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2 Days Backcountry Horseback Trail Ride in Canterbury, New Zealand

Lake Coleridge, 1 Hart Place, Lake Coleridge Village, Rakaia Valley, Inland Canterbury, New Zealand

New Zealand Horse Riding Holiday

Enjoy this two-day horseback trail ride through big braided rivers and big mountains and experience staying in a classic, comfortable high country musterers hut; a true backcountry experience!​ High Country Horse Adventures has horses to suit all levels of riding experience, from beginner and novice to the experienced rider. Enjoy the stunning Canterbury backcountry, only a 75-minute drive from Christchurch, yet a world away!

Key Information

  • Rider Weight Limit: 286 pounds / 130 kilograms
  • Tack Type: Western Tack
  • Horse Breed: New Zealand Station Bred
  • Horse Height Range: 14.2 - 17.0 Hands

Meet the instructors

James, Dylan, & Jake
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  • 2 horse riding days
  • Approximate daily riding time: 4 hours
  • Use of horses and helmets are included
  • Wholesome cooked breakfast with coffee, tea, and refreshments on Day 2
  • Wine/beer/cheese board and evening meal at the end of Day 1
  • Use of clean sleeping bags and camp equipment are included
  • Lunch on both riding days are provided
  • 1 night accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced


2 days with instruction
Group size: 3-6 participants
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Check-in Time:
Check-out Time:


  • Dining area
  • Fireplace

You will be staying in basic, rustic backcountry musterers hut or cabin accommodation. There will be a shared bunkhouse, clean sleeping bags will be provided, there will be open fire and gas cooking, outhouse long-drop toilets, and limited ablution facilities with no electric power or Wi-Fi. You will also be served with wholesome camp meals. As this trek involves a major river crossing at the start, at times when the river level is not safe to cross or is forecast to rise, High Country Horse Adventures reserves the right to substitute this package for the a lodge accommodation package at the same rate.


Day 1

You will arrive at the lodge/family home in Lake Coleridge Village by 9 a.m. You’ll then get fitted for a helmet and receive a riding safety brief. Then, you will meet the horses, pack your overnight gear on a packhorse, take some time to get familiar with your horse and have your stirrups adjusted for length. When everyone is ready, set out on the trail for the day’s ride.

You will spend most of the day on the trail with lunch and rest stops; expect to be in the saddle for around four hours. Initially, you will ride up and across a large braided river then climb up into a large high country valley where you will ride to your cabin. Here, you will settle in where you can relax, enjoy wine/beer, a cheese board, and a hearty evening meal followed by great starlight views after dark.

Day 2

Thisa day starts with a wholesome cooked breakfast, you will then saddle and pack the horses. Again, you will ride for most of the day with lunch and rest stops, you’ll retrace your trail back across the river to the lodge; you’ll be in the saddle for around four hours again. You can expect to be back at the lodge and free to depart by 5 p.m.

Rider’s experience

Basic, intermediate, and advanced riders are welcome. Where possible, High Country Horse Adventures endeavors to match rider experience in each group. You will ride at a pace to suit the least able or least confident rider in the group.


James Cagney

Dylan Cagney

Jake Phillips


High Country Horse Adventures' office and lodge are located at 1 Hart Place, Lake Coleridge Village, a pleasant 75-minute drive from Christchurch or 30 minutes from Methven. You can be picked up and dropped off from Christchurch or other central Canterbury locations if required (there is a charge for this service). ​The trail rides are in the Lake Coleridge or upper Rakaia Valley area and the surrounding high country.


High Country Horse Adventures provides quality meals and cater for special dietary requirements, please advise them of your requirements when booking. Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included, as well as coffee, tea, and refreshments.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Snacks
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Alcoholic beverages

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

​Lake Coleridge is Canterbury's hidden gem! You can combine your trail ride with other activities in the area like high country walking, jet boat rides on the Rakaia River, 4x4 tours, golf at the nearby Terrace Downs Golf Resort, or skiing during the winter at the nearby Mt. Hutt and Mt. Olympus Ski-fields.

What's included

  • 2 full days of horse riding
  • 1 night accommodation
  • Lunch on both riding days
  • Wine/beer/cheese board and evening meal at the end of the first day
  • Wholesome cooked breakfast on the second day
  • Coffee, tea, and refreshments
  • Helmets and use of horses
  • Use of clean sleeping bags and camp equipment

What's not included

  • Airport transfers
  • Airfare
  • Rain jackets
  • Activities
  • Personal expenses

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please arrange your flight to arrive at Christchurch International Airport (CHC), this is the closest airport; it is 100 kilometers (60 miles) or a 1 hour 15 minutes’ drive from the lodge. You are recommended to hire a car at the airport and self-drive for the best value.

High Country Horse Adventures offers a free pick up and drop off service from Methven. Methven Travel provide a daily shuttle service between Christchurch and Methven. For more information send inquiry.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.
2 days / 1 night
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Extension options

High Country Horse Adventures has accommodation and meals available for the night before and the night after the two-day trek if required. This needs to be arranged in advance and at the time of booking. The additional rate is 80 USD per person per night for accommodation, dinner, and breakfast. For more information, please send an inquiry.

Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 3 participants

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