Our lovely team of trekking horses are waiting to take you on an unforgettable journey into the mountains.

Horse Trekking

Horse Trekking in the Cardrona Valley

Our lovely team of trekking horses are waiting to take you on an unforgettable journey into the mountains.

We have handpicked the horses for their kind and gentle temperament and behaviour both on the ground and under saddle.

There are a selection of ages, heights and “horsanalities” across the herd to cater for riders of differing weights and riding experience levels.

We use Syd Hill Half Breed saddles which are a cross between a western and Australian stock style saddle, so very comfortable for long distance riding, and very lightweight for the horses comfort. They have been fitted with “monkey straps” to the pommel (front of the saddle) for those who would like to hold on for extra stability. Also extra strapping to tie on extra clothing, camera cases etc. Children’s saddles available.

We provide a one-on-one riding lesson with each rider before the trek departs to ensure riders are confident with how to steer and stop, although we do encourage the more humane “loose rein” style of riding so you can sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery!

Call Kelly anytime on 03 443 1228 to talk about horse riding in our beautiful valley.

  • Please bring; sturdy footwear, warm and weatherproof clothing, and a big smile!
  • Option to purchase the photo package after the ride – take home memories of our beautiful valley from horse back!
  • All levels of experience catered for. Children welcome over the age of five. We can lead from the guide horse on request.

  • Maximum weight for horse riding is 105kg (Note no maximum weight for quad biking!)
  • Minimum group size is two riders, single riders will be waitlisted to be confirmed upon others booking the same scheduled tour.

The Cardrona Tripadvisor

A Lovely Interlude on Horseback

“The Cardrona was happy to take us at short notice for a 2 hour scenic tour in the Cardrona Valley on willing but calm horses. Our guide was friendly, confident and shared interesting history of the region. A great interlude on our way to Queenstown.”


Time 12:30pm
duration Allow 3.5 hours
price From $229 NZD

Mount up and begin the big hill climb which soon gives way to spectacular views of the surrounding mountains of the Crown and Pisa ranges. The working Merino sheep farm land turns to rugged rock and tussock country as you climb higher to get that even better photo opportunity. Really feels like you are on top of the world in the middle of nowhere!

Descend to the Cardrona Hotel where you dismount & tie your horse to our hitching rail and enjoy a well earned beverage on us in the gorgeous garden bar. If you fancy a bit of a run heres your chance to cut loose! This ride offers many opportunities for a nice canter- the whole package!

The Gold Discovery Trail

Time 9:30am
duration Allow 2 hours
price From $189 NZD
ages 5+ years

Let your horse take you across the Cardrona River while keeping a keen eye out for gold along the way! Learn about the gold rush that Cardrona experienced in the 1860s which gave way to farming which you will experience first hand as you ride through mobs of Merino sheep. Climb to a beautiful vantage point allowing breathtaking views of Mount Cardrona and the Crown Range.

The meeting time for The Gold Discovery Trail is 9:30am. The Cardrona headquarters is a 20 minute drive for Wanaka or 45 minute drive from Queenstown over the Crown Range Road.

No riding experience is required as we provide suitable instruction for each individuals horse riding ability before the ride commences. Children can be led from the lead horse if required. This ride takes a journey along the Cardrona River under the willow trees, crosses through the river and ascends up in to the mountains of the working sheep & cattle station allowing spectacular views down the the Cardrona Valley and the surrounding mountain ranges along the way.

Reward your horse with a well earned bucket of feed on return to the stables!

TOP BEAT (experienced riders only)

Time On request
duration Allow 2.5 hours
price $299 NZD

New Zealand’s highest guided horse trek! Plenty of cantering on nice forward moving fun horses and a stop-over for photos at our hitching rail high up the mountain, an even more exclusive alpine equine experience! Allow a good 2.5 hours for this high speed ride.

Email Kelly to request this awesome ride

(Please note we need a minimum of two riders booked for this ride to go ahead, single riders will be wait-listed)

Twilight Ride (after 4:30pm)

Time On request
duration Allow 2.5 hours
price $249 NZD

In the spring/summer months the sun doesn’t go down until after 8pm so why not a romantic sun set ride? Its a beautiful time of the day as the sun sinks down behind the mighty Mount Cardrona, still pleasantly warm without the sunburn factor!

Email Kelly to request this awesome ride

Hen’s Parties

Treat the bride to be with a fantastic ride with her girlfriends stopping mid-ride for bubbles at the Cardrona Hotel!

GIFT VOUCHERS A ‘The Cardrona’ experience is a unique gift your loved ones will always remember! Call 03 443 1228 and we’ll post out a gift certificate to redeem for one of our unforgettable tours.


The Cardrona Quads


The Cardrona Quads
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