Alpine Triangle Ride
South Island New Zealand: (IT-NZIR02)
Discover the stunning South Island of New Zealand on a 9 day rustic adventure in the Alpine Pacific Triangle.
Experience the backcountry landscapes of the beautiful Mt Lyford region in the Alpine Pacific Triangle of the South Island - just two hours from Christchurch. On this 8-day rustic adventure ride you will discover and traverse the beautiful and ever changing mountains of this region. We ride through native beech forest, tussock, high country farms and river valleys, amongst the Amuri Range between Hanmer Springs and Kaikoura.
The ride starts and ends at the Mt Lyford Lodge, a cozy alpine lodge complete with restaurant, bar and outdoor hot tubs! We then start our journey through the foothills of the Amuri Range, in the heart of the Alpine Pacific Triangle. We will ride across seven high country working ranch properties, on farm trails and back country tracks. Our trails reach as high as 3,500 feet with stunning views over the surrounding valleys. Rustic in nature, this progressive back country ride features basic farm hut accommodation (traditionally used by sheep shearers and farm musterers), as well as quaint (but basic) farm cottage lodgings. Three nights will be spent without electricity - with a roaring fireplace and candles to light our evenings, as well as the thousands of stars that light up the southern hemisphere. Riders and guides prepare their own meals while staying at the huts, with the food and luggage delivered to each hut by a support vehicle. You are also responsible for the care of your own horses during the ride - ensuring they are washed down, fed and happy every evening. Along the way we teach and apply the principals of natural horsemanship - relying more on communication than force to gain cooperation from our horses. Riders should have an intermediate riding level.
This is an opportunity to discover New Zealand's beautiful South Island back country on horseback. The horses are a mix of breeds, including the beautiful St James - a breed that runs wild in this area of the South Island, and is prized as a stock horse. You may also have the opportunity to ride a Clydesdale cross - these gentle giants are a common stock and farm horse breed in New Zealand, and are relatives of the draft horses that worked the ploughs in settler times.
Beautiful scenery, back country trails, no tourist hordes and excellent riding - join us on an authentic South Island back country riding adventure to remember!
The coastal town of Kaikoura is famous for its eco-tours – including dolphin swimming, whale watching and albatross encounters. It is also an excellent place to try locally caught, fresh-off-the-boat crayfish (lobster)! Inland, Hanmer Springs is one of New Zealand’s top tourist attractions – a naturally heated thermal spring, with thermal rock pools, private spas, a children’s aquatic playground and day spa complex. At the foothills of mountains lie the sprawling Canterbury Plains and the Waipara Wine Region, home to some of New Zealand’s top wine producers (including world renowned wineries Waipara Springs and Pegasus Bay).
We spend 2 nights in lodge accommodation, 2 nights camping and 4 nights in hut or farm cottage accommodation.
All food is provided and we self cater (ingredients are provided daily and we all prepare our own meals). We are without electricity for three nights. Fresh sheets and towels are provided.
You can order in advance wine - red, white or sparkling (NZ$30 per bottle), beer (NZ $5) and soft drinks (1.5 l for NZ $3)
Your luggage will be transported by vehicle from place to place. Cell phone coverage is patchy in the valleys and good on the tops.
Mt Lyford Lodge: Mt Lyford Lodge is an alpine lodge, located on the inland Kaikoura Ranges, in the heart of the Alpine Pacific Triangle. The lodge features a range of rooms – from double rooms to bunk rooms. There are spa pools and a full restaurant and bar. The regular trip rate includes bunk room accommodations, but you can upgrade to regular double rooms.
Sherwood Huts: The Sherwood huts are rustic huts with solar showers for bathing. The huts have no electricity, but feature a fireplace in the living room and rain water supply. There is an outside toilet, two double beds, three single beds, and four bunks.
This trip includes
and can accommodate special dietary requests.
Each trip begins with a partnering up session where you learn how horses think, and how to build rapport, communication and leadership with your horse. This enriches your ride making it safer, rewarding and fun. We ride in natural rope halters. No bits. This promotes communication rather than force.
Riding Times: On the first day we will spend a few hours in the afternoon becoming acquainted with our horses.
The rest of the trip will feature approximately 5 – 8 hours of riding daily.
Natural Horsemanship: We practice and apply natural horsemanship techniques – consequently our horses are barefoot, and we use natural halters. On arrival you will receive lessons in natural horsemanship, and the principles of communication and trust.
Digital photo service and gear such as helmets, gloves, chaps, long riding coats, extra warm clothes, cups of tea, lunch and saddle bags all supplied
Day 1 Arrivals
Arrive at our base around midday. In the afternoon we will become acquainted with our horses, the group and our guides. We will explain the fundamentals of natural horsemanship, and spend some time getting used to our horses around the lodge. Tonight we spend our first night together in Mt Lyford Lodge (upgrade to Sherwood Lodge possible) – where you can indulge in the spa pools, and enjoy a delicious meal in the lodge restaurant.
Day 2 Mt Lyford to Sherwood Huts
Today we enjoy breakfast at Mt Lyford Lodge, before departing. We ride across three high country farms (or stations, as they are called in New Zealand). We ride mostly through regenerating native forest, following off road 4WD tracks. We will stop for lunch overlooking the beautiful Lottery River, with the impressive Amuri Mountain Range to our right. Tonight we stay in the Sherwood Huts – situated on the Lottery River. On arrival we will wash down our horses before helping to prepare our own evening meal (ingredients are provided by Sherwood Lodge each night, for us to cook ourselves). The Sherwood Huts are lovely rustic huts, with solar showers and bathing in the Lottery River. There is no electricity, but the beautiful setting makes up for this! Hut facilities are basic, with an outside toilet, fireplace in the living room, rain water supply, two double beds, three single beds and 4 bunk beds. (1500 feet to 2500 feet; 5 – 6 hours riding)
Day 3 Sherwood Huts to Creek Valley Camp
Today we awake and eat breakfast. We ride across three stations through higher terrain this day, with views across the Hossack Game Park on our right. To the east we can see the Waiau River Valley, and the Pacific Ocean – the “Alpine Pacific Triangle”. Today you may see New Zealand’s famous merino sheep – prized worldwide for their fine wool production. Tonight we stay in the Moriarty's farm cottage with stunning views looking out to the hills we have just ridden over. Again our food and gear is transported in and we cook our own meal. The Moriarty’s Farm Cottage is a farm cottage, sleeping 6-8 people. This Cottage features hot showers and a well appointed kitchen. The toilet is outside but flushing! (1500 feet to 3000 feet. 6 – 8 hours riding)
Day 4, 7 to 8 hours 1,000 feet to 1,800 feet Creek Valley Camp to Chatterton Farm. We wander back into the Amuri Range past the historic Barceldean homestead and woolshed and climb steadily up the pass on the right hand side of Mt Lesley on a good track passing a huge waterfall on the way to the top of the Amuri Range, where we have lunch and look out over Hanmer Springs directly beneath us. We lead our horses down to the Hanmer River and take a
further hour along the flats to Chatterton Farm, where we stay in the hut there and enjoy the hot showers and dinner by the fire. Food is provided for us to cook.
Day 5 Rest day at the Chatterton Cottage with complimentary entry to the Famous Hanmer Springs Hot pools, which is a 25 minute walk into Hanmer Springs Township.
Day 6 Chatterton Farm to Creek Valley Camp. We follow the Lesley Pass trail on the left hand side of Mt Lesley back to our Camp in the Creek Valley. This pass is not as high as the one going over, but has some wonderful stands of native forest and is easy going. 7 to 8 hours 1500 feet to 1,800 feet.
Day 7 Creek Valley Camp to Sherwood Huts. This is the only day we retrace some of our steps, and follow our trail back across the Amuri Range and down into the Lottery river Valley to our Sherwood Huts. 8 to 9 hours 1000 feet to 2,300 feet.
Day 8 We take a different trail on our way home, which takes us down into the lottery river, which we follow for an hour and a half, lunching on its banks before heading back up the Terako Downs Airstrip and back into the Mt Lyford Horse Trekking base, where we all celebrate, head for the spa pools at Mt Lyford Lodge, a shower and a meal cooked for us this night in the restaurant. 5 to 6 hours 1500 feet to 2,300 feet
Day 9 Farewells
Today we bid farewell to our group. Transfers are available to Christchurch International Airport for those catching onward flights.
--Subject to changes.
Rates and Dates for Alpine Triangle Ride
Accommodations ( 2 nights in lodge, 2 nights camping and 4 nights in huts/cabins with made up beds), meals, 6 riding days, 1 day Spa with entry to Hanmer Pools
Transfer and Other Options:
Transfer from Christchurch included with 2+
9d / 8n
9 day Trip, AP
9d / 8n
9 day Trip, AP
Trip is available any time with a minimum of 2 riders - between November and April.
Rates do not include:
Transfer: from Christchurch according to arrival
From November to April (summer to early autumn in New Zealand) the Mt Lyford area experiences maximum average temperatures of 19 to 23 ° C, and lows between 5 and 10 ° C. This area of New Zealand is known for its relatively dry summers – but the famous New Zealand adage “four seasons in one day” is sometimes true! Be prepared for sun, rain or wind.
What To Bring:
We supply helmets, short chaps, gloves, long riding coats, saddle bags,
digital photo service, extra warm riding clothes and some boots. Water
bottles, fresh sheets and towels are provided.
You should bring:
• Boots to ride and walk in
• Your own warm clothes, swimmers, and riding clothing.
• Your own nibbles, and water bottle for the day’s riding if you wish
• Be sure to bring thermal or woolen under-clothes in the case of wet and/or cold days. Don’t rely on cotton.