www.equineadventures.co.uk As winter approaches so the instinctive urge to go south is something itâ€™s ultimately better not to fight against. Equine Adventures heads to the southern hemisphere for a 13-day tour in one of the most picturesque parts of New Zealand, the Hurunui region of South Island, and the most effective and enjoyable way to explore it is on horseback, departing London 18th January and 1st February 2006.
From Christchurch a road transfer takes rider to meet their mounts and head for the high country sheep and cattle station of Mount Whitnow. Overnight accommodation is provided in shearerâ€™s quarters before riding up and over a 900 metre pass into Seaward Valley.
Hacking onwards through deep gorges surrounded by spectacular snow-capped mountains to the worryingly named Starvation Gully, farm quarters again provide welcome beds at Lake Taylor Station. Riders head next to the wide, tussock-terraced upper valley of the Hurunui region towards Lake Mason for a 3-night stay in simple but comfortable tented camp accommodation.
Time is allowed to appreciating the beautiful natural surroundings, swim in the lake, relax in a nearby natural hot spring, fish and of course ride within the surrounding area. Travellers returning to Lake Taylor Station for a further night before continuing to the Hurunui River campsite for a last night on the trek.
A final day in the saddle follows the banks of the Hurunui River through the impressive Hooligan Range, before riding cross-country towards the 770 metre Kanuku Saddle. On reaching the stables horses are unsaddled, bags unpacked and riders return to Hurunui Hotel for the night before catching homeward flights. This ride crosses snow-covered mountain passes and several river crossings. The pace will be quite measured due to the terrain combined with the use of packhorses. However, at various stages the packhorse team will take a different route enabling some faster and more adventurous riding. Throughout the trip all luggage is carried in saddlebags and on packhorses. Riders are required to assist in the saddling of horses and setting up and breaking down of camp.