great company and a few creature comforts. Who could complain about that? I made a few lovely new friends and had a great time. I would happily book a trip through Globetrotting again.’

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

Tracey Rigby

‘Amazing ride, horses, food, experience! Top notch. Our horses, Doobie and Jungle, were amazing. They were paired as best friends and perfect for our needs. We wanted to bring them home! Jess was amazing and great to chat to, and Shaun was very knowledgeable on the region, flora and fauna, etc. I loved the food sooo much and it was lovely to have such varied accommodation. This ride was worth every penny.’

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

Kath Johnston

‘This was a fantastic week and I met some great people and made new friends. Deana, Jess and Bijmin were amazing and the scenery in Glenorchy was breathtaking. Riding the horses through the lake was awesome. It was well worth the money, I loved every minute and would definitely go back in a heartbeat! If you’re sitting on the fence about this ride, it’s time to jump off! Don’t miss this amazing experience.’

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

Alison Gould

‘Well, what a week! I had been looking forward to this ride for almost a year and have probably bored my friends silly with the excitement I had leading up to it. It did not disappoint. The staff, especially our guides for the week, Nat and Shawn, were fantastic. Nat and Shawn excelled at looking after our group of ten riders and horses, and their knowledge of the areas we rode through was fantastic. I tried some native berries, was informed about native flora and experienced some of the most beautiful countryside in the world. I was matched to the best horse I could imagine. His name was Cruise and what a wonderful boy he was. I felt completely at ease riding him for the five days. One word of advice: beware the sand flies and cover up everything. But in all honesty, if I could do it all again I would not hesitate – sandflies and all.’

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

Carolyn Haynes

‘I had that best time! What a beautiful place to visit – I honestly think I could live there. We had the best guides, Jess and Shaun, and a huge thanks to Deana and Casey. The horses were in terrific condition. I rode a horse called Jungle, who was an absolute gentleman – kind and responsive and did everything I asked of him, a pleasure to ride. The meals were terrific. We certainly had plenty to eat and Jess and Shaun did a fantastic job serving as both guides and chefs, hats off to them. I couldn’t have asked for nicer people to go away with than the group of girls on the ride. I’d just like to thank all of you at Globetrotting for the fantastic opportunity to go away and do something that I love. The whole trip was fantastic.’

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

Jen Dalitz

‘This was the trip of a lifetime for me and something I have been working towards for the last five years in line with my riding goals, in order to be able to ride through the beautiful Lord of the Rings high country. What I didn’t realise was just how breathtaking the setting would be in real life, and how outstanding the horses would be. Casey and Deana really have put together an amazing troop of horses that can cater to all manner of riders – we had a broad spectrum of abilities and experience in our group but it didn’t feel like that once we were out in the wilderness. I loved this ride – five days was a long time to be in the saddle, but every day there was something new and different to see and experience. To anyone thinking of doing this trip – stop thinking and just do it!’

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

Christine Wallis

‘The Glenorchy Back Country Ride was an amazing experience. We rode on well cared-for and capable horses that were more than willing to go out each day. I was a little nervous about the type of horse I’d have for the week, but needn’t have worried, as my horse Jungle was simply adorable! He looked after me so well and built up my confidence, even jumping a few logs. He was never silly or spooky, just a solid mount. Each day the was scenery was different; beautiful forests, river crossings and riding through long-grassed, open fields with mountains either side – it was fairy tale stuff! The guides were very knowledgeable about the countryside, horses and all the movies that had been filmed along the way. The food was plentiful; my daughter and I have dietary issues and we were catered for flawlessly at each meal, often with multiple options. I can’t thank Deana and Casey’s team enough for putting on such a great week for us. We will remember it fondly for many years.’

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

Ellenor Nixon

‘It’s been a hot minute since I got back from Glenorchy in February. The memories are still making the days at the office tough to take. There was no way to prepare for the epicness and truly unique experiences that bound together our group of intrepid Globetrotters.
We arrived after over half a metre of rain had fallen. Nonetheless, as rain threatened to drown out Deana’s voice in the tack shed, she offered us two options. Option A was to ride. I guess we’ll never know what Option B was. If we were allowed on horses, we were getting on horses! The next several hours were spent trekking along the edges of the swollen Rees River. Our guides, Jess and Shaun, never wavered and our horses never put a hoof wrong. My fellow globetrotters also deserve a round of applause. My trusty steed, Beer, who is famous among globetrotters, never hesitated, even when the water rose midway up his shoulders. We were kept super comfortable at Camp Glenorchy as the weather set in that night. The next day was wet and flooded, with some of the houses in Glenorchy being evacuated, but day 3 dawned bright and beautiful, as though the rain had never happened. We rode 21 kilometres and climbed the equivalent of 250 flights of stairs, and the horses got a well-deserved massage when we arrived at the shearing shed bunkhouse.
Day 4 had a lot of river crossings, with Shaun and Jess carefully picking our path. We got a real indication of the extent of the floods, looking at grass and sticks caught in fences far from the river. We rode into stunning Paradise in the afternoon and explored the trust’s property before dinner, gazing down the valley to some recognisable landscapes from many movies.
Day 5 was the one day when we were able to stick to the itinerary. We rode past several new landslips on the Dart River side of Mt Albert before an amazing long canter along the flat by the river.
This trip was unique and unrepeatable. I loved every minute and I’d love to do it again.’

STORIES FROM THE SADDLE

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