The Bill Butler Riding Trail

Valley of the Lyon!

Bill Butler on rock

Online entries now closed – email if desperate to get on.

Trail 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.

$830 riders. $790 backup

When do I need to be where? Meeting Saturday 27th February at Ben Avon Station in the Ahuriri Valley. Will be sign posted from Highway 8, Omarama- Lindis Pass road.

How hard will the days be? An easier ride than our normal adventures due to less ranges to climb but you will find the scenery absolutely breath taking as we explore areas untouched by previous cavalcades. 

Between 30-40km per day. A good level of fitness and experience required.

What can we expect en route? AMAZING VIEWS, 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.


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? 

Sunday 28th Feb. Ben Avon to Ribbonwood. 7 to 8hour ride of easy contour. We start our adventure traveling out across Ben Avon’s river flats, cross the Ahuriri River and follow the east branch over a low saddle to Ribbonwood. We arrive with plenty of time to prepare for the “ice breaking games” night ahead of you, so you can get to know your fellow trail mates in interesting and amusing ways.

Monday.  Ribbonwood to Lake Ohau Station. 7 hours ride. Upon leaving Ribbonwood, we hug the foot hills of the Ohau range and pop out at the Lake Ohau Lodge, where we ride along the shores of the lake. Lake Ohau will be our constant companion from now on . Ohau means “Windy Place” so you may need to tie your hat down as the wind blows your troubles away. We camp on the shores of the lake in a most picturesque spot

Tuesday. Lake Ohau to Huxley Gorge Station. 7 hours. The two stations are not far apart so our cooks and back-ups will have a short hop up the road. We have the day to explore the Maitland valley and the Temple creeks arriving with plenty of time you to decide if you want to be good or bad for the Fancy Dress night. The theme is “Saints and Sinners.”

Wednesday. Huxely Gorge Station  to Glen Lyon. 7 to 8hrs of Valley riding with river crossings. We will Travel up the Hopkins river exploring this stunning river valley then head over the top of Lake Ohau and travel down to the trails name sake “Glen Lyon Station”. We will be spending two nights at Glen Lyon.

Thursday. 7 hrs. The Dobson river awaits us as we ride up the valley drinking in this iconic spot and then return home with a roar to Glen Lyon

Friday. Glen Lyon to Twizel 7 to 8Hrs.  We ride out down the valley beside our beloved Lake Ohau, then up and over Flannagan’s Pass (1225 metres) where we pop out on the flats opposite Twizel. We will have a band to help us roar for one last time as a pride

Saturday. Short ride into Twizel for parade and the excellent afternoon and evening entertainment provided by our gracious host town, Twizel.

This is a moderate type ride this year in some of the most amazing scenery. Horses will need to be fit and well shod, we have plenty of river work which is hard on shoes. We are in the Southern Alps so have riding gear for all weathers. 

Back-ups are welcome and are under the control of our Camp Boss, Rex Evans. We are well feed by our amazing caters “The Alexandra Lions”. Quite fitting to be fed by Lions in “The Valley of the Lyon” Trail, so Roar on in and join our Pride

Questions specific to this trail? Ask The Boss 0274812085

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