The idea of sitting on a half-ton flight animal and riding up a steep rocky path may make some people recoil in terror, but the truth is that trail riding on horseback is one of the greatest ways to see any country, especially the beauty of New Zealand.
There are a vast number of different types and levels one can take, ranging from beach rides with gallops along the white sand, to exploring the untouched mountainous wilderness.
Kahurangi National Park
One of the lesser-known horse trekking sites, here you can expect to splash through natural mountain lakes and forests. You don’t need to be of a certain skill level, as the horses are sturdy and dependable.
If you feel comfortable, you can even ride bareback into the deeper parts of the lake, and experience the thrill of swimming with your horse.
Week-Long Horse Treks
For those who are fit and can stand a couple of days in the saddle, there are a number of horse treks that stretch over a couple of nights. From a whole week to just a weekend, you can ride through the rugged New Zealand landscape on your trusty steed, camping at night under the stars.
All equipment is provided for you and the guides are always experienced and friendly. Just be aware that you will very likely be stiff after a few days ride, especially if you are not used to horse riding. Its best to build up to an experience like this with a number of day rides first.
Follow a Miners Trail
New Zealand is known for its first pioneers who mined coals in the steep mountains. Following in their footsteps on specially bred horses, you can ride up and down steep mountain faces and sleep in sheep mustering huts at the end of the night.
Points of interest often include some old coal and gold mines themselves, as well as unspoiled New Zealand high country. Food is locally sourced most of the time and will give you a great sense of satisfaction as you wrap up in your sleeping bag in a century-old hut with a full belly.
Ride and Race
The horse racing industry is New Zealand is one of the best in the world. Quality horses are bred and trained, running locally and internationally. The great Phar Lap was homegrown in New Zealand and went on to become one of the best racehorses in the world.
A few trail riding outfits are near cities such as Queenstown, which have a thriving racing industry. A great idea is to do a trail ride on a shaggy, dependable pony, and then go to see the other end of the spectrum with glossy, scorchingly fast thoroughbreds.
Placing a bet on a race is exciting, and a well-loved past time in the country. Betting on other sports such as Australian Open tennis betting can be done online and in a number of friendly tote shops.
Go To Mordor
Lord of the Rings was one of the most successful movie series ever made.
The vast majority of it was shot in New Zealand, which is not surprising when one looks at the awe-inspiring scenery.
Take a trail that goes right through some of the best-known LOTR spots such as Mordor and the Battle of Rohan.