This is the ULTIMATE ride for anyone who wishes to explore this beautiful and dramatic part of Australia, where the snow gums whisper secrets as you brush past their leaves and you can almost see the mountain spirits floating in the mist. Not only will you be left gaping at the scenery at every turn, you’ll also gain a deep understanding of the region’s history as you ride.
Husband and wife team Christian and Laura excel at bringing the very best of Australia to the fore on each and all of their rides, whether they’re exploring the Kimberley or the High Country. With these two leading the way and a surefooted mountain horse to carry you on your journey, you can be guaranteed a first class experience from beginning to end.
Imagine – summiting rocky slopes to find yourself riding along the top of a craggy, cliff-edged mountain, the picturesque High Country spread out before you as far as the eye can see; weaving through river-crossed, wildflower-speckled valleys listening to cockatoos and currawongs heralding your arrival; tucking into a hearty dinner around the campfire, the flames leading your gaze up to the millions of stars glittering above; exploring the remains of homesteads and cattle yards as your guides tell stories of the people who once called this wild country home.
All this and more awaits you on the Wonnangatta Station Ride!
- Horse Breed:Mountain-bred stock horses, Quarter Horses, Percheron cross and Clydie cross.
- Pace:Variable depending on the day and terrain. Some days will include more trotting and cantering than others. Remember, this is the Victorian High Country so you’ll be riding along steep and high mountain tracks - that’s why it’s called the ‘High Country’!
- Weight Limit:Maximum of 95kg/210lbs.
- Type of tack:Australian made swinging fender stock saddles.
- Group size:A minimum of 8 guests and a maximum of 14 guests.
- Time in Saddle:On average 5 to 8 hours a day, depending on the distance needing to be travelled.
- Riding Ability:Suitable for intermediate to experienced riders only with a good level of fitness.
**This ride is NOT suitable for beginner riders, nervous riders or guests who are extremely fearful of heights.
- Accommodation:Bush camping - swags and simple dome tents are provided, but you will need to bring your own sleeping bag and pillow (these can also be hired for $50). A hot shower and a long drop toilet will be available each night (rustic, but clean).
- Ride Length:8 days, 7 nights
- Inclusions:The price includes meals (from lunch on day 1 through to lunch on day 8), accommodation and riding throughout the itinerary.
- Exclusions:The price does not include flights, travel insurance (compulsory), alcohol, transfers to and from Mansfield or accommodation in Mansfield.
DEPARTURE DATES & RATES
|13th Jan 2020||20th Jan 2020||10 spots left|
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
The price includes meals (from lunch on day 1 through to lunch on day 8), accommodation and riding throughout the itinerary.
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
The price does not include flights, travel insurance (compulsory), alcohol, transfers to and from Mansfield or accommodation in Mansfield.
Accepted payment is by credit card only. There is a 2% surcharge on all credit 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.
You’ll need to arrive and stay in Mansfield (at your own expense) tonight, so that you’re ready to mount up first thing the following morning. There will be a group dinner at the Delatite Hotel tonight – this will be at your own expense but is a great way to get to know your fellow globetrotters and hosts before heading out on your ride.
Today’s the day! After meeting your trusty steed, you’ll ride out from the spectacular, river-crossed Howqua Valley. There’ll be plenty of opportunities to canter over river crossings, so you’ll get a good feel for your horse as you ride. Lunch will be at the secluded Ritchies Hut, then you’ll mount up and ride on to your campsite at Pikes Flat. If you fancy a spot of fishing or a quick dip in the river, this is your chance!
After a cooked breakfast, you’ll leave the river and ride the 16 mile spur to Bluff Hut. Here you’ll enjoy lunch with endless rolling views back across the mountains. After lunch you’ll enjoy an afternoon ride to Lovicks Hut, where you’ll tuck into a campfire dinner before snuggling into your swag beneath the glittering night sky.
Now you’ll find yourself really getting into the rhythm of things, waking up to birdsong and the smell of another delicious breakfast. Today’s ride takes you over Mount Magdala, a dramatic peak with a sheer cliff face on one side and a long slope leading down to shadowy valleys on the other. The country around Mount Magdala is VERY steep, so if you suffer from vertigo, this may not be the right ride for you. The reward, however, is some of the most spectacular views the High Country has to offer. Crossing the mountain, you’ll continue across the Howitt High Plains, reaching Howitt Hut – a cattleman’s hut built early last century – in time for another fantastic evening meal.
From Howitt Hut, your guides will lead you down rugged slopes and through beautiful snow gum forests towards Wonnangatta Valley. Along the way you’ll pause to admire more seriously spectacular views. You’ll notice the scenery changing as you descend, with different species of flora and fauna welcoming you to this remote alpine valley. Cattle were once allowed to graze here, and remnants of Wonnangatta Station can still be seen.
After waking up at your riverside campsite, you’ll get to enjoy a nice easy day in the Valley: a leisurely ride during the day, with time to explore your surroundings on foot or just sit back with a good book. You’ll spend another night at this same beautiful campsite, basking in the serenity and sharing stories and laughter around the campfire.
Back up to Howitt Hut – It’s time to leave Wonnangatta Valley! Today your sturdy mountain horse will take you back through the craggy slopes, snow grass plains and forested valleys to Howitt Hut. It’s hard to know where to look – down at the confetti-like wildflowers that pop up among mossy boulders and stringy alpine grasses, ahead to the powerful horses puffing in the fresh mountain air, or out at the gobsmacking views that flirtatiously shimmer through the snow gums before stretching out in every direction as you climb above the tree line.
Bidding a final farewell to Howitt Hut, with a full belly you’ll mount up and continue back to Lovicks Hut. As you retrace your steps, you’ll find that everything looks different. Landmarks like Mount Magdala and Mount Howitt provide assurance that you’re on the right track, but the snow gums, the rocky escarpments, and the alpine streams seem to morph into new forms in the ever-changing light of the mountains.
The final day of your alpine adventure sees you ride back to the Howqua Valley. You’ll be able to really make the most of your last ride with more river crossings and canters before saying goodbye to your plucky mountain horse. Your guides will then return you to your accommodation in Mansfield (NOT included in the ride price), where you can rest up before travelling onward the following day.
Transfers to/from Mansfield are NOT included in the ride price. The cheapest option is the V-Line bus service which runs between Melbourne and Mansfield. You could also hire a car and drive – Globetrotting can assist with teeing you up with another globetrotter booked on the same departure date so that you can share the cost of a hire car. Your hosts, Christian & Laura Hayes, can also offer a transfer service to/from Melbourne Airport to Mansfield for $300 AUD per person round trip the day before and after the ride begins/ends (*specific flight arrival and departure times are required to connect with this).
*If opting to catch the transfer service, you need to ensure your flight arrives into Melbourne no later than 2pm the day before the ride begins, and departing flights can be booked anytime after 12 midday the day after the ride ends.
We require ALL guests to arrive and stay in Mansfield (at your own expense) the night before the ride begins, so that you’re ready for collection around 9am on day one. On day eight, please book another night’s accommodation in Mansfield so that you can enjoy a full day in the saddle on the last day. You can depart anytime the following day. There are plenty of accommodation options to choose from, however we recommend the Mansfield Travellers Lodge, which provides both motel and backpacker style rooms and is in the heart of Mansfield.
What to expect in the bush camp
Each night a hot shower and a toilet will be available (rustic, but clean). The tents will be a simple mosquito dome so you can still gaze at the night sky. We will provide you with a comfortable swag (a canvas cover with a mattress inside) but you will need to bring your own sleeping bag and pillow (these can also be hired for $50).
All our meals are prepared daily from our camp kitchen trailer. Please make us aware of any dietary requirements. Breakfast: Cooked breakfast daily, this might include bacon and eggs, pancakes or French toast. Continental breakfast items will also be available as well as fresh fruit and yoghurt daily. Snacks: Throughout the day muesli bars and fresh fruit will be provided. Lunch: Our lunch menu will vary; cold meats and salads, Australian BBQ, Ploughman’s lunch and antipasto items. We also provide cakes and biscuits to accompany your billy tea or plunged coffee. Dinner: Each meal will be prepared daily and will vary but items may include a Kimberley Steak and camp oven veggies, camp oven roast, Moroccan meat balls, pasta dish or a vegetable stir-fry. After each meal sweets and tea and coffee will also be available.
Alcohol isn’t included in the ride price. You will need to purchase any alcohol you might want in Mansfield before heading out on your ride (please use cans where possible, wine bottles are fine). Your guides will keep it chilled in an esky for you.
Stories from the saddle
We’re delighted to be working with Christian and Laura Hayes, a husband and wife dynamo-duo who are renowned for their first-class riding holidays in two of Australia’s most iconic landscapes – the Kimberley and the High Country. How long have you been running your horse riding holidays? We have been operating Hidden Trails by Horseback […]