Horse Trekking In Queenstown

Horse trekking

Horse Trekking In Queenstown

Experience the unrivaled freedom of exploring Queenstown’s pristine countryside on horseback.  Soak up the rugged glacial-fed rivers and sweeping alpine landscapes, all while enjoying fresh mountain air and sunshine.

Beyond the immediate township, there are miles and miles of open backcountry to explore, you can even check out some of the stunning scenery that was used as backdrops in the Lord Of The Rings movies.

Trekking Tour Guides

There are numerous horse trekking tour providers in Queenstown.  Horseback riding is a very popular way of exploring the pristine natural landscapes for tourists and kiwis alike.  Horse trekking guides will supply all of the necessary gear; including helmets, saddles and bridles and horses of course.  Wet weather gear is also usually offered if the weather takes a turn for the worse and most tour guides even provide lunch or snacks as part of your outing.

The treks range in distance and difficulty, you can opt for a gentle walks along quiet rolling farmland tracks or for a bit more of an adrenaline pumping pace galloping through native bushlands, and up high country hills with the odd river crossing thrown in.

Tour guides offer treks varying in length from short 1 – 2 hour rides, ½ day to full day treks and even customised 2 or 3 multi day options.  The friendly, experienced guides are there to provide you with the most memorable horseback experience possible.   They will ensure high standards of horse management are always upheld and match you with the most suitable horse; carefully chosen to complement your riding abilities and size.

Your guides will also provide instructions and tips when learning to control your horse so you can proceed with the utmost safety.  Along the way guides will often provide answers to any questions you may have regarding the surrounding landscape, movie trivia relating to the Lord Of The Rings filming locations and of course there will be plenty of opportunities to photograph the absolutely amazing scenery.

So Many Fabulous Locations

Visitors to Queenstown are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing where to ride.  The Wakatipu basin offers every kind of back drop you could ask for; historic buildings, interesting landmarks, native alpine flora and fauna, rustic farmland, ponds and rivers and breath taking views of the Kawarau River, Remarkables Mountains, the Queenstown township and Lake Wakatipu; New Zealand’s longest lake.


Just 45 minutes by car from Queenstown is Glenorchy, a small settlement at the head of Lake Wakatipu.  It was originally home to a wharf servicing many of the nearby high country stations. Glenorchy is the gateway to New Zealand’s Mount Aspiring National Park, one of New Zealand’s three World Heritage areas.

Glenorchy is well known for its horse treks, and provides riders with open flat land, river crossings, untouched beech forests and spectacular mountain views.


Not far from Glenorchy lies the settlement of Paradise.  Perhaps the most appropriately named town ever, it truly is a paradise on earth.  Situated 20 kilometres along a partially unsealed road from Glenorchy, Paradise was one of the early excursions for travellers to New Zealand and is steeped in historical significance.

Enjoy riding across rolling farmland and through forests while learning about the colourful history of the area.

Ben Lomond Station

Ben Lomond Station is situated in the valley on the other end of Queenstown’s Gondola. Over 150 years ago it was home to hordes of gold prospectors, panning for gold in the valley.  Today Ben Lomond Station provides riders access to Gills Creek, Moke Lake and thousands of acres of rustic farmland, with impressive mountains and pristine lakes surrounding you as you ride.

Exploring this area is only allowed on foot, by bike or on horseback, allowing you to truly connect with nature, as you trek beneath unbroken blue skies with no trace of civilization to be seen.

Walter Peak High Country Farm

Across the lake lies the Walter Peak High Country Farm, also a popular destination as you can combine a 45 minute cruise on the ‘TSS Earnslaw’ over the waters of Lake Wakatipu with your horseback adventure.

Ride across beautiful rolling terraces, with spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu and the farms namesake, Walter Peak a 1,800 metre high mountain.

Queenstown Horse Trekking Information

There are a few things you should know before deciding to add horseback riding to your Queenstown itinerary.

  • Sturdy Footwear And Comfortable Long Trousers.  These are must have items, riding with bare legs or open toed shoes is not permitted.  Solid, covered footwear (toes enclosed), is an absolute must.  Boots with a low heel are preferable, but sneakers or trainers are acceptable.  These basic requirements are necessary due to safety and comfort reasons.
  • Maximum Weight Limit. Most tour providers have a maximum body weight limit; this is usually around 100kg.  You must provide accurate weights when booking; this is imperative for the health and wellbeing of the horses and rider safety.   If you exceed the weight limit, you will not be permitted to ride.
  • Level Of Expertise. Some treks need a high level of riding expertise and are designed specifically for competent riders only; this will be reiterated on arrival and is for your own safety.  These rides will be covering difficult terrain and travelling much faster speeds, on horses that require an experienced rider.  Do not over estimate your abilities, this will only end in the ride becoming unsafe or having to abort the ride part way round.
  • Don’t Forget Your Camera! Bring a camera, water, sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat.  Sun protection is always a must wherever you are in New Zealand.  Riders will have the chance to take plenty of photographs of the horses and of the impressive surroundings.
  • Minimum Age Restrictions. There are usually minimum age requirements for children, approximately 7 or 8 years of age as a rough guide.  Some tour guides offer rides for younger children but they must have some previous horse riding experience.
  • Limited Group Sizes. All operators limit the size of their guided tour groups, small groups with maximum rider to guide ratio of 5:1 are best for maximum safety and enjoyment.
  • Operating Season. Most operators only provide guided tours through the warmer months, roughly inclusive of the months October to May.  It gets very cold during the winter months and some of the rides are not possible due to snow and icy conditions.  Make sure you check with your tour guides before arrival.

Undoubtedly Queenstown offers some of the world’s best horseback riding experiences, you have a wide range of options and landscapes to choose from with superb tour companies and experienced helpful guides.  Explore the best Queenstown backcountry sights on horseback, it is an unforgettable experience.

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If you have any questions or need help or advice about rental cars or your New Zealand travel plans we’re here to help you. Please contact us


New Zealand Free Phone: 0800 800 956

Australian Free Phone: 1800 771 302

Other international enquiries. Find your nearest New Zealand rental cars branch.