Australia, New South Wales - Inland & Coast Trail Ride
This ride is enjoyed by travellers who like to see, experience and stay in different styles of accommodation. This ride, and the area through which you ride, is similar in character to the Country & Beach Ride and you will ride through some of the same locations, but this ride goes a little further and takes you out of the bush and into some small communities.
For four nights (the first two and last two) you will stay at the riding centre, which is a beautiful and peaceful place to unwind, relax and enjoy the horses, together with the Australian hospitality and wildlife. During three days riding / two nights, you will go on a trail ride that gives you a sense of the adventure of riding in the remote bush as you ride along old forest paths, steep slopes and on the first road to Comboyne. You will get to discover small and charming Australian communities, spend the night in boutique accommodation, as well as enjoy spectacular lookouts and breath-taking beaches.
Preliminary day-to-day program for the Inland & Coastal Trail Ride.
Day 1. Transfer from Port Macquarie airport 5.15 pm - 5.30 pm or at the train station in Kendall at 6.15 pm. You will meet the horses and eat dinner together in the evening when you will run through the week's program.
Day 2. Approx. 3 hours riding. Introductory ride in the hilly terrain of Kerewong State Forest with tall eucalyptus trees, pockets of rainforest and the beautiful quiet bush tracks. You will also get to try some easy gallops. Stop for lunch under the tall gum trees in the middle of the Australian bush. This is a short ride at an easy pace so that riders get used to the terrain and the horses – as well as the time difference for guests that have travelled a long way. The wildlife that you may encounter during the rides and on the ranch includes wallabies, pademelons, bandicoots, reptiles, goanna and many Australian species of birds including parrots, lyrebirds and black cockatoos. If you're lucky, you will also see a koala, too!
Day 3: (5 hours riding, 27 km / 17 miles) Today you prepare for your small Australian riding adventure as you leave the riding centre and ride south towards the picturesque, lush green hills of the Hannam Vale Valley.
A scenic ride to the small village of Hannam Vale, tucked away in the hinterland between Taree and Port Macquarie. You ride through private farmland and cross a crystal clear creek, where you will stop to enjoy a short tea break before continuing on a soft forest trail and with a lovely long gallop. You then ride on through eucalyptus plantations to the Hannam Vale Valley where you will pass old log cabins in Waitui and dairy farms. You tie up the horses outside the Hannam Vale General Store (built 1914) where you will enjoy a late lunch in the centre of the "town". The Hannam Vale General Store has a lovely garden where you can enjoy refreshments and experience the hospitality at this popular hangout for the locals. You continue the ride a short way to your overnight accommodation at Villa Hannam Vale, a luxury Country Guesthouse where you will enjoy a good dinner and a relaxing night's rest in elegant and spacious bedrooms.
Day 4: (5-6 hours riding, 33 km / 21 miles) After a hearty breakfast, you saddle your horses and head off on a long day’s ride through a varied landscape to the Comboyne Plateau, your destination for the day.
A steep climb takes you out of the Hannam Vale Valley and up a steep rise where you stop to take in the breathtaking views of the valley from Flat Rock Lookout. You will gallop along the steep escarpment into the beautiful and remote forest that then opens up into the green pastures of the Comboyne Plateau. An afternoon tea stop at a waterhole to let the horses graze a little bit after the long stretch of trotting and galloping and for riders to take in the stunning views of the steep and rocky formations. You then continue on to your accommodation at the Roundhouse at the Comboyne Hideaway, a unique holiday retreat situated on the magnificent Comboyne Plateau. Enjoy the stunning views of the coastline and let your muscles relax in an outdoor hot tub on the porch while looking at the stars. Enjoy a BBQ dinner and a restful night after a long day in the saddle.
Day 5: (4 hours riding, 25 km / 16 miles). A ride across the beautiful green rolling farmland of the Comboyne Plateau. The Comboyne is a volcanic plateau with a unique topography and fertile red soil and the ride takes you past dairy farms and avocado orchards.
You will enjoy a panoramic view to the landmark Three Brother Mountain, a place with spiritual significance for the local Biripi Aboriginal people. On a clear day you can see all the way to the Pacific Ocean. You will ride through eucalyptus forests to Comboyne Mountain (670 m / 2,200 ft). From here, you get a magnificent panoramic view of the rich eucalyptus forest and the NSW North Coast, the Bago Bluff National Park, the Comboyne Plateau and the beginning of the Great Dividing Range. You can also see the riding centre and the lodge from here. Horses and riders will enjoy a well-deserved lunch break delivered by 4WD. After lunch, you will ride home at a more relaxed pace.
Day 6. (2 hours riding, 15 km / 9 miles) - Fantastic beach riding along the Pacific Ocean. The uninterrupted gallop on a deserted beach is an unforgettable experience. You can look out for dolphins in the waves and maybe have a close encounter with some kangaroos. Lunch on the beach near a colony of the unique Australian Grass Trees or Aussie Fish & Chips at the local Fish Co-op. You will be driven to and from the beach by car and horse transport (45 minutes).
Day 7: Departure after breakfast. Transfer to Kendall Station or Port Macquarie Airport or bus station. Optional stop at Port Macquarie Koala Hospital (only included with the departure transfer to Port Macquarie).
The riding days outlined above may take place in a different order and may change subject to circumstances. The guide selects a ride for the day to give riders the best possible experience during that specific week. Specified times and distances are approximate.