Horse Safaris

The Explorer (6 days)

Departs from: Waitohi Downs.




Leaving from Waitohi Downs Stable at approximately 9.00 – 9.30 a.m. we ride around the track to the influx of the Mandamus River into the Hurunui River. We cross the Hurunui River and ride up Mandamus River onto the road, travel along passing Glens of Tekoa Homestead and buildings onto Island Hills Station, owned by Ed and Jan Shand. Island Hills Station covers an area on 6,850 hectares (17,000 acres) running 5,000 sheep and 300 cattle.

We ride over the saddle to the Glencoe River, passing hill country of native scrub and scattered silver tussock on our way to reaching the Mandamus River once more. We travel up the East bank crossing for the last time and follow the track through dense manuka scrub into Organ Stream where our first night is spent in Valley Camp Hut.


Leaving the Valley Hut at approximately 8.30 a.m. and head up the pack track through beech bush onto a saddle and down to Darkies Gully, follow the pack track through a beech forest to Gorge Creek Saddle. Descend down a steep face into Gorge Creek, follow down the creek for approximately ½ mile and take the track on the west side of Gorge Creek. Ride onto the top of the Little Organs Range. From here a magnificent view can be seen of Glynn Wye Station, the Lewis Pass Road, also views up the Doubtful and Hope Rivers with the Southern Alps in the background. Cliff and Lorraine Cox own Glynn Wye. It covers an area of 24,300 hectares (60,000 acres) running 16,000 sheep, 1,400 cattle and 1,400 deer. After lunch we ride down to the Organ Hut.


Third night will be in a DOC (Department of Conservation) hut, where only trampers (and us horse riders) are allowed to stay. We will follow the Hope River to get to this DOC hut, called Hope Kiwi Lodge.



Fourth day, we’ll head through the native beech forest for approx. 2 hours, following an old pack track and get out of the beech forest at the top end of Lake Sumner.

Over Catherine Saddle we will get to Lake Mason where we camp the night.  This is an old Hut, with only four bunks and an open fire to cook!! Pretty romantic spot where you will feel like being in paradise! The Lake will welcome you to swim the horses and have a bath if you like.



Fifth day, you follow a track through some native wide open country, typical New Zealand South Island country, and finally get to Eskhead Station, where you will feel a little like RETURN INTO THE CIVILISATION as you will find some hot showers again.  The huts we stay in are tidy and clean but still rustic and a little romantic.



Sixth day, you will head along the banks of the Hurunui River, back to base Waitohi Downs!

You will ride round 4-7 hours a day, with only one day that will be a little longer. You will get to your accommodation and have time to relax with cheese and crackers.  To make it easy, put in your BOOZE order before you arrive at the farm and we will get it organized and packed in the tucker boxes for you!

We do get up quite early in the mornings, to get in at early at the other end. This will also ensure us enough time, just in case there is something going wrong somewhere.


No shower or electricity for the first 5 nights 

Price & Dates

Deposit $600.00        

Maximum participants: 10


Additional Information / Instructions

Click here for Google map and driving directions.

Operation subject to a minimum of 5 riders

To make a reservation on any of our rides we require a honest assessment of your height, weight, and riding ability. The horses really appreciate it!

We lead the horses down steep terrain, this is where the sturdy boots with good ankle support are most important. A very good level of fitness is required; good hips knees, ankles.