Horse Riding in the Hunter Valley
Between the ears of my horse, kangaroos bound across the lush open plain. It’s the perfect vantage point to take in the immensity of the surrounding landscape…
Exotic birdsong drifts across the morning breeze. Calves, just days old, stir from slumber along the riverside. Kingfishers dart. My horse snorts, and our ride through country New South Wales continues.
With nothing but epic green valleys and mountainous forests, it’s hard to believe Howes Valley is only a 2.5-hour drive northwest from the bustling city of Sydney. And although there are many ways to leave the city behind and immerse yourself in nature, horse riding through the stunning Chapman Valley Horse Trekking Centre has to be my favourite. If you’ve never sat on a horse before to seasoned experts, the Chapman family caters for all. From 1 hour walking treks to full day picnic rides through their 8000 acres of natural splendour, it might soon become your favourite way to discover the countryside too.
This is no nose-to-tail ride on bored dispirited horses. In fact, the horses seem just as pleased to be trekking along the open countryside as I am. We stroll through rivers, forestry tracks and open plains, relaxed and as comfortable as our responsive, yet safe, mounts. The trekking guides have a similar attitude as the kind horses they know so well.
Laura leads the way calmly and confidently, while Julia happily recounts great stories and adventures along the way. Their love for the horses is infectious. My horse, a sleek, kind-eyed bay mare named Melody, strolls along with the swagger of an Australian farmer surveying her own land. And what amazing land it is too – her sure-footed hoof beats become music to my ears as we amble along.
Oh! But there’s more!
If you really want to immerse yourself in country living, you can even pitch up and camp among the inquisitive calves and horses (with the added bonus of getting one night free if you book a ride).
You may be welcomed by the arrival party of several excited sheepdogs, but don’t worry. They’re as friendly as everyone else on the land!
One Hour $55 – minimum age 5 – walking only
Two Hour $80 – minimum age 8
Half Day $150 – minimum age 12 – snacks & drinks included
Full Day $200 – minimum age 15 – packed lunch & drinks included
Free! (If booked to ride)
$10 per family per night – if not riding
Not into camping? More accommodation options – click here
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Getting yourself to Chapman Valley Horse Riding Centre!
Where: 7054 Putty Rd, Howes Valley NSW 2330
Telephone: (02) 6579 4593
Website: Chapman Valley Horse Riding
- Seven Days – 8am – 6pm