Lakes2Mountains Pure Kiwi Adventure
- Duration: 9 Days (approx.)
- Location: Lake Hawea
- Product code: PS4KE2
Imagine riding a beautiful horse into stunning views of the enchanting Lake Hawea, Mount Aspiring, Hunter Valley, Ahuriri Conservation Park and surrounding mountain ranges.
Exclusive access To 2 privately owned iconic high country stations and pristine conservation land showcasing the best of Aotearoa NZ South Island high country.
Important Note: This trail is unique in that at times we utilise pack horses and others the trail is
serviced with a 4 wheel drive vehicle. In both cases we will be utilising the “blue bags” for the three out of the 5
Pick up in Queenstown is between 1pm & 1:30pm
Arriving at Hunter Valley for 3:30 pm start – 2 > 2.5 hours riding (this may vary depending on weather or station activities
(mustering cattle or sheep)
Our adventure begins at Hunter Valley shearer’s quarters.
You will be introduced to your adventure horse team mate, this afternoon. Horses
are saddled and ready to go, we are fitting equipment to your needs, adjusting
stirrups, attaching saddle bags,
Listen carefully to our trail boss/ head wrangler at this time as they will give you
tips about your specific horse. Our horses live and work in a herd environment
and it is important to observe the herd hierarchy. (Learn more about
This is an important time, ensuring that everyone's riding abilities match that of their adventure horse team
mate. There are no "silly questions here" so it is a good time to raise any questions you may have about your
gear or your horse team mate.
At AHT NZ our horses each have a unique personality that I am sure you will fall in love with.
We enjoy and afternoons ride beside the picturesque Lake Hawea.
Returning to the shearer’s quarters for our evening meal and overnight stay. The
quarters enjoy hot showers, flushing toilets, TV room and electricity with comfy beds.
The deck looks out of the picturesque lake and old rustic farm buildings. This
is a great opportunity to get to know one another before our adventure begins.
There are some lovely walks around the lake if you so desire
after dinner or you could just enjoy a wine sitting on the deck soaking up the
view. There is an opportunity to chat to those who live and work on
Hunter Valley station
We will be utilising the "blue pack bags" on this trail so this afternoon you will be
packing your gear into the blue bag. This evening, once your blue bag is packed,
we will transport your suitcases to the Lake Hawea Hotel to meet you at the end of your trail.
Riding day 2 - 5 hours riding - riding out 9:30 am
This morning we enjoy a continental breakfast as we are up and on the move early.
Packing our saddle bags after a lovely breakfast, we say goodbye to Hunter
Valley Station quarters. Today we ride through native Beech forests and water
falls. Travelling alongside this imposingly beautiful lake side we head towards Hunter
Valley Boundary Hut.
Today we will see Hereford cattle and Merino sheep roaming, this is a working station
and at times we enjoy seeing the shepherds mustering with their dogs and
horses. We will stop along the way for photo opportunities.
Tonight’s accommodation has a long drop toilet, two separate bunk rooms, solar lighting
and a wonderful horse paddock with stables and tack room. The hut enjoys
spectacular views of the Hunter Valley and delightful sense of isolation.
We will enjoy nibbles and dinner on the expansive decking with a stunning mountain
There is an opportunity to sleep out under the stars tonight if you so wish.
We carry tents if riders want more privacy.
Riding day 3 – 9:30 am start – 6 hours riding _You choose your day today…
Here riders can either enjoy a rest day at Boundary Hut
ride into the magnificent Hunter Valley ·
This is one of New Zealand’s best fly fishing rivers, those fly fisher people among
us may wish to spend the day out on the river.
After we enjoy a hearty farmhouse breakfast and pack our lunches we
saddle up and ride deep into the Hunter Valley. This trail meanders through an
ice blue glacial river flanked by magnificent mountain ranges. Riders can enjoy
seeing trout playing in the river or rare New Zealand Falcons flying high
overhead. In the Autumn we hear the stags roaring in the valley.
This is a ride you will not forget for a long time as the incredible
isolation and beauty is overwhelming.
Riding day 4 – 9:30 am – 6 hours riding
Tummies full of breakfast, tucker boxes packed we head out
to cross the crystal-clear Hunter river into the Dingleburn station. We will
spend the day feeling as though we are riding in a postcard as the views
throughout the day are spectacular and day dreamy. At times
the lake acts as a mirror, reflecting the stunning mountain views.
We will be looking back across the lake at Hunter Valley Station amazing ourselves how
far we have travelled.
Lake Hawea changes colour so many times today there are so many shades of turquoise.
Our accommodation for the evening is the Dingleburn shearers
quarters, located in an amazing setting. Here we have hot showers flushing
This station is completely off grid and self sufficient, electricity is generated by
hydro power/ solar power and generator.
There is a wonderful cookhouse where we will enjoy a farm cooked meal and relaxing
This station is run by two amazing Women, Nicki and Bridget Mead. We often enjoy
seeing them working stock on horseback with their dogs, shearers working in the
wool shed and we have also been privileged enough to join their autumn muster
through the bluff.
Riding day 5– 10:00 m start – 4 hours riding
No pressure this morning we enjoy a full farmhouse breakfast in the
Saddle up and head for the Hawea Hotel. We ride along the Dingleburn track;
you will be amazed at the pioneering Kiwi ingenuity that constructed this access way
into such a stunning and remote station. At times we will pass the waterfall that provides the
hydro power for the station. This is a wonderful picturesque gentle days riding
to end our adventure. Keep the camera handy.
We leave the horses in the Dingleburn Cattle yards for the night. The
horses will enjoy a good night on the hay whilst we will be transported to the
Hawea Hotel for our nights’ accommodation and evening meal. This Hotel
overlooks Lake Hawea and we can enjoy the luxury of dinner looking out over the lake.
Please note: Dinner is a set menu (you will need to bring your wallet for alcohol which is not included tonight)
Day 6 – Relaxing day in Wanaka: A continental breakfast is provided by the Lake Hawea Hotel.
After breakfast, you will be transported to Wanaka by the Lake Hawea Hotel staff to enjoy a relaxing
morning exploring Wanaka township and the beautiful Wanaka Lake.
Between 12 and 1:30pm (depending on availability)
Riders will meet outside the Wanaka information center.
We then enjoy a winery tour en route to the Birchwood Station Homestead.
Whilst you enjoy your relaxing day, the horses are being transported to the Birchwood Station for the remainder of
our trail. Once your winery tour is completed our taxi driver will pick you up and transport you to your next incredible
The Birchwood Homestead is beautifully restored historic building. We enjoy soft beds, hot showers, snug, washing
machine, electric blankets, shared bedrooms, large farmhouse kitchen. We will
be staying here for the next four nights.
We enjoy a two course farm cooked meal in the formal dining room of the beautiful Birchwood Station homestead.
Day 7 _5 1/2 hours riding exhilarating mountain riding 10:30am start
This morning we have a later start, making the most of our comfy accommodation.
After a farmhouse breakfast, lunches packed the horses are saddled cameras into the
saddle bags, we are off on the first of our wonderful adventures into this
picturesque National park.
The mountains flank our trail making us feel very small in comparison as we head into the
valley following the meandering Ahuriri River. Meeting the Dingleburn track we
climb to the top of the Mnt Gladwish mountain range to a height of 1600 meters
above sea, on an old pack trail. This is an exhilarating ride through native
bush and into the high golden tussock to the top of the ridge. At the mountain
peak we look down to the West, the Dingleburn River and to North East we see the headwaters of the
Ahuriri River and the Barrier mountain ranges stretching out before us. We
enjoy lunch in this heady and breath-taking environment before heading back
down the track following our footsteps to the homestead where hot showers and warm
fire await us. Back at the homestead the horses enjoy a beautiful grassy
paddock right outside the homestead so we can watch them all evening.
The humans enjoy a laid back evening, swimming, walking, relaxing and reading a book or
chatting to friends made on the trail.
Day 8 – 6 ½ hours riding 9:30 am start
A hearty cooked farmhouse breakfast to set us up for the day, lunchboxes packed, and
cameras charged we head down to saddle up the horses.
Today’s ride see’s our adventure head deep into the magnificent Ahuriri Valley. Today we can
trot along on a flat and well-marked track. The valley is filled with
waterfalls and the glacial fed river tumbles its way over the river bed stones
that the South Island is so famous for. This is an area where Department of
Conservation have spent a great deal of time and money on the preservation of
the Black Stilt. We will be sticking to the tracks to prevent any disturbance
to these wonderful birds. DOC is doing such a wonderful job and the numbers of
mating pairs has increased significantly under their care. After three and half
hours we enjoy lunch at one of the many huts in the valley, boiling a billy for
a nice hot cuppa.
We retrace our footsteps to the homestead; the view looking down the valley is so very
different on the return journey in such imposing mountain country. Our second
evening at the homestead sees us enjoy a Kiwi barbecue in the garden with its
natural landscape setting.
Day 9 – 5 ½ hours riding
After breakfast, lunch boxes filled we saddle up and make our way down the valley to today’s
destination the green lake at 1200 meters above sea. This is a beautiful
crystal-clear tarn set in the heart of the mountains. Large trout cruise the
edges of this wee tarn. There is a small bivi hut where we will enjoy our lunch
and hot drinks. We enjoy outstanding views of the snowy gorge and surrounding
snow-capped mountain ranges.
After lunch we ride out of the mountains to the Ben Avon station road and back to the
Birchwood Station homestead for dinner on our final evening, a celebration of
our time together in this idyllic location.
Day 10 – Breakfast is provided and then you will make your way home. Transportation to
Queenstown airport is provided.
Taxi will pick you up at 9:30> 10am and returned to Queenstown 1:30pm
Please note: The last 3 days of your trails itinerary can be mixed up as we work with the
weather to ensure that our customers experience the best of each environment.