Horse Riding in Australia: Top Destinations You Simply Shouldn’t Miss Out on
The go-to resource for planning your horse riding holidays. Find all you need to know about the top destinations and take your riding skills to new heights.
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A vast continent renowned for its natural wonders, stunning landmarks, and an abundance of unique wildlife, Australia is certainly worthy of a spot high on your travel bucket list.
This is even more so if you happen to be a lover of horses and horse riding. The world’s 6th largest country (by area) is not only big, but it’s also blessed with one of the world’s most diverse and panoramic landscapes.
Whether you’re looking to explore beaches, bushland, snowy mountains, forests and/or deserts on horseback, you’ll be able to do it all in the land down under!
While it’s true that there are countless places within the ‘island continent’ that offers horse riding excursions, there are some that you simply can’t miss out on.
If an unforgettable horse riding holiday in Australia is what you’re seeking, be sure to spend some time saddling up in one or more of these top destinations:
Image credit: The Ranch Byron Bay
Been wanting to experience life as a cowboy or a cowgirl at a horse ranch? You’d be interested to know that you don’t necessarily have to travel to the United States to experience an authentic ranch holiday!
New South Wales is home to wonderful ranches such as the Ranch Byron Bay where you can escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and revel in the fresh air & laid back atmosphere. But don’t let the slower-pace of ranch life ‘fool’ you as you will be treated to plenty of thrilling adventures during your stay.
At a ranch vacation, not only will you be able to hone in your Western riding skills and go trail riding, but you will also be able to get your hands dirty helping out as a (temporary) ranch hand. Expect to pitch in with daily tasks such as feeding the horses as well as cleaning out their stables. This will not only allow you to further connect with these majestic creatures, but you’ll also be able to gain a new appreciation for life on the ranch.
If pure trail riding is what you’re seeking, however, New South Wales offers various trail rides suitable for all level of riders. You can opt to ride along the beaches of Port Stephens with Sahara Trails where you can explore spectacular dunes & coastline of the Worimi Conservation Lands.
Alternatively, if riding through lush pine forests and untouched bushland is more your cup of tea, the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains comes highly recommended. You can also head to the St. Georges Basin where you may just be able to spot wild (yet adorable) kangaroos and wallabies on the trails.
Last but not least, if you’re looking for some of the oldest and historic horse riding trails and stock routes, you will certainly find it at Jindabyne and the Snowy Mountains.
Exciting horse riding exploits in this mountainous area was highlighted prominently on ‘The Man from Snowy River’, a famed Australian Western film. If you’re a fan of the movie, be sure to not miss out on the opportunity to recreate the horse riding adventures first hand!
Image credit: Fordsdale Horseback Adventures
Planning to visit Brisbane soon? With only a three-hour drive, you’ll also be able to enjoy riding in a variety of trail rides with beaches, rainforests, bushland, and mountain terrains.
If trotting and galloping at the beach is your idea of a good time, Queensland offers some of the best beach riding in the continent. Home to Rainbow Beach, you can ride on the sand and surf and soak in the sunshine all year round. You’ll also be delighted to know that it’s surrounded by a (protected) national park making it a perfect playground if you’re looking to combine beach riding with trail riding through the pristine forest.
Another beach worth considering is Noosa beach, one of the most famous beaches on the Sunshine Coast. Here, horse riding enthusiasts can explore the beach as well as the stunning bushlands on horseback.
Are you a nature lover who prefer trails with breathtaking mountains and valleys as your backdrop? Then Tambourine Mountain, The Numinbah Valley, and Mapleton National Park are your best bet.
Head to Tamborine Mountain and Mapleton National Park for a memorable ride through Australia’s rainforests complete with natural waterfalls, mesmerizing views, and abundant local species of flora and fauna.
Should you rather make your way through creeks and rivers as you discover the region’s most spectacular sceneries, be sure to set aside a day spent riding across the Numinbah Valley.
Image credit: Australian Horse Adventures
Surrounded by water, it’s no surprise that Tasmania is one of Australia’s best destinations for beach horse riding. Facing the Australian Peninsula, Hobart’s Seven Mile Beach promises a spectacular ride with a view like no other.
While riding along the pristine coastline, you’ll likely to be treated with sightings of Tasmania’s wildlife, many of which are endemic to the area including the Tasmanian devil! This ‘infamous’ species was previously native to Australian Mainland but can now only be found in the wild here.
Great beaches and abundant wildlife are not the only things that the world’s sixth-largest island has to offer. In Tasmania, there are tracks that will take you through the Tassie bush, through the high countries as well as along Alpine lakes and mountains.
The Tasmanian Trail, for example, goes across forests and farmlands, crosses plateaus and will take you through some of Australia’s oldest towns. This trail that stretches from the north to the south of the island is not recommended for beginners. Though it can be a challenging route, it will be quite rewarding.
If you’re looking for more trails to take your skills to the test, Cradle Country is where you need to be. Imagine transversing the tracks of Speeler Plain while being surrounded by the gorgeous Cradle Mountain, Mount Roland, and Barn Bluff. It’s certainly a horse riding experience not to be missed!
Image credit: Bogong Horseback Adventures
Fancy a horse riding adventure that is quintessentially Australian? If so, you’re likely to find it in Victoria. Abbreviated as ‘Vic’, it is situated in the southeast corner of the country.
Aside from spending a couple of days in its lively capital city Melbourne, it’s highly recommended that you spend some time exploring the majestic Victorian mountains and gaze upon some of Australia's most impressive peaks without leaving the saddle.
Located in the northeast side of the Victorian Mountains is Mount Bogong, Victoria’s highest peak. You and your horse will climb into the High Alps after passing through the lush woodlands and the open herb fields of the Victorian High Plains.
As Victoria shares a border with New South Wales, you can also opt to spend quality time with your horse at the Snowy River National Park. Enjoy riding along paths sheltered by greeneries while soaking in plenty of fresh air – it will certainly melt your stress and worries away.
If you happen to be a lover of wine and wineries, you’re in for a treat! Victoria is home to Mornington Peninsula. Equipped with trails that will lead you to vineyards and olive groves that you can visit before you make your way to the beach and immerse in the spectacular ocean views.
Image credit: Digger’s Rest Station
It may have already dawned on you that in order to truly explore the Australian outback, a day or two would simply not be enough. So why not sign yourself up for a horse riding and camping holiday? If this sounds like a dream come true, Western Australia is THE place for an unforgettable pack trip.
During the day, you’ll get to discover the best of the region with your surefooted and well-trained horse as you ride through scenic bushlands, wade through the water, and along the trails at Moore River and Margaret River.
Need some time off the saddle? Not to worry, as Western Australia is known for its wine, you’ll get the delightful opportunity to visit wineries and sample some local wines. Alternatively, you can spend some time bird watching or Barramundi fishing in the river.
When the night falls, you’ll set up camp in the great outdoors, preparing delicious meals on a wood fire, and listen in on exciting stories shared by some of Australia’s most experienced cowboys and cowgirls until it is time for slumber under the beautiful star drench sky.
Looking to have a horse riding adventure of a lifetime as a family? Why not sign up for a family horse riding holiday in Australia?