Kerewong Hinterland

NSW Australia: (IT-AURT02)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/australia_kerewong.aspx

Introduction
NSW Australia
Join this beautiful adventure on fit and forward Arabian horses, riding across the beautiful and diverse landscape of Australia's NSW Mid North Coast hinterland. During the week, you will discover Australian hilly bush landscape, eucalyptus & rainforest, a long sandy beach, green farm valleys, mountain terrain and small rural communities. You might see Australian wildlife in their natural habitat both during rides and on the horse farm.

Ride across forests, farm land, eucalypt plantations, rainforest valleys, creek crossings, impressive rock formations, climb up and canter along escarpments and ridges, and take in the views from spectacular mountain top lookouts. Tie your horse outside a small village store to have lunch & coffee and enjoy gourmet meals. See the picturesque views of the Comboyne Plateau and take in the breathtaking views to the coast and finish with riding along the Pacific Ocean for kilometres of long deserted beaches.

Accomodation


Accommodations
This is a progressive ride with nights spent in different locations throughout the week.

Description
Most nights are spent at the Lodge and 2 overnights are spent at different locations.

Accommodation Itinerary for Progressive Option - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1 & 2: Kerewong Lodge
Night 3: Farmhouse in Hannam Vale
Night 4: Comboyne Farmhouse
Night 5 & 6: Kerewong Lodge

Kerewong Lodge
The main lodge has beautiful, wide verandas which overlook the magnificent garden filled with native plants and trees, the large horse paddocks where the animals graze, and the saltwater swimming pool (open October-April). Beyond is the lush forest valley of the Camden Haven.
Guests are accommodated in either a cabin or a lodge room:
- The cabin contains one queen and one twin bed, a shower/toilet, veranda, air-conditioning, fridge, coffee & tea facilities.
- The lodge rooms are accessed from the main guest living / dining area. Each bedroom also has an external door leading to its own decking space / verandah. Most rooms are equipped with private bathrooms. 
The lodge also has a large communal entertainment area for guests to sit together to enjoy meals and drinks in a family style atmosphere. Sometimes, riders may have to share bathroom if the trip is fully booked with single rooms (only the case in agreement with guests and after being discussed at booking time or prior to arrival).
The lodge is dependent of rainfall for the total water supply. Therefore there are no laundry facilities offered. Please be aware that our water is precious. If you wish you can hand wash your most urgent clothes in the bathroom basin and you are welcome to hang them to dry on the washing line behind the garage. Depending on the water reserves some exceptions for washing clothes can be made for international guests that are traveling for a longer period - please make requests when booking.
WIFI is available.

Farmhouse in Hannam Vale
Stay overnight at a 100 acres private hobby-farm property in the rural community of Hannam Vale. Your hosts welcome you in their luxurious modern Australian home, situated in the middle of their lush property with stunning views towards the unusual rock formations (volcanic plugs) of the Coorabakh National Park. Enjoy stylish spacious bedrooms.

Comboyne Farmhouse 
This private accommodation boasts a large, open-plan living and dining area with two bedrooms, each unique in style. A hot tub sits on the private deck providing the perfect spot to unwind, while taking in the glorious view of the Comboyne Plateau region. To keep you warm in the colder months, there is a fireplace where you can enjoy the views while being cosy.

Communications at Kerewong Lodge
Mobile phone reception on the farm property is poor and limited to SMS texting. Most riding days have some opportunity for mobile phone reception.
Free WiFi internet access is available for guests who bring their own Internet device. The use is limited to "standard" internet and email usage and short Skype phone calls. Please don’t download large files like movies or large photo files, make long Skype video calls, etc.

Room Occupancy
There is no additional fee for a single room.



Meals
All meals are included except 1 meal out at a local cafe.
Emphasis is on fresh home-cooked meals and light salad lunches.

Buffet style breakfast with toast, condiments, cereals, yogurt, fruit. Cooked eggs & bacon on some mornings.
Lunch during day rides: light picnic lunches (cheese and salads) brought to you by 4WD support vehicle or saddlebag (sandwich) lunch.
2 course dinner at the dining table in the communal area, international and Australian specialties: beef stew, pasta, chicken, fish, roast dinner, barbecue.

We offer complimentary table wine with dinner. Extra alcohol can be bought at local store on arrival (pick up during arrival transfer). 
Juice, soft drinks (lemonade and coke), filtered rain (tank) water, milk, tea, coffee and hot chocolate are freely available on a self-serve basis.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to most dietary restrictions if given prior notice.

This trip includes some wine with dinner and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding


Riding Experience
Only capable riders are accepted. Minimum riding level is Good Intermediate. Horse riders must be able to mount / dismount unassisted, have a firm seat and be confident and capable to control a forward going and fit horse at all paces (including long stretches of posting trot and gallops) in varied open terrain. Leading your horse over short distances may sometimes be required. Riders benefit if they are “riding-fit”, because the riding can be quite intense due to hilly forest terrain and pace of ride.
The horse riding tours and trail horses are not suitable for children or inexperienced riders and a reasonable amount of fitness is required for all rides.

Children Policy
Children 15 years and older with strong intermediate riding skills, and who are accompanied by a riding parent, may be able to participate on request.

Tack & Riding Style
Our horses are trained to be ridden on a loose rein in English style. We ride with English Style lightweight endurance or all purpose saddles and use snaffle or bit less bridles. Western Riders must have basic training in English riding and be comfortable in posting to the trot and a two-point canter.
When riding uphill or galloping riders should sit in a raised or 2-point position (similar to when jumping), standing in the stirrups and leaning forward, alleviating the horse’s back.
Downhill slopes are always in walk and riders should sit straight, balanced and slightly standing in stirrups (not leaning back), to alleviate the horse’s back

Riding Terrain
We ride through NSW State Forests, private farm properties, Crown Land and some public rural roads. Most country is undulating to steep terrain with some narrow overgrown rainforest trails. Rides go into remote and isolated areas, with limited mobile phone reception and assistance from third parties not immediately available.

Pace
The program includes 5 riding days covering approximately 137 km and spending a total of 22 hours in the saddle.
Riding pace is moderate with long active walks, trotting, canters and fast galloping sections of up to 4 km's. Horse riding pace and tour itineraries are subject to terrain & weather conditions. Each day of riding generally covers about 30 km per day in 4-6 hours riding.

Horses
We use well schooled horses, including Arab-Quarter horse crosses, carefully selected and trained for long distance trail riding. Many of the horses were bred specifically for endurance riding and complete endurance rides regularly. We have 6 pure & part-bred Arabian horses (14.2 and 15.3 hands / 145 and 157 cm), 1 Andalusian-Thoroughbred cross (16.2 hands) and 2 Brumbies.
The horses are sure-footed, good-natured and in excellent condition. They are kept in groups on large paddocks on the 60 acres property. The horses' agility, great stamina, adaptability to the Australian climate conditions and excellent people- and work- friendly temperament make them ideal horses for multi-day long distance trail riding through challenging terrain.
The horses' well being and safety is our main concern and riders can be assured that all trail riding horses are maintained and cared for to the highest standards.

Tack
Tack is of a very high standard and kept in good condition.
Australian made Endurance saddles: leather (Mackinder) and synthetic (Wintec). Wintec All Purpose and Dressage Saddles.
Snaffle bits, hackamores or bitless bridles/ Natural Horsemanship halters.
Synthetic Endurance breastplates, some with martingale.
Small saddlebag to carry water bottle (supplied), personal items for the day, lunch on some days.
Guests can offer to help with the horses and get their horse ready in the morning, saddle / unsaddle and wash & clean up the horse and tack, if they want (always supervised), but this is by no means compulsory or expected.

Weight Restriction
Due to the pace, duration and hilly terrain of our horse riding tours we have set rider weight limits for each individual horse with an overall weight limit of 80kg -– some exceptions in winter for up to 85 kg (depending on riding ability and height). Rider height–weight ratio is taken into account.

Safety
The guide carries a special mobile phone for regional areas (but not with 100% reception), UHF radio for communication with forestry workers and first aid kit.
Riding helmets must be worn at all time while on the horse.

Your Host and Guide
Your trail guide, Kathy, has a diverse equestrian background. She was a successful Dressage rider competing at Advanced level in The Netherlands (she moved to Australia in 2000) and also competed in Show jumping and Cross Country (Eventing). She now enjoys taking her Arabian horses to local endurance rides. Having been on many trail riding holidays and treks throughout Europe and Canada, your trail guide knows what makes a great horse-riding holiday.
Kathy and her team are also responsible for the gourmet side of the business, from cooking breakfast to your request, bringing lunch to the riders in the Australian bush or preparing a sumptuous evening dinner meal or barbecue.
Kathy is fluent in English, German and Dutch.

Itinerary


Tours usually run from Sunday to Saturday, with some exceptions through the year due to Public Holidays and / or low tide times.

Sample Itinerary - subject to changes

Note: Due to this being a Trek with overnight stays in other accommodations, the itinerary follows a set order, but is still subject to weather and terrain conditions. Stated Riding distances and times are approximates only.

Day 1: Arrival
Pick-up transfer from Port Macquarie Airport or Bus Station (1 hour drive) or Kendall Train Station (20 minutes drive) and arrival at the Lodge & Horse Riding Farm in the late afternoon or early evening. Meet the horse herd in their home pastures.
Dinner with your host and co-riders and discussion of the week's riding program.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at the Lodge


Day 2: Forest Horse Ride
Introductory Forest Ride through the hilly terrain of the Kerewong State Forest with tall eucalypt forests, pockets of rainforest, beautiful quiet bush trails and fun canters. Stop for lunch under the tall gum trees in the middle of the Aussie bush.
This is a shorter ride with an easy-going pace, to enable riders to get accustomed to the terrain and horses and settle international travelers into the time- and climate zone.
Wildlife we may encounter on our rides and on the farm are Wallabies, Pademelons, Bandicoots, Reptiles, Goanna’s and many Australian bird species including Parrots, Lyrebirds, Black Cockatoo’s. Occasionally we may even see a koala too!
Riding: 3 hours, approx. 20 km
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the Lodge


Day 3: Hannam Vale Ride
Prepared for an Australian horse trekking adventure we leave the Farm and head south towards the picturesque, lush and green rolling hills of the Hannam Vale Valley. A scenic horse riding day with a wonderful destination await. The tiny hamlet of Hannam Vale is tucked away in the NSW Hinterland between Taree & Port Macquarie.
Trails take us through peaceful private property farmland with a crystal clear creek crossing, where we stop to enjoy a short morning tea break. Then continue onto a soft forest trail for fantastic long gallopping and through Eucalyptus (Gum Tree) Plantations to the Hannam Vale Valley, passing the old loggers cottages of Waitui and dairy farms on the way.
Tethering the horses outside the quirky little Hannam Vale General Store (built in 1914) we stop for a late lunch and seriously good coffee in the centre of "town".
The Hannam Vale General Store has a lovely garden to enjoy refreshments and is a popular haunt of locals. You get a chance to experience the rural Australian lifestlye and friendly country hospitality, before setting out on horse back again for a short easy pace ride and last stretch to the overnight accommodation.
Tonight, riders stay in a luxury modern Australian private home situated on a 100 acres farm property in Hannam Vale, enjoying a gourmet evening meal together and a relaxing overnight rest in stylish spacious bedrooms.
Riding: 5 hours, approx. 27 km
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Farmhouse in Hannam Vale


Day 4: Hannam Vale to Comboyne Plateau
After a hearty cooked country breakfast we saddle the horses and set off for a long day of horse riding through an ever-changing variety of landscapes to the Comboyne Plateau, our destination for the day.
A steep climb takes us out of the Hannam Vale Valley and up an escarpment where we stop to take in the breathtaking valley views from Flat Rock Lookout.
Canter on along the escarpment into beautiful and remote forest until the dense old forest opens up into green pasture fields of the Comboyne Plateau.
An afternoon tea stop at a water trough to let the horses have a pick of grass after the long trotting and cantering sections and for riders to take in the stunning views of the escarpment and rocky outcrops.
Shortly after we arrive at our rider's accommodation at the Roundhouse at Comboyne Hideaway, a unique cabin retreat situated atop the magnificent Comboyne Plateau. Indulge in amazing uninterrupted views to the coastline and relax your muscles in the outdoor hot tub on the verandah while gazing at the stars.
Enjoy a BBQ dinner and another restful night after a long day of trekking.
Riding: 5-6 hours, approx. 33 km
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Comboyne Farmhouse


Day 5: Back to the Lodge 
Start the day with a ride through the beautiful green rolling and fertile farmland of the Comboyne Plateau. Comboyne is a volcanic plateau with a unique topography and fertile red soil and the ride takes us past dairy farms and avocado orchards.
Panoramic view to the landmark of the Three Brother Mountains, an Australian Aboriginal Place of spiritual significance to the local Biripi Aboriginal people. On clear days the view goes all the way to the Pacific Ocean.
Ride through expansive eucalypt forests to the impressive Comboyne Mountain Peak (670 m), which can be seen from our Lodge and Cabin.
Magnificent 360-degree view at the top - lookout over the blue green hills of the NSW State Forests landscape, regional farm properties, NSW Mid North Coast coastline, Bago Bluff National Park, Comboyne Plateau and the start of the Great Dividing Range. Riders can already see the Kerewong Lodge and Cabin from a distance.
Horses and riders enjoy a well-deserved lunch break at the peak, brought to you by a helper in the 4wd support vehicle.
Descending back home to the Lodge at an easy walking pace.
Riding: 4 hours, approx. 25 km
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the Lodge


Day 6: Beach Horse Ride
Fantastic beach horse riding along the Pacific Ocean await. Long uninterrupted galloping on a deserted beach is an unforgettable lifetime experience for many.
Watch out for dolphins in the waves and a chance of a close encounter with kangaroos.
Lunch during a break on the beach, at the ride base near a colony of the unique native Australian Grasstrees, or Aussie Fish & Chips at the local Fish Co-op.
Transfers each way to the beach is by car & horse transport (45 minutes each way).
In the evening enjoy a farewell dinner.
Riding: 2 hours, approx. 15 km
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the Lodge


Day 7: Departure Day
Depart after breakfast. Transfer to Kendall Railway station or Port Macquarie airport or bus station.
Optional stop at Port Macquarie Koala Hospital (only included with departure transfer to Port Macquarie).
Meals included: Breakfast


Rates and Dates for Kerewong Hinterland

Rates include:

Accommodation, Most meals with wine at dinner, 5 horseback riding days & Transfers at set times
Guides can speak English, Dutch and German
Helmets and chaps can be provided!

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionAUS$ ~US$
    A
    20237 day trip, AP -- minimum 4 pax$3400$2310
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 0.68

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 Description
2023 Transfer included from Kendall train station or Port Macquarie airport at set times
2023 Transfers outside schedule -- by request ~ please inquire
This is a "Group Rate"

Season Seasons  Min / MaxReserve
A 2023 03/15 - 12/14 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP -- minimum 4 ... 4 /4 Reserve

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

One meal at a local café, Alcoholic drinks other than wine served with dinner, Travel insurance (mandatory) & Gratuities

Other Info
Meeting: Kendall
Airport: Port Macquarie
Transfer: Pick up: Port Maquarrie at 5:15pm or Kendall train station at 6:15pm Drop off: Kendall in time for 9:00 AM train or Port Maquarrie airport at 11:00 am.

Climate:
                                                    Kerewong area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

82

81

78

74

69

64

63

66

71

75

77

80

Average Low Temperature (°F)

63

63

60

54

48

44

42

42

47

51

57

60

Average High Temperature (°C)

28

27

26

23

20

18

17

19

22

24

25

27

Average Low Temperature (°C)

17

17

15

12

9

7

5

6

8

11

14

15

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

8

9

9

9

7

8

6

5

5

6

9

8









Source
: NOAA


Seasons

Australia is a country of extreme weather conditions. Although most of the time the weather is fantastic, there can be quite severe weather conditions, in particular when compared to European weather.
Ride pace is adjusted to weather and terrain conditions (slower pace in hot, humid and / or wet weather, slippery trails).
In case of severe weather warnings (severe rain or storms) and local bush fire danger we may be unable to go out riding due to safety concerns. We will try to arrange an alternative program for you whenever possible (Wine Tasting Tour, Port Macquarie town, Koala Hospital).

Summer (November to March)
The hottest months are usually January and February. At this time of the year, you should expect a tropical hot and humid weather (>30 degrees Celsius) with potential afternoon thunderstorms. January and February are generally also the months with the highest rainfall. On the hottest summer days we start the rides very early in the morning and return early afternoon to spend the afternoons relaxing near the swimming pool.

Winter (June to August)
Winter months usually have good weather for riding: mostly dry conditions, warm sunny days and cold frosty nights.

In-between-seasons (April, May, September, October, November) have a variety of weather due to the changing season: generally sunny and warm but also rain or wind; many flowering trees and scrubs.
The best time for riding is usually from April to November.


Special note – Wildlife
Most of Australia’s wildlife is active at night, but during the day on the farm or on horseback you may see wallabies, kangaroos, bandicoots, goannas, lizards, colorful bird life (king parrots, rainbow lorikeets, black cockatoo’s, kookaburras, eagles) and if you are lucky maybe even a koala in a gumtree! We regularly see dolphins in the ocean during the beach ride.
Snakes are sometimes seen on the rides but have never caused any problems as the horses are used to seeing the snakes and the snakes will move away when we encounter them, as most are not aggressive.

What To Bring:
We will supply your horse and the necessary riding equipment for the horse.
Helmets and chaps can be provided- please let us know at your time of booking.
Your guides will care for the horses and riding equipment during your trip!
 
This list is only a guideline for you

 

Travel documents and Voucher
Flight tickets
Passport
Visa (check with your consulate)

 

RIDING GEAR
Riding pants or Jodhpurs (used if possible!)
Suitable riding boots or shoes with a heel & no tread
Riding helmet (mandatory) - available at the Homestead - no charge for use
Riding gloves
Broad brimmed hat with a chinstrap
Rain coat/Wax jacket

 

PERSONAL CLOTHING
Joggers for bushwalking
Jacket or sweater for cool evenings
Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts
Jeans
Shorts
Underwear and socks
Panty hose are often worn to prevent soreness and chaffing (by men too!)
Pajama
Bag for dirty clothes
Comfortable shoes/sneakers
Swimsuit
Bandana
 
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO BRING
Personal Toiletries
Insect protection
Personal medications
Two crepe bandages in case your calves become chaffed
Sore cream (for an emergency)
Sewing kit
Handkerchiefs
Adapter for electric appliances
Camera and enough extra films
Belt pack
Address book and pen (for  postcards!)
Sun glasses with strap
Sun tan lotion and lip balm