The Veterinary Center ‘Hightrailing it through the Hakataramea!’ RIDING TRAIL


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

Trail Boss: Mick O’Callaghan. 6 Days. Fully Catered and supported. Horse ‘n riders welcome. Ride out by 7am, typically in by 3pm. Good solid days riding over high country/farm 4WD tracks and cross country.

$800 riders. $765 backup.

When do I need to be where? Meeting Sunday 28 February from 2pm Attwell Park Scout Camp  –  Mill Road Waimate.

How hard will the days be? Between 30-40km per day. This year will be another spectacular ride over some incredible, varying country from native bush, pine forest, high tops into the head of the Haka Valley, traversing into the expansive Mackenzie basin, onwards towards Twizel. Our emphasis this year is to keep the day length down to approx. 8 hours maximum

5 rating

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! 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 South Canterbury 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

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

A tent or bivvy for the Tuesday night.

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

New Zealand

Where are we going? 

Monday. 7 Hours Riding. Leaving Attwell Park we ride through some beautiful native bush, then  on to forestry country  through the tussock laden Hunter Hills onwards to the summit of Mt Studhome 1086m.  On a clear day views to Banks Peninsula, Mt Hutt, Wainono Lagoon Myers Pass, Lindis Pass, and Hakataramea pass. Generally  a great view of where we are heading for the week!

Following the ridge line track for the decent off Mt Sudholme  heading to the North Branch of the Waihao River. To find the  historic woolshed that boundaries Mt Cecil, Kaiwarua, and Mt Studhome stations, then following the old Coach Road into the Historic Pentland Hills Homestead for our night stop.

Tuesday. 7 Hours riding. Leaving Pentland Hills crossing the South Branch of the Waihao river through the Pentland hills forestry area onto the Campbell ranges. With beautiful views once again back onto the old Kaiwarua Coach Road towards our evening stop at Kimbrace, where we will pass the old yards and historic cottage now used by wallaby and possum hunters.

Wednesday. 7 hours riding. This will also be a lovely ride into the Hakataramea Valley via the North Branch of the Waihao river and following the  South West side of the Hunter Hills heading for our next night stop in the head of the Hakataramea  Valley.

Thursday. 8 hours riding. Today we climb our way out of the Hakatarmea Valley via the Kirkleston Range  and Grampians Ranges   towards Steamlands and Greys Hills  towards our night stop.

Friday 6 Hours riding. Today will be a journey across the mighty Mackenzie Basin leaving Greys Hill/ Streamlands area crossing the Tekapo River, Pukaki river into the Twizel River onwards towards Twizel.

Saturday Short ride into town for the Host town parade and celebrations.

Unfortunately, due to the trail path and logistics it will be too difficult to provide our daily vehicle ferrying option this year, so we suggest that groups of people get together to bring their own back up driver. Each back up driver should be able to do two trips per day.  Therefore, if you had 4 people travelling in one Float or Truck and the driver moved 2 vehicles that will be approx. $100 each to have your own back up driver, similar to the cost of daily ferrying.  So drag up those non riding family members/ friends etc. (we will form a facebook chat or messenger group to help assist with this.) This will be another fantastic trip with awesome people from all over the country.

All Horses must be fit, well prepared and freshly shod

Riders need to have a good level of fitness and be well prepared.

Some downhill walking will be required, mostly on tracks.

Hire horses available through John and Anjie Wall at Adventure Horse trekking NZ

All welcome, support available for most needs please ask

Well prepared new comers most welcome

Gear Truck available to cart gear to and from each night stop

Thanks very much to all the landowners, Maniototo Area School caterers, wranglers, first aiders and Gofers.

Questions specific to this trail? Ask The Boss – Mick O’Callaghan 027 489 4109 

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