The Cardrona was established back in 2013 with the idea of taking small groups into the beautiful mountains of the Cardrona Valley, horses & quad bikes being the vehicle to allow access to the amazing alpine scenery on offer.
The unique arrangement we have with our friends who own the 15,000 acre private high country farmland allows us exclusive access to remote areas often only accessible by horse or quad bike. Also being on a working sheep, cattle and deer farm adds to the ever changing environment and provides us with up close interactions with these animals adding to The Cardrona story we tell along the way.
The focus on keeping group sizes small or private has been maintained and we have found to be the key for a most memorable experience. Being flexible to cater for all ages & abilities by having a selection of horses and quad bikes plus the 6 seater buggy on offer plus our amazing guides being adaptable and “on call” for the differing needs of our clients.
OUR PASSION FOR EVERYTHING RURAL
A passion for the Cardrona landscape, the community and the rich history story as well as our love for our amazing animal companions plus our sense of adventure has inspired us to develop the wonderful products we have on offer – which continue to evolve and improve as we dedicate our days to an exceptional customer experience.
MORE LOCAL BUSINESSES WE LOVE
THE CARDRONA HOTEL
The perfect place for a mid-ride refreshment, hearty country pub meal and cosy accommodation just down the road from us!
CARDRONA WHISKY DISTILLERY & MUSEUM
Our next door neighbours – Daily distillery tours through a first class facility followed by tastings in beautiful surroundings. Perfect before or after a horse trek or quad tour!
LAKE WANAKA TOURISM
Everything you need to know about our beautiful part of the country!
WHAT MAKES OUR EXPERIENCE SPECIAL
We are not just a horse “trek” or a quad bike “tour” – it is an ADVENTURE! The full package! Regularly deemed “the highlight” of our clients holiday.
ABOUT OUR HORSES
Our horses are all “ex harness” race horses that we have rehomed and retrained to be safe and enjoyable riding horses – and possibly given some a second chance at life after their short time as young horses at the racing stables!
They are wonderful in the way they quickly adapt to trail riding life and enjoy roaming together as a herd when not out in the mountains carrying our riders. We like to employ natural horsemanship methods, barefoot trimming, a varied but balanced diet of forage/hay and hard feed plus supplements to keep them in optimum condition (you will get to feed your horse at the end of your ride!). They always stay “mountain fit” as we operate year round (horses are designed to move) and have a rotation system so all get an equal share of the work. We keep a close eye on herd dynamics and listen to what our horses are telling us to give them the best life possible – we know that happy horses = happy ride!
Currently we have 9 horses, all geldings (boys) except our “odd one out” little Morgan who is the only non ex racer and the only girl! She is the only “Appaloosa” (white with spots) – all the rest are different shades of bay in colour (brown body with black mane & tail) and all bigger horses – gentle giants!