Apologies in advance if the loading time for this post is a little bit crazy, globetrotters, but when you’re given a treasure chest full of phenomenal photos from the Glenorchy Back Country Ride, choosing a handful to share is just about impossible!
Genelle Bevan is a globetrotter and photographer extraordinaire. That’s her riding the beautiful flaxen chestnut gelding in the photo above. She sent us these images alongside her feedback form and was also kind enough to share her thoughts on what made the trip so very magical.
Make yourself a cuppa, sit back, and prepare to be transported to the majestic wilderness of New Zealand’s South Island!
As a solo traveller, my trepidation at being on horseback after 10 years of no riding was easily outweighed by my excitement at climbing on the bus to head to Glenorchy for the start of our ride, and meeting all the other lovely girls I would share this experience with. The stunning but very winding road gave us glimpses of the beauty we would be exploring and the chatter on the bus with the other girls showed they were just as much in awe of our surroundings as I was.
Arriving and organising ourselves was a little overwhelming, but Deana and Casey were extremely welcoming and professional, and soon after meeting our guides, Bjimin and Jess, we were allocated our horses and getting on our way. From the moment we hit the trails I was totally comfortable and at ease and found that everything came back to me. I was fortunate enough to be given Deana’s own little hunter, Tank, a gorgeous little cob, and couldn’t have asked for a more trustworthy, careful and enjoyable little fellow.
Once we worked out the capabilities of all the riders, we were moved into groups to allow the more experienced riders to have a bit more freedom and ride at a faster pace, which was great. I think you definitely need to be an intermediate rider for this ride, just to make sure you are not holding the rest of the group back from having all the experiences they can. Having ridden from the age of five and competed in both three day eventing and dressage, I was not disappointed. I even got to have a few little jumps on Tank, which was lovely.
I am totally in awe of the stunning landscapes we got to explore. I don’t think there is any better way to experience this area than on horseback. Every day was another amazing experience and each night we got to know each other better, sharing stories, wine and amazing food in the best company.
I can’t tell you how fantastic Bijmin and Jess were. From cooking to horsemanship and general knowledge of the amazing landscapes we travelled through, you could just tell they absolutely love what they do. They gave not only their time but themselves everyday. Their patience with some of the less experienced riders was amazing, yet they gave us more competent riders a chance to stretch ourselves and made every effort to make sure that everyone had a lovely experience.
Ending our ride on the final night at Paradise was just incredible. Such a beautiful place, gorgeous accommodation and, to my great relief, a massage therapist on hand. Having made many strong friendships during the week, this night was so lovely to relax, drink, enjoy and reminisce.
Being a photographer I had a little stab at documenting the ride, the details and the landscapes, but the photos just don’t do it justice. The experience is one I will never forget and I can’t wait to do it all again, in another country, and tick another ride off my bucket list!
Our biggest, warmest thanks go out to Genelle for sharing her amazing words and photos. We are feeling incredibly inspired to go globetrotting and can’t wait to be back in the Land of the Long White Cloud!
To see more of Genelle’s work, check out her website, Immerse Photography.