Where To Find Victoria’s Best Horseback Adventures
Home to Australia’s biggest recreational riding trails and the fabled Man From Snowy River, Victoria has a myriad of tracks and tours for riding enthusiasts to discover. From windswept beaches to eucalypt forests, snow-capped mountains and rolling green hills, Victoria’s wealth of landscapes are undoubtedly best seen from horseback. Whether you’re after a ride for an hour or a few days, these are some of Victoria’s best horseback adventures.
The High Country
The heart of Australia’s horse riding country, the High Country’s Bogong High Plains are dotted with cattlemen’s huts built to shelter riders in the nineteenth century. Nestled amongst the snow gums of Mt Stirling, Craig’s Hut forms a centre piece for many modern day horse riding adventures in the region. Hidden Trails, High Country Horses and McCormacks Mountain Valley Trail Rides all offer extended rides that visit the hut and the surrounding area, along with shorter trips for less experienced riders.
Near the sub-alpine town of Mansfield, Australia’s original horseback riding tour operators, Lovick’s High Country Adventures offers the chance to experience the High Country with genuine mountain cattlemen and women – with weekend trail rides up to a 12 day horse riding adventure on offer. Just out of Bright, Bogong Horseback Adventures offers a selection of horse riding tours ranging from three hours to nine days in duration as well as on-site accommodation for those who want to make riding the focus of a weekend away.
Independent horse riders can make the most of Australia’s longest continuous rail trail The Great Victorian Rail Trail, spanning 134 kilometres. Recommended for half day, full day or overnight rides, separate horse trails are marked alongside the main trail in many places.
The Great Ocean Road
The sandy soils of the Great Ocean Road makes for easy riding conditions all year round, and there are several operators providing visitors with a new way to experience the region’s rugged coastline and dewy forests.
At the easterly end of the Great Ocean Road, Spring Creek Horse Rides between Torquay and Anglesea, offers one and two hour rides, as well as an optional lunch at the Anglesea Pub or a picnic in the bush. Blazing Saddles at Aireys Inlet offers Beginner Bush Rides in the Otways and and coastal rides for the more experienced rider along Fairhaven beach.
Further along the Great Ocean Road, Bimbi Park Trail Rides offers rides for all ages and levels of ability, along sandy beaches, through lush forest and atop rugged cliffs. Rides can also include a visit to the Cape Otway Lightstation, scenic lookouts and some of the idyllic bays that dot the coastline.
Yarra Valley & Dandenong Ranges
The sprawling Bicentennial National Trail stretches 5,330 kilometres and is one of the longest trails of its kind in the world. Starting in Healesville in the Yarra Valley, it traverses the length of the country, ending in Cooktown, Queensland. Experienced riders can tackle the entire length, while others can take on smaller sections.
Chum Creek Horseriding offers Bicentennial National Trail Horse Expeditions in six day blocks which can be ridden consecutively or continued at a later date. They also offer a Yarra Valley Winery Ride which includes wine tasting and lunch at De Bortoli, along with several trail rides ranging from one hour to one day.
Billabong Ranch Trail Rides, located just outside Echuca on the Murray River, offers accommodation, a fun park with pedal boats, archery and a petting zoo, plus trail rides for all skill levels. Visitors can ride through Red Gum Forests and meander along river trails on a one, two or three hour trail ride or opt for the tempting Winery Ride instead.
Just 12 kilometres east of Yarrawonga, The Stockyard Show in Bundalong entertains families with whip cracking, riding bareback, music and singing, working dogs and much more. A highlight of the show is Perkins the kissing horse, who loves to give visitors a big friendly kiss.
Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges
Riders can enjoy a gallop over the hills or take a leisurely walk through the Mount Disappointment State Forest (trust us, it’s not disappointing) with the family owned Uncle Nev’s Trail Rides. One, two and three hour rides are available along with day rides for more experienced riders and twilight rides for those seeking a more tranquil experience.
There’s nothing quite like galloping along the untouched back beaches and coastal bush tracks of the Mornington Peninsula. Combining beachside trail rides with bathing sessions at Peninsula Hot Springs, Gunnamatta Trail Rides has everything you need for an extra special weekend escape.
Horseback’s wine tasting tours are popular on the Peninsula too. Visitors can saddle up and see the best of Red Hill, stopping in at some of the region’s most reputable wineries, such as T’Gallant, Green Olive at Red Hill, Red Hill Estate and more, for a sip of their legendary wines. Two and three hour Horseback Winery Tours are available, along with all-encompassing ‘Ride and Lunch’ packages.
Only five minutes from central Bendigo, the Ironbark Horseriding Centre is a riding centre with modern self-contained cabins situated in beautiful tranquil bush surroundings. From half hour rides to weekend adventures, Ironbark Horseriding Centre takes riders through the bushland setting of the Ironstone Reserve and along the many trails of the Whipstick State National Park.
Words by Visit Victoria.
To find more of the best food, drinks and events from around town, be sure to sign up to our newsletter using the form below!