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.
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.
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 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.
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.
There are a few things you should know before deciding to add horseback riding to your Queenstown itinerary.
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.
Need transportation to make the most of the area? View our full range of affordable Queenstown rental cars and explore the best of Queenstown at your own pace.
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