Rainbow Beach, Bush & Cattle Ride | Horse Riding Holidays in Australia | Globetrotting

The Rainbow Beach, Bush & Cattle Ride, Australia

5 NightsBeginner to IntermediateFrom $5,000 AUD

Looking for a chance to up-skill in an encouraging environment, with some cattle work and beach fun thrown in? Look no further, we have the ride for YOU!

This ride is based at a cattle property owned by guide and host, Andrew McCarthy. The property skirts Mount Goomboorian, east of Gympie in the southeast corner of Queensland (three hours drive from Brisbane). You’ll spend each night atop Mount Goomboorian, with its sweeping views stretching to the ocean – and this is no ordinary campsite! It’s the true definition of glamping, with teepees big enough to swing a cat in and your own personal chef dishing up five star cuisine.

In a former life, Andrew managed cattle stations in remote Western Australia and was a police officer. Alongside idyllic trail rides through the bush, you and your trusty stock horse will 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 catch 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, with campdrafting royalty Rod Cotter dropping in to coach you and your horse. Rod and Andrew are both kind, patient teachers who will break down the art of cattle work into sections that you’ll master with one-on-one tutelage, before joining it all together in a safe and fun environment. Beginner and intermediate riders will gain confidence and horsemanship skills at lightspeed!

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, 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 steady canter, depending on the terrain.
  • Weight Limit:A maximum of 95kg / 210lbs.
  • Type of tack:Australian-made swinging fender stock saddles.
  • Seasons:July & August.
  • Group size:A minimum of 10 and a maximum of 12 guests.
  • Time in Saddle:On average, 5 to 6 hours per day.
  • Riding Ability:Suitable for beginner and intermediate riders. This ride is perfect for those who are nervous riders or returning to the saddle, and wanting to up-skill in a safe and encouraging environment. Not sure what your riding ability is? Watch THIS video to find out.
  • Accommodation:Luxury glamping tents with all bedding and towels provided. Hot camp showers and a 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).



NEW! Secure your saddle seat NOW with a 10% deposit - as part of our 10x 10% payment plan!
Departing FinishingAvailabilityTotal
August 10, 2024August 15, 2024Only 1 spot left!
From: $5,000 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same gender
From: $5,600 AUD - Single Rider?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own room

1.2% credit card surcharge, domestic standard cards

2.9% credit card surcharge, international standard cards

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. Depending on the ride you choose to book and your country of residence, there will be a 1.2% to 2.9% surcharge.

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


Expand 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.

Expand AllCollapse All
  • Day 1

    Today you’ll either self-drive to Andrew McCarthy’s family property, COD-N-UP, or arrive at Sunshine Coast Airport in Maroochydore before midday and be collected by your hosts, with a small detour to purchase alcohol on the way out to the property – if required. After you arrive in the early afternoon, 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 one you’ll remember for months to come, and whilst it will set the bar very high for the remainder of your ride, we know our chef Amie will continue to surprise and delight you with what she dishes up throughout the ride.

  • Day 2

    After waking to a spectacular sunrise over the Pacific Ocean and enjoying the first of many delicious, restaurant-quality breakfasts, you’ll be transported off the mountain and introduced to your horse. Once everyone is comfortable in the swinging fender stock saddle, you’ll commence your riding adventure. With a handful 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!).

    At the end of the morning’s ride, you will arrive at Sublime Brewery. 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 Sublime Brewery 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, virgin forest and a lime farm, eventually summiting Mount Goomboorian to reach your campsite for sundowners.

    After a fulfilling day in the saddle and with your bellies full from another sumptuous dinner, you’ll retire to the blazing warmth of the campfire and view the photos from your day’s modelling before falling into a peaceful slumber.

  • Day 3

    Today you’ll mount up and ride carefully down the mountain, gaping at the views as you go. Once you’re on level ground, you’ll be able to change up the pace, pausing while your guides open and close gates. Arriving at Andrew’s original family homestead, you’ll have a lavish lunch in the magnificent gardens. Then it’s time for some cattle mustering! Andrew has previously run about 17,000 head of stock on a cattle station in WA that was almost half a million acres, so throughout the trip he’ll be able to demonstrate the skills and procedures used in daily life on the stations. This is dinky-di, real life cattle work, globetrotters, dirt moustaches included! There will also be more beautiful scenery on the cards as you muster the cattle back to the farm. After settling the cattle into their yards for the night, you’ll head back up the mountain to enjoy more breathtaking views, campfire yarns and delicious 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 $50 to $100, depending on the piece of timber you choose).

  • Day 4

    After another stomach-filling breakfast, you’ll head down the mountain and load the horses into the truck for a trip to Rainbow Beach! Here you’ll mount up for an absolutely glorious beach ride. At the end of this magical experience, those riders who are confident and capable will have the opportunity to unsaddle their horse for a bareback ride in the ocean! This is serious pinch-me-now stuff, globetrotters. Then, having worked up an appetite, you’ll devour a tasty lunch at the family owned beach house, where you can also shower and change into fresh clothes if you like.

    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

    Rejuvenated after your cruisey day yesterday, you’ll be raring to go this morning! After breakfast you’ll mount up for a choose-your-own-adventure style day with Andrew and his special guest, campdrafting royalty Rod Cotter. You can choose to participate in cattle work or expand your riding skills with one-on-one lessons. You’ll spend the entire day grinning from ear to ear as you learn new tricks on board your knowledgeable steed. When you’re not in the ring, Andrew will be more than happy to explain the ins and outs of cattle work, horsemanship and station life in as much detail as you desire!

    With a full day’s learning under your belt and another tasty meal in your belly, you’ll collapse gratefully into your tent tonight.

  • Day 6

    Your final day’s ride begins with mustering the cattle back down the road to their paddock. Then you’ll continue to an al fresco cafe specialising in barbeque-style dishes using top quality local ingredients. After lunch, you will ride back to the farm. There will be chances to let your horse stretch out into a canter, if you wish to.

    Finally, in the early afternoon, you’ll bid farewell to the team and either drive home or be transported back to Sunshine Coast Airport, arriving in time for flights departing after 6pm.

  • Transfer Information

    Round trip transfers from Sunshine Coast Airport (Maroochydore) are available for $250 AUD per person on arrival and departure days only (minimum 2 guests required). 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 Rainbow Beach, Bush & Cattle Ride

Rainbow Beach, Bush & Cattle Ride, Queensland, Australia - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Karen Edwards

‘The Rainbow Beach, Bush & Cattle Ride is a fantastic way to see a working cattle farm, beautiful countryside and the world renowned Rainbow Beach, and even ride bareback into the surf – I felt like I’d died and gone to heaven! The food and accommodation way exceeded my expectations – I couldn’t believe the standard of food I was eating on top of a mountain. My horse T-Rex was the perfect fit for me, and you can tell how much Andrew and his team care about all their horses and guests. I met a diverse group of fellow horse lovers and had a really relaxed, fantastic time. My first Globetrotting ride, and it definitely won’t be my last!’

The Rainbow Beach, Bush & Cattle Drive, Queensland, Australia - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Kath Fry

‘I was lucky to nab a cancelled saddle seat, and it was the best thing I’ve done in years! Everything about this ride was perfect for me. Andrew and his guides couldn’t have been more supportive or encouraging and I left with renewed confidence and a desire to up my riding game even more. The accommodation was comfortable and clean, the food was to die for, the other guests were great company and the horses were well trained, consistent and responsive. I rode the darling Henro, an oversized Labrador in temperament who loved a cuddle. He was steady and sweet, but with the right buttons to get the job done. The terrain and activities were varied and fun. I particularly loved the cattle days – mustering them along the road and working them in the pen. Riding along the beach was also a standout. I could have easily stayed another week and hope to ride with Andrew and the gang again sometime.’

Rainbow Beach, Bush & Cattle Ride, Queensland, Australia - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Deb Stokes

‘After 20 weeks of riding lessons, this ride was a mother-daughter adventure dream. With the help of the lovely staff, I was given a new appreciation for riding. Andrew and his crew are wonderful people and create an amazing adventure where you can go as hard or easy as you like. The horses are matched to your level of experience, letting you relax and enjoy the ride. The property, views and people are amazing. Add on the fantastic meals and you have a dream holiday. I so enjoyed the whole experience.’

The Rainbow Beach, Bush & Cattle Ride, Queensland, Australia - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Tesha Munro

‘Imagine a group of kind, happy staff who have so much care for their riders and horses, and are incredibly supportive of your progress and enjoyment.
Horses so well looked after, responsive and calm you can’t help but make a bond.
Views to die for, local scenery varying between the bush, paddocks and the beach providing that sensory enjoyment.
Cool, rustic, hilltop glamping accommodation.
Activities to keep you on your toes, learning and laughing.
I will never forget this trip, the staff, the group of globetrotters, my mount Maverick, the learnings… the enjoyment.
You won’t either!’

The Rainbow Beach, Bush & Cattle Ride, Queensland, Australia - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Jessica Whyte

‘The Rainbow Beach Ride exceeded my expectations. I have had horses most of my life and am still amazed at how well trained these horses are. My mount, Flint, was exceptionally educated and extremely safe. He could chill and plod along, but also had great get-up-and-go when you wanted it. The glamping tents were warm, cozy and so beautifully presented. The food was excellent – great presentation, huge quantities, and tasty. All the staff on the ride were friendly, informative and a pleasure to be around. Every day was a great day. Swimming in the surf was a stand-out, but the campdrafting day was probably my favourite, as I learned so many new horsemanship skills. An adventure for everyone!’

The Rainbow Beach, Bush & Cattle Ride, Queensland, Australia - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Carolyn Dowse

‘What can I say other than wow, it was an amazing adventure! My partner Tony loved it too, and it sounds like he will be joining me on more rides in the future, which is amazing.
I rode Destiny and Tony had Nelson – two perfectly trained horses. Andrew and the crew were awesome and I truly learnt so much about riding that I will take back to my own horse. The group of people were amazing and Tony and I will definitely catch up with our fellow Queenslanders again.
Honestly, we could not fault a thing and had the best time. We wish we did the 5 day ride instead of the 3 day!’

The Rainbow Beach, Bush & Cattle Ride, Queensland, Australia - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Judy Kitcher

‘Globetrotting offer an amazing range of rides worldwide and having done two of them, the standard seems to be very high. All the guides on this holiday were exceptionally knowledgeable and friendly and Andrew’s instruction was excellent. I rode Flint, who was a very quiet and well trained horse. My main reason for joining the ride was to be able to ride a fully trained cutting horse and learn how to “press the buttons” for that style of riding and I was able to do just that.’

The Rainbow Beach, Bush & Cattle Ride, Queensland, Australia - Globetrotting horse riding holidays


‘Andrew and his team make you feel welcome from first contact. Warm, honest, down to earth, country hospitality at its finest. Their love of their horses is inspiring. The riding education offered is the best I’ve ever had the privilege to experience. The diversity of experiences – mountain, bush, beach, working cattle – is utterly sublime.
Honestly, we were spoilt rotten and I could not recommend this joyful experience more highly. Do it!! And although they offer WiFi and electricity from their mountaintop paradise, my suggestion is to leave all that behind and really soak up the connection with nature that this slice of heaven offers.
Book now – you wont regret it!’

Rainbow Beach, Bush & Cattle Ride, Queensland, Australia - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Maegan McFawn

‘I arrived to absolute paradise and throughly enjoyed my five days! Every little detail had been thought of and guest comfort was priority. Andrew and his staff were fantastic, down-to-earth, a lot of fun, and highly educational regarding the local area and horsemanship. The group I was with were an absolute hoot, but the heroes of the ride were the horses. My gelding, Teddy, was fantastically trained with a mouth like butter, and super responsive. He was safe and surefooted whilst also having plenty of get up and go. I wanted to bring him home with me! Horse welfare is the highest priority, and that was so easy to see with the passion that both the staff and the horses displayed. There was a great variety of riding in a short space of time. Cantering down one of the prettiest beaches imaginable then swimming bareback cannot be described. The food by Chef Dan was spectacular and individual catering needs were no issue. I really cannot put into words how incredible this experience was and I can’t recommend it enough!’