Horse Treks

Experience the majestic beauty of a limestone-cliff valley flanked with native rainforest, and ride along a rugged beach on horseback

If you have ever imagined riding on horseback along a wild beach, or trotting along a trail up a valley, crossing a wide river to a secret glade amid towering rainforest, then we can make those dreams come true in Punakaiki.

We offer guided horse treks up the Punakaki valley beside the Paparoa National Park, finishing with a stroll along the Punakaiki beach. Operating from October to May, in spring, summer and autumn, we run small-group trips as well as personalised treks to suit your abilities and interests. Young children can enjoy led-rides on the beach, while extra tuition is available from professional instructors for more experienced riders.

The most popular horseback ride

Our most popular option, lasting two and a half hours, starts with learning the basics of horse-riding, before venturing up the valley, fording a river and after a rest stop at a rustic forest cabin, returning the scenic route, with opportunities to take photos of limestone cliffs and verdant forest that has featured in movies and natural history documentaries. Your guide will also point out any birdlife, which might include wood pigeons, paradise ducks, weka, pukeko, plovers, oyster-catchers and harrier hawks. The excursion finishes along the sea-spray beach.

What you need to know

We’ve been operating since 1996, and our experienced, friendly, multi-lingual guides have a commitment to rider safety and comfort. Our horses are well-cared for, all are standard-breds and stationbreds selected for their quiet temperament. Our trips operate every day between October and May, from modern stables beside the main road 600m south of the Pancake Roads. We provide all the equipment and gear, including helmets and wet weather gear (if required), as well as light refreshments in the forest hut.

What to bring

Please bring long trousers and walking shoes with closed toe and a heel, sunscreen, your camera or smart phone, and suitable clothing for the weather conditions.

Weight limit and restrictions

Please note, for the well-being of our horses, we have a weight limit of 95kg (210 pounds), and reserve the right to weigh guests, and if they exceed the limit, they won’t be able to ride, but a full charge will apply.

Intermediate or advanced riders (as deemed by our guides) are permitted to trot and canter at specified times, while beginners and novices are restricted to walking while on horseback.

Pricing and further information

2.5 hour group trek – $190.00 per person (minimum of two people)

Personalised ride - $240.00 per person (minimum of two people)

We can offer parking for self contained campervans $50.00 per vehicle. Please contact as space limited.

Contact us for departure times or to arrange a personalised ride. Bookings in advance are recommended in summer to avoid disappointment.

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