Goomboorian Campdraft Ride, Australia

5 NightsBeginner to AdvancedFrom $3,250 AUD

Looking for a true-blue cattle ride? Look no further, we have the ride for YOU!

This five-day ride begins at a cattle property owned by guide and host, Andrew McCarthy. The property skirts Mount Goomboorian, east of Gympie in the south east corner of Queensland (3 hours drive from Brisbane). For the first two days you’ll ride this patch of paradise slipping into the day-to-day running’s of a small scale cattle property.

In a former life, owner Andrew managed cattle stations in remote Western Australia and was a police man. As part of the two days, you’ll help muster and draft cattle and work in the yards. This is all conducted as a hands-on experience where you’ll get down and dirty and get a glimpse into everyday life as a grazier.

The third riding day will see you head to Rainbow Beach where you’ll ride along the shore in the shadows of the towering cliffs of colourful, mineral-rich sand. Then it’s back to the cattle work where you and your horse will be coached by Rod Cotter, campdrafting royalty.  Rod is a kind and patient teacher who will spend two days breaking down the sport into sections that you master with one-on-one tutelage before joining it all together in a safe and fun environment. Pretty much at the end of the two-day clinic you’ll have raced a couple of cows out of the pen and around a peg or two. 

SO if you’ve always wanted to run away to the bush and be a jillaroo or jackaroo, then THIS is the ride for you!

Fast Facts

  • Horse Breed:The majority of the riding herd are Quarter Horses (geldings), all with close connections to one of two famous Quarter Horse stallions: Acres Destiny and Doc’s Spinifex.
  • Pace:The pace can vary from a walk right through to a canter, depending on the terrain.
  • Weight Limit:Maximum of 95kg/210lbs.
  • Type of tack:Australian made swinging fender stock saddles.
  • Seasons:June & July
  • Group size:A minimum of 8 and a maximum of 10 guests.
  • Time in Saddle:On average 5 to 6 hours per day.
  • Riding Ability:Suitable for all riding abilities from beginner through to advanced. *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:Tents with all bedding and towels provided. Hot camp showers and long drop toilet a short walk from the campsite.
  • Ride Length:5 days, 5 nights.
  • Inclusions:

    The price includes all riding, accommodation and meals (from dinner on day 1 through to lunch on the final day).

  • Exclusions:

    The price does not include transfers to and from the ride (available for $250 AUD per person round trip), alcohol, flights or travel insurance (compulsory).



Departing FinishingAvailabilityTotal
June 14, 2020June 19, 20206 spots left
$3,250 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same genderBook
$3,350 AUD - Single Rider?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own roomBook
July 12, 2020July 17, 20208 spots left
$3,250 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same genderBook
$3,350 AUD - Single Rider?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own roomBook

A single supplement is available for $100 AUD for guests wanting their own tent.

The price includes all riding, accommodation and meals (from dinner on day 1 through to lunch on the final day).

The price does not include transfers to and from the ride (available for $250 AUD per person round trip), alcohol, flights or travel insurance (compulsory).

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.


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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

    You’ll arrive at the Sunshine Coast Airport in Maroochydore before 12 midday and be greeted by your host, Andrew McCarthy, or a member of his team and transferred to his family property COD-N-UP, with a small detour to purchase alcohol on the way – if required. After arriving at COD-N-UP, Andrew will give a liberty riding demonstration with one of his prized horses. Then you and your luggage will be driven to the top of Mount Goomboorian, your home for the next five nights. It’s hard to explain the vista until you see it with your own eyes, but let me try: it boasts 360-degree views stretching to the west and to the east, where you can see the sand dunes near Noosa. It’s an incredible campsite where you’ll enjoy true bush comforts, including a tent large enough to swing a cat in, stretcher bed with all linen provided, and a bedside table. Tonight’s meal will be a camp oven roast before you retire to your spacious tent for a good night’s sleep.

  • Day 2

    After waking to a spectacular sunrise over the Pacific Ocean and enjoying a hearty breakfast, you’ll be transported off the mountain and introduced to your horse. Once you’re comfortable in your swinging fender saddle, you’ll commence your riding adventure. With plenty of opportunities to trot and canter if you wish, you will traverse open cattle grazing country, creek crossings, and a stand of Eucalypt timber where you might even be lucky enough to spot a koala (trust me – your chances are good!).

    After the morning’s ride, you will arrive at your lunch location, Silky Oak Tea Gardens (pictured above). Here you’ll step off your horse and walk straight into a professionally run, rustic country pub dining experience. Now you’re in for a real treat here, globetrotters, because at Silky Oak you will be given the opportunity to have a photo of yourself on a horse IN A BAR (yes, you read that correctly!). An awesome keepsake of your riding adventure to take home and cherish, and more importantly, social media bragging rights!

    Once all the modelling contracts have been fulfilled, you’ll sit down to enjoy a hearty lunch. In the afternoon you’ll get lost in pristine scrub and virgin forest, eventually riding into your Mount Goomboorian campsite for a sundowner.

    After a long but fulfilling day in the saddle and with your bellies full from dinner, you’ll retire to the blazing warmth of the campfire and enjoy a whip-cracking demonstration and view the photos from your day’s modelling before falling into a wondrous and peaceful slumber.

  • Day 3

    Today you’ll dig into another filling breakfast before mounting up and riding off the mountain, gaping at the views as you go. Arriving at Andrew’s original family homestead, you’ll have a lavish lunch in the gardens. Then it’s time for some cattle work! Andrew has previously run about 17,000 head of stock on a cattle station in WA that was a bit less than a quarter of a million acres, so he’ll be able to demonstrate the skills and procedures used in daily life on the stations. Stock will be branded, dehorned, ear marked, ear tagged, castrated and treated for tick and fly as required. This is a dinky- di, real life cattle work experience, globetrotters, dirt moustaches included!

    Following the day’s work you’ll head back up the mountain, where you will enjoy another night of breathtaking views, campfire yarns, whip cracking and delicious, satisfying camp oven food.

    There is also the opportunity to brand your name into a piece of rough-sawn timber with fire brands to help you remember the occasion (at an additional cost of $100 or $120 depending on the piece of timber you choose).

  • Day 4

    After another stomach-filling breakfast, you’ll ride down the mountain once again before loading the horses into the truck and travelling to Rainbow Beach! Here you’ll have an absolutely glorious ride before dismounting for a gourmet picnic lunch, your horses relaxing mere metres away. Then, because one beach ride is never enough, you’ll mount up again and continue riding before unsaddling for a bareback ride in the ocean! This is serious pinch-me-now stuff, globetrotters. Finally, with salt in your hair and a HUGE smile on your face, you’ll be transported back to the top of the mountain for another beautiful night at your Goomboorian campsite.

  • Day 5

    It’s campdrafting time, globetrotters – YAY! After breakfast you’ll enjoy a full day’s cattle work with quality instruction from both Andrew and campdrafting royalty, Rod Cotter. You’ll learn the ins and outs of cattle work and horsemanship before trying your hand at the fast paced, exhilarating sport of campdrafting on board the trusty, knowledgeable horse that you’ve already bonded with over the past three days. I guarantee you’ll spend the entire day grinning from ear to ear as you transform into a cowboy or cowgirl and chase after some cows. Rod breaks the sport up into easy-to-manage sections, from teaching your horse to cut out properly from the camp to beast selection and going through the rules. Trust me, you’re not thrown into the deep end – this experience is perfect for everyone from beginners to experienced riders who have been campdrafting all their life.  With a full day’s learning under your belt and another hearty meal in your belly, you’ll collapse into your tent dreaming of cows!

  • Day 6

    This morning the horses will be loaded onto the truck and taken to ‘Cots Camp’ at Widgee.  En route you’ll enjoy an early lunch stop for a multi award-winning pie at Ross Creek Store.

    Today you’ll get the opportunity to continue practicing what you learnt yesterday as you try your hand at some more runs, ripping and tearing around the course chasing after your beast. The final part of the day is a friendly competition as judged by Rod, with trophies for first, second and third prize. Finally, at the end of the day, you will be transported back to Sunshine Coast Airport, arriving in time for flights departing after 6pm. For those who drove, you’ll also bid farewell to the team and head off in the evening.

  • Transfer Information

    Round trip transfers from the Sunshine Coast Airport (Maroochydore) are available for $250 AUD per person on arrival and departure day only. Guests need to arrive no later than 12pm on day one, and departing flights are to be booked after 6pm on the final day.

    Self drive is also an option.

    Please note, due to varying arrival times, lunch is not included on arrival day.

What our valued Globetrotters say about The Goomboorian Campdraft Ride

Kristen Sagar

‘I’ve just arrived back from the Goomboorian Campdraft Ride. Andrew and his team were amazing. Each of them are very obviously accomplished riders and this showed in the way they worked with the horses throughout the week, how they matched the horses to their guests, and also in the way they taught us about riding and handing not only the horses, but also the cattle both in the yards and on horseback. I was very lucky to ride Dynamite – he was beautifully responsive, with a lovely can do attitude, comfortable gaits, and he certainly knows how to work a beast! Awesome horse!
At Cots Camp, Rod and Jake were amazing teachers – getting us all out of the camp with a steer and around the pegs in a couple of days! Their passion for the sport is undeniable.
The scenery was beautiful both at Goomboorian and Widgee, and both camps were great. The bell tents at Mount Goomboorian were warm and spacious and the beds were really comfortable, too. I also loved the outdoor shower with its awesome view! The food was delicious (thanks Sean) and the hospitality was second to none – nothing was too much trouble for Andrew and the team.
I can’t wait to go back one day and recommend to anyone who is thinking about doing this ride to book it – you will not regret it!’

Donna Wilson

‘Hands down the best horse riding experience I’ve had. Do yourself a favour and sign up for this ride, you won’t be disappointed! The knowledge of horsemanship, the area and environment Andrew shared with us was amazing and I learnt a lot. I rode Wombat and immediately fell in love with her. My only problem was not being able to fit her in my suitcase to bring her home, not to mention Andrew ‘s reluctance to part with her! Andrew is an amazing person and an all round great guy who really helped to build my riding confidence during the ride. Rod Cotter and his staff at Cots Camp were exceptional. Wonderful people, very warm and welcoming, and encouraging us so positively that it’s sparked us to continue to take a keen interest in campdrafting. The hospitality, accommodation and food was outstanding. Every effort was made to ensure our needs were accommodated. Big thanks to ‘Shaun the Chef’, every meal was delicious. We learnt a lot, laughed a lot, and made memories to last a lifetime.’

Terri Rutter

‘The Goomboorian Campdraft Ride was the adventure of a lifetime. Waking up on top of a mountain to the sounds of horses, the smells of the campfire and a good meal being cooked was a dream come true. This was a camp-out with a bit of luxury, with our chef, and staff to care for and tack up our horses each day. Even the fire-heated shower felt decadent! The horses were extremely well trained and a joy to ride. The staff were careful to coach us on the proper cues to make sure that both the horses and guests were happy. This was a trip of a lifetime that I will never forget.’

Alanna Hughes

‘This holiday had everything you could ever want! Trail riding, cattle mustering, campdrafting, hanging by the fire with good people, eating like royalty.’

Alana Dyer

‘The best holiday I have ever had! Who would ever dream that they could sit on a horse having a drink in a bar – and have a photo to prove it!’

Lisa Anderson

‘What a great trip, really felt like I got away from it all! Would do it again in a heartbeat.’

Jo Fitzpatrick

“Thank you everyone who was a part of this week, I will remember it fondly forever.”

Debbie Bailey

“New friends, amazing experiences living on top of a mountain, then there’s the horses. AMAZING!”

Gemma McAuley

“This was my first visit to Queensland and I couldn’t have chosen a better holiday than this outback ride of a lifetime!”