Originally brought to life by Australia’s most famous bush poet, Banjo Patterson, the High Country has a mystique and majesty about her that is truly intoxicating. It’s home to the mountain horsemen: dressed in rabbit felt hats, cloaked in drizabones, traversing rugged, unforgiving country to graze their cattle while contending with extreme weather conditions.
There is something deeply romantic about Victoria’s High Country and there is no better way to discover this region than from the back of a mountain pony. This packhorse ride is centered around the Howqua Valley, a wildlife-abundant national park that is supported by the pristine, clear-running Howqua River. With over sixty river crossings on day 2 of the ride, the river is the heart of the valley and riders never get tired of traversing it. There are plenty of short canter bursts on offer between river crossings, and the chance to swim your horseback in summer.
The regional cuisine on this ride is of gourmet standard. Expect to be completely overwhelmed by the meals that are prepared and served by gastronome Wendy Jubb-Stoney throughout your two-night stay at Stockyard Creek, a pioneer homestead overlooking a lagoon.
The ride is narrated with the history of the pioneers who originally settled in the region and guests ride past remnants of the 1890s gold mining rush. The colourful history of the Snowy River region adds another dimension to this ride.
- Horse Breed:A variety of breeds from Stock Horses to Quarter Horses.
- Pace:The pace can vary from a walk right through to a canter.
- Weight Limit:Maximum of 100kg/220lbs
- Type of tack:A mix of traditional saddles from Australian stock to English dressage saddles.
- Seasons:November through to March
- Group size:Minimum of 2 and a maximum of 10 guests
- Time in Saddle:5 hours of riding on days 1, 2 and 4 and 3 hours on day 5 and a rest day on day 3 where riding is optional.
- Riding Ability:Suitable for beginner to advanced riders
- Accommodation:Quality, comfortable twin share accommodation at the River House and rustic, pioneer rooms with plenty of character at Stockyard Creek homestead. Keep in mind, guests will be sharing with up to four in a room at Stockyard Creek unless paying single supplement.
- Ride Length:5 days, 4 nights
- Inclusions:The price includes meals, accommodation, riding, and round-trip transfers to and from Melbourne Airport.
- Exclusions:The price does not include flights or travel insurance (compulsory).
DEPARTURE DATES & RATES
|18th Nov 2019||22nd Nov 2019||SOLD OUT!|
|25th Nov 2019||29th Nov 2019||SOLD OUT!|
|2nd Mar 2020||6th Mar 2020||SOLD OUT!|
|9th Mar 2020||13th Mar 2020||SOLD OUT!|
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
The price includes meals, accommodation, riding, and round-trip transfers to and from Melbourne Airport.
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
The price does not include 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.
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.
Arrive at 9.30am at the high country farming property that’s been in the Watson’s family for many generations. After saddling up, the riding group sets off on the ‘Man from Snowy River’ experience on horseback. Guests will ride up hills that boast spectacular 360 degree views and along the way guests will have the opportunity to see a variety of Australian wildlife including kangaroos, wallabies and Australia’s largest bird of flight, the wedge tail eagle.
For lunch the group stops at ‘Dungeon Hut’ enjoying a gourmet hamper lunch and then in the afternoon guests will traverse the bridle tracks through quiet valleys and points of rich historical interest. You’ll arrive at the celebrated ‘Riverhouse at Howqua Dale’, a magnificent country house hotel on the banks of the Howqua River. The six double rooms with ensuites all have beautiful views onto the garden or countryside. Enjoy a hot shower before a riverside barbecue dinner in one of Victoria’s prettiest valleys.
Next morning riding guests enjoy an early hot breakfast and begin their journey up the tranquil Howqua River traversing the high track towards ‘Stockyard Creek.’ It’s a challenging days riding with breath-taking views over the river, trotting through tree fern gullies and long canters along narrow, weaving mountain tracks. Stop for a packed lunch beside the river under a canopy trees. After lunch you’ll ride across Wares Flat, Whiskey Flat and Tobacco Flat and finally arriving into Stockyard Creek to the Stoney family’s pioneering homestead in the heart of the Alpine country. The riding day finishes with a sundowner at Stockyard Creek.
Today guests have the option to sleep in and then eat an indulgent, gourmet breakfast. This is a day of relaxation where guests explore the historic Howqua Hills area including ‘The Lookout’, ‘The Chinese Gold Diggings’, ‘Professor’s Hut’, ‘Fred Frys Hut’ and ‘Tunnel Bend.’ Tonight’s dinner is a traditional spit roast.
An early morning start followed by a sumptuous breakfast. Today guests will climb out of the Howqua Hills and onto Timbertop Saddle while riding along the ridge line. You’ll be staying at the boutique ‘Riverhouse at Howqua Dale’ for your final night.
Today the group rides to ‘Kate Camerons Peak’ which is where the famous jump scene from the ‘Man from Snowy River’ was filmed. You’ll wind back down to the farmhouse for lunch which completes this sensational ride.
Guests need to fly to Melbourne and then transfer to Mansfield the day BEFORE the ride begins. Accommodation in Mansfield that evening is at your own expense. Round-trip transfers are available from Melbourne and are included in the trip cost. Michael would prefer that you arrive on the Sunday (the day before the ride begins) by 3pm, and for departing flights to be after 6pm on the final day of the ride.
‘I highly recommend this ride for people looking for a relatively easy ride with creature comforts and good food. The scenery was great and the horses worked well in a group. Michael did a good job with everyone – he was friendly, helpful, knowledgeable, and safety was never compromised.’
‘This was my first time travelling solo on any holiday and I’m sure happy that I went for it. The people, the horses and the scenery were just amazing.’
“The ride itself was well planned through beautiful mountainous areas with plenty of river crossings, and trot and cantering opportunities!”
“Riding the horses to the river and swimming in our riding gear! So beautiful!”
“Many laughs, beautiful food and fantastic knowledgeable guides. Cantering through across the Howqua River was definitely a highlight.”
“The location, food, company and wine was all just perfect!”
“Loved all the uphill and open field canters, the incredible scenery and the wonderful food. Can’t recommend this ride highly enough.”
“The scenery and landscapes we traversed were amazing and I look forward to planning another adventure soon.”
“This ride was absolutely fabulous in every way!”