Punakaiki Horse Treks

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.

To book now email or call +64 21 264 2600(mobile).

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 & restrictions.

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.

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

To make a booking - please email us on or call +64 21 264 2600(mobile) and we can reserve you a spot and send a secure link for pre-payment.

Cancellation policy. We ask you to phone, email or txt to confirm 24 hours before the ride. Full amount of booking will be taken for a no show without notification. Once the ride has been confirmed, if the customer declines to proceed for any reason we reserve the right to take full payment. Changes or Cancellations by Us If we are forced to cancel due to weather conditions or as a result of unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, we offer a full refund of all monies paid. If it is necessary to make significant change or cancel before departure, we will advise you as soon as possible. We regret we cannot pay any costs or expenses or losses you may incur as a result of any change or cancellation.

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