The Bill Butler Riding Trail

The Knight Raiders!

Registrations open now. Click here to sign up!

Bill Butler on rockTrail Boss: Bill Butler. 7 Days. Fully Catered and supported. Horse ‘n riders welcome. Ride out by 8am, typically in by 4pm. Good solid days riding mostly over high country/farm 4WD tracks and cross country.

$770 riders. $730 backup

OGHT members get a $30 discount please email for the code.

When do I need to be where? Grays hills,  Mackenzie country. From 3pm on the 22nd February 2020.

How hard will the days be? Between 30-40km per day. This is one of the tougher rides on the Cavalcade. Longer days possible, more testring for horse and rider because of terrain. A good level of fitness and experience required.


What can we expect en route? AMAZING VIEWS, interesting gold mining and historic sites/relics,  FANTASTIC FOOD, Very capable and experienced Trail Boss and Wranglers! And a great bunch of other like minded horse enthusiasts! A dress-up party mid week (Yes you have to dress up)! Really bloody hot temperatures! 30 degrees plus. Freezing cold temperatures! -5 degrees maybe colder with the wind chill factor – You can get all sorts of weather in these Central Otago Mountains. At this time of year it is typically warm/hot but southerly storms can blow through (short lived) at any time.

behind naseby

New Zealand


What do I need to bring? A horse!

Waterproof coat/jacket, leggings & hat

Jersey, balaclava, socks, longjohns, gloves

Hot weather gear e.g shorts & T shirt

Gaiters are a good idea to keep rubbish & rain out of boots

Riding boots or boots with a heel suitable for walking

Plate/bowl, cutlery, drinking vessel, tea towel.

Towel & toilet articles

Sleeping bag & mat / stretcher

Sunscreen & insect repellent

Personal items and a roll of loo paper

Small first aid kit for you and your horse

Camera & torch

Don’t forget a wee treat for yourself and your horse

Water bottle

Personal medications

Money for the bar and Host Town

Baby wipes are handy when hand washing difficult

Small ground cover to put down in yards to put your gear on

Where are we going? 

This trail is a “Knights Quest” to explore the interesting and more remote areas of North Otago. We will crusade south on our journey to Patearoa. 

We are a welcoming group for the seasoned and new cavalcader’s , with an experienced group of wranglers to help you complete and enjoy your ride. Laughs and smiles are our coat of arms as well creating lasting memories for you to take home.

The day length of our trail is usually about 7 to 8 hours riding with the odd day a bit longer but these are the exception rather than the rule. 

Starting usually at 7am for breakfast, riding out at 8am. If we do have a longer day, I like to start earlier My aim is to be off the horses by 4.30 -5pm, allowing plenty of refreshment time for all. 

We are a trail that will choose the high road because that’s the way we roll, so a good level of fitness for horse and rider is essential. Good clothing is a must, be prepared for all weather conditions.

Saturday 22nd Feb meeting in the area of Grays hills, nestled in the Mackenzie country. 

Sunday 23rd Feb Good big day to start with, up and out onto the tops running parallel to Lake Benmore. Aiming for our first camp overlooking Lake Aviemore

Monday 24th Feb From Aviemore we climb up and over, the bottom of the Kirkliston’s into the Hakataramea valley and onto Kurow. This is our fancy dress “knight” and the theme being Medi-evil so from peasant to king or be ye wench or princess, the ruler of the seven kingdoms is still up for grabs. come and join our “Game of Thrones!!.”

Tuesday 25th Feb Our ride takes use up through the Awakino saddle, out into an area that is full to the brim of gold mining history. The syndicate country is great riding and our destination below, Mt Buster will be fitting end to magnificent day. Tents may be required for this night

Wednesday 26th Feb Around Naseby skirting the foothills to Wedderburn.

Thursday 27th We will head out along the Rough ridges with the Maniototo opened out before us.

I plan to cheat a bit in the afternoon and float the last bit into Patearoa. 

Well, after all we are high country riders and the flat is not our natural environment

Friday 28th Feb This is a loop day, riding up onto the Rock and Pillars with a magnificent view of our host town then back to our castle for a celebration of completion of our epic journey

Saturday 29th Feb Short hop and a skip into Patearoa

You will be feed like Kings and Queens by the Alexandra Lions. 

All your gear will be ferried from night spot to night spot .

Backup drivers are welcome but expected to help around the camp. If you have any queries please ring or text me on 0274812085 .

So, saddle up your mighty steed and lets us embark on this Knights Raid

Sir Bill Butler aka “The Black Knight”

Questions specific to this trail? Ask The Boss –

Questions about the Cavalcade in general and entry process, support… Ask the organiser Or call the office 03 445 0111