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- Romania Horse Riding Vacations
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Australia Bush & Beach Southeast Queensland, Australia
Award-winning riding vacation on the Noosa Trail Network, the beach at Noosa North Shore and the best trails of the Sunshine Coast.
Established in 2005 by triple Olympian, Alex Watson, who completed at the 1984, 1988, and 1992 Olympic Games, these equestrian vacations feature many beautifully trained and presented Australian Stock Horses. Tours may include personal instruction from Alex Watson and are designed for all levels of riders.
Horseback riding on the beach! Canter along the beach, ride through tropical rainforest trails, and into the wonderful Australian bush to muster cattle. You will be amazed at the scenery and wildlife – kangaroos, koalas, hundreds of native Australian birds including many species of colourful parrots. And, you’ll fall in love with the Australian Stock Horse, famous for their ability and temperament.
The horses, accommodations, scenery, and fun loving guides make these riding holidays beyond expectations…a “rip-snorter” in Aussie lingo. All guests on the full six night ride itinerary spend two nights each in quality comfort at Noosa Springs Resort and Spa, Amamoor Lodge B & B in the beautiful Mary River Valley and The Left Bank B & B in historic Kilkivan.
In addition, there are numerous non-riding activities available throughout the trip. These include swimming, surfing, fishing, SCUBA diving, golf, sightseeing, dining and exploring local markets, plus opportunities for massages and first-class spa treatments. There are also optional visits to Hastings Street, Noosa’s glamorous “main strip,” Eumundi Markets (every Wednesday and Saturday), Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island, and the Australia Zoo, founded by the late Steve Irwin, television’s famed “Crocodile Hunter.”
Accolades & Awards
• 2008 – Judges Commendation – Queensland Tourism Awards
• 2009 – Adventure Tour Operator of the Year (Fraser Coast South Burnett Tourism Awards)
• 2009 – Finalist- Adventure Tourism – Queensland Tourism Awards
• 2010 – Adventure Tour Operator of the Year (Fraser Coast South Burnett Tourism Awards)
• 2010 – Best Tourism Operator (across all categories) - (Fraser Coast South Burnett Tourism Awards)
Alex Watson- Owner & Guide
Alex Watson has been involved in Olympic sports as both a competitor and organizer. During Alex’s career as a pentathlete he was Australian national champion a record number of eight times and selected for four consecutive Olympic Games – 1980 Moscow, 1984 Los Angeles, 1988 Seoul and 1992 Barcelona. Alex ultimately represented Australia at three Olympic Games and ten World Championships finishing in the World’s top ten and achieving a silver medal at the 1982 “Champion of Champions” and a teams gold at the 1988 “Champion of Champions”.
Packing for Horse Riding in Australia
Bring clothes suitable for a temperate to sub-tropical climate. In the warmer months light, cotton style or breathable fabrics are best which offer sun protection and can be easily washed and dried.
In the cooler months a light jacket, pullover, light gloves and warm headgear are advisable. Headwear such as an Akubra style wide brim hat, comfortable cap or similar is a good idea. The climate is reputed to be one to the best in the world. Winters are mild and during summer cooling sea breezes.
Please visit Equitrekking Travel's packing list for other riding vacation packing suggestions and ask for packing suggestions upon booking this riding vacation!
About the Horses
You'll have the chance to ride well-bred, well trained and well mannered Australian Stock Horses. The outfitter also has a few discipline-specialist horses and cross breeds with Clydesdale and Quarter Horse bloodlines. The Australian Stock Horse is called “the breed for every need." Known as a performance animal, this breed is renowned for its endurance, resilience and strength. Ride on quality Australian stock saddles or English saddles.
These Australia riding vacations are different from most because of the amazing diversity of the rides. Guests stay in different locations while horse riding Australia and are able to see many scenic areas and experience the true Australian way of life. Mobs of grey kangaroos are often seen on rides. Also in the bush you might see rock wallabies, koalas, pythons, goannas, kookaburras, platypus, dingoes, echidna, wedge tailed eagles, a variety of beautiful parrots, honey bee- eaters, finches and wrens and water birds.
Non-riders are able to take advantage of the area, where there is surfing, golf, tennis, scuba diving, fishing, hiking, and shopping. The Australia Zoo “home of the Crocodile Hunter” is a popular local attraction. For those who like to shop, visit the Sunshine Coast’s famous Eumundi Markets, which are open every Wednesday and Saturday and Hastings Street in Noosa. To experience wonderful hiking, the coastal beauty of the Noosa National Park featuring secluded beaches and stunning lookouts is hard to beat.
Side trips that can be added to the riding vacation (before or after) include Fraser Island tours, Australia Zoo, Deep Sea fishing, and Eumundi Markets. We're happy to help you with these plans or arrange them for you. Contact us for more information.
The accommodation varies from authentic award winning B&B's in the picturesque Mary River valley to one of a selection of resort hotels in Noosa. Single accommodation is available. Some rooms are en suite and on some nights you may share one bathroom between two rooms. Some of the apartments have one en suite bedroom and one bedroom room with separate bathroom. These apartments have a shared lounge, kitchen area.
Experience great Australian cuisine. From home cooked meals at the Bed and Breakfasts to authentic pub lunches and award winning restaurants, you will not go hungry! Dietary requests can be accommodated with advanced notice. Guests will have numerous opportunities to purchase their favorite alcoholic beverages and wonderful Australian wines along the way. Beer and wine can also be purchased at the B & Bs.
The Ideal Traveler
Intermediate to advanced riders who want to experience the diversity of horse riding in Australia. Opportunities for canters when horseback riding on the beach, rides through tropical rainforest trails and into the wonderful Australian bush to muster cattle.
Australia Bush & Beach 7 Days
Canter along the beach, ride through tropical rainforest trails and into the wonderful Australian bush to muster cattle with your guide, Australian Olympian Alex Watson. You will be amazed at the scenery and wildlife – kangaroos, koalas, hundreds of native Australian birds including many species of colourful parrots. Pulitzer Prize winning author Jane Smiley is just one of numerous travel writers who have submitted feature articles to popular magazines include Outside Magazines about Australia’s amazing “Bush and Beach Ride”.
Dates for 7 days/ 6 nights
2013: Feb 24-March 2, March 24-30, April 14-20, April 28-May 4, May 12-18, May 26-June 1, June 16-22, July 7-13, July 21-27, Aug 4-10, Aug 18-24, Sept 1-7, Oct 13-19, Nov 24-30
$3,010 USD* per person twin share for 6 nights
Single Supplement $355 USD* (refunded if we find you a sharer)
Special Melbourne Cup/Snowy River Tour Oct 29-Nov 6, 2013. Please contact us for more information on this special riding vacation.
* Prices shown are subject to daily exchange rate fluctuations. Prices are indicative only; the price of your chosen holiday will be reconfirmed by your travel consultant, prior to your making a booking.
Meals; accommodation; riding and return transfers from The Sunshine Coast airport.
Drinks and optional gratuities. International flights to Sydney / Brisbane. Return transfers are available between Brisbane and Noosa for $151 USD*.
Australia Riding Vacations Sample Itinerary
You should aim to arrive at the Sunshine Coast Airport by 12 noon. You are met on arrival and taken to Kilkivan, a transfer of approximately 1.5 hours and to your accommodation at The Left Bank in Kilkivan where you stay for the next two nights.
Meet your horse for the week. This introduction will include a familiarization session on basic horsemanship and caring for your horse. It will be followed by a short “getting to know you” orientation ride in the arena. If your arrival time is after 12:00 noon your orientation ride may be moved to the following morning. Riding time c. 1 hour.
Kilkivan is the place where gold was first discovered in Queensland and led to a gold-rush in the area which finally centred itself around the historic town of Gympie (today the regional centre for the district).The Left Bank is an historic building being the former Union Bank in Kilkivan. Today it is a multi-award winning bed n breakfast and café/restaurant facility owned and operated by Bruce and Rae Hurley.
Pre dinner drinks will be served in the lounge or on the veranda , then dinner in the dining room.
After breakfast head over to the paddocks to groom and tack up the horses. Today you ride the Wongella Trail Ride – part of the trails which make up the annual Great Kilkivan Horse Ride. During this ride you will pass through a variety of open range country and what is called the Valley of the Grasstrees. Then at about midday, sit-down to a BBQ lunch served by Bruce at Mudlo National Park entrance. Local historian and bush poet, Mike Webb may entertain you with some of his talents. After lunch ride back to the paddocks, hose the horses down, then transfer back to The Left Bank. Freshen up & explore the town or just relax. Perhaps walk down to the local swimming pool for a dip to cool off. Riding time c. 3 hours.
Pre dinner drinks again will be served in the lounge or on the veranda , then dinner in the dining room.
With bags packed, say goodbye to Kilkivan, load the horses and head for Widgee where you will ride on Alex Watson’s own property called ‘Edenview’. It is a 640 acre cattle and horse property.
Perhaps muster the cattle into the stock yards, or just ride across the hills and paddocks that make up this and the neighboring farms.
You will be having lunch at Edenview, then load the horses and transfer to Amamoor Lodge in the heart of the Mary River Valley. This will be home for you and the horses for the next two nights.
Amamoor Lodge is nestled on 50 picturesque acres with mountain views. The facilities include en suite bedrooms opening onto wide verandas, lounge area with open fireplace and a large style swimming pool. Amamoor Lodge has a working Cobb & Co. Coach, driven by your host Malcolm. There are also resident wildlife – wallabies, koalas, echidnas, possums and birdlife.
Tonight drinks are around the fire before moving over to the veranda for dinner. Riding time today about 5 hours.
After breakfast saddle up for a ride through the Amamoor State Forest. Full of Bunya Pines and amazing vistas, including Skyring Lookout. There is some steep climbing up through the forest and the horses appreciate getting to the top. After a short break to let the horses catch their breath, head back down the other side for a picnic lunch at Amama Park followed by a ride back to Amamoor Lodge.
Drinks around the fire again and then move to the veranda for dinner. Riding time about 3 hours.
With bags packed again this morning, load up the horses and depart for the Noosa Trail Network. You will stop for lunch on the trail, dependent upon the trail that has been chosen for the day. Then later in the afternoon head back towards the coast to Noosa and check into your apartment for the next two nights.
Tonight you go out with your guides to a favourite restaurant in Noosa. Riding time about 4 hours.
After breakfast transfer over to Noosa North Shore and ride through the bush to the spectacular Laguna Bay and Teewah Beach for a memorable ride along the pristine Noosa North Shore. A great way to end the trip. Return to Noosa for a light lunch then return to your accommodation and spend the afternoon relaxing with a massage, spa treatments (payable locally) or explore Noosa’s famous Hastings Street, beach or the National Park.
Before dinner your host Alex, will arrive to settle any extra accounts (airport transfers and Equathon product purchases, if any) and then transport you to another restaurant on Gympie Terrace along the Noosa River precinct or Hastings Street for your last dinner together. There will be many stories to tell around the table tonight. Riding time about 2 hours.
Transfer back to the airport in time for your flight, or your own travel arrangements for the rest of your stay in Australia.
* This itinerary is a sample itinerary. Itineraries are subject to changes due to the weather, the trip guide's discretion and other factors.
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The trip is extraordinary. You ride on a beautiful beach in Noosa along Australia’s best coastline in sub-tropical southeast Queensland. The horses, accommodations, scenery, and fun loving guides combine to make this trip beyond expectations…a “rip-snorter” in Aussie lingo.
-- Jane Smiley, Pulitzer Prize winning author of “A Thousand Acres” and “Horse Heaven”
I have been riding for over 20 years while my husband has just started riding less than 1 year ago. We both had the experience of a lifetime even though we were at different levels of riding ability. For our weeklong trip (day trips and shorter 2-3 day trips also available), I was given a horse with lots of spunk and great jumping ability (which I enjoyed immensely) while my husband was given a gentle novice horse who minded him nicely. We traveled with 4 others who also enjoyed their mounts just as much as we did so the guides ability to pair horse and rider is obviously excellent.
We spent 5 days traveling all around Noosa Heads area and beyond, riding in forests, open plains, among cattle ranches, hilly trails, and finally open pristene white beaches. The lodging was top notch, especially at Amamoor Lodge and in Noosa. But the highlight of our trip was definitely the guides! Alex and Rebecca went far and away to make our trip with them as perfect as possible - the whole week! Even things that were not on our itinerary were made a priority to accomplish if the guests wanted to (i.e souvenir shopping in Noosa, buying opals at the most reliable-yet cost effective store in town - after they themselves researched which one it would be, to taking my husband surfing on his last morning in Noosa - just because it's his hobby!).
We both felt like we were treated like royalty from these two and we are definitely spoiled for life because i'm not sure another tour could match their warmth, personality, hospitality, and expertise at what they do.
--Christina Rumayor, Hawaii
I would like to thank you for the time and trouble you both took to ensure that I had an unforgettable week on horseback with you. The riding was always varied, the scenery outstanding and every day was different. Kabi, my horse for the week was a dream to ride and he certainly enabled me to improve my riding which has been lacking lately. The beach rides were certainly the very best I have ever had. All the hospitality shown to me at my various stays throughout the tour was exemplary and special mention goes to Mike for his humour and demonstration of stock handling skills and to Bruce and Rae at the Left Bank for a very special B&B experience. The cooking there was delicious, the morning coffees outstanding and Bruce and Rae’s own special brand of hospitality was a delight. I don’t think I have ever felt quite so relaxed, comfortable and “at home” in a B&B anywhere.
All the people I met throughout the week were, without exception, charming, interesting, fun and kind. A wonderful advertisement for Australia. Our evening meals were fun and full of laughter.
Of course none of this would have been possible without your enthusiasm, kindness, flexibility, hard work, professionalism, generosity, organisational skills and sense of fun!
I will be unreservedly recommending Equathon to all my horse riding friends. Once again, my thanks to you both for a very special week on horseback. I will certainly be coming back for more!
--Andrew Hillier, United Kingdom
Frommer's Australia Guidebook
Completely updated every year, Frommer's Australia features gorgeous full-color photos of the Outback vistas, curious wildlife, and white-sand beaches that await you. Our authors have lived in and written about Australia for years, so they?re able to provide valuable insights and advice. They'll steer you away from the touristy and the inauthentic and show you the real heart of the land Down Under. Let them take you to exciting cities, Aboriginal homesteads, Barossa Valley vineyards, and natural wonders, from the Wet Tropics Rainforest to Uluru to the Great Barrier Reef. You'll travel Australia like a pro using their candid advice and in-depth knowledge of the culture.
Also included are accurate regional and town maps, up-to-date advice on finding the best package deals, a free color fold-out map, and an online directory that makes trip-planning a snap!
In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson
Nothing seems to deter the intrepid, ever-resourceful Bill Bryson -- and all the better for his many readers. Here he revels in Australia's eccentric characters, dangerous flora and fauna, and other oddities. As has become his custom, he also effortlessly imparts much history in this wildly funny book. Included at the end is a short bibliography.
Equitrekking Coffee Table Companion Book & DVD
Equitrekking Travel Adventures on Horseback by Darley Newman with Photographs by Chip Ward available at Amazon.com
This companion to the PBS TV series, Equitrekking, proves that the world's most beautiful views are often best seen from atop a horse. This gorgeous book features dozens of scenic rides in the U.S. and around the globe. Denver Post review: For horse folk and dreamers, as well as fans of the show, it's a beautiful trip through stunning equestrian-friendly possibilities. "
Equitrekking DVD's featuring Emmy winning PBS episodes, available in the Shop section of Equitrekking.com
Get off the beaten path to see some of the world's most beautiful horses and classic riding destinations with host and equestrian travel expert Darley Newman with Emmy Award-winning Equitrekking, the horseback riding travel series on PBS.
Season One: Vermont, the Carolinas, Georgia Coast, Wyoming, Colorado and Spain.
Season Two: Iceland, Coastal Ireland, Hawaii's Big Island, Irish Countryside, Maui, Virginia Hunt Country and California Wine Country.
Season Three: Arizona, Belize, Costa Rica, Kentucky, Quebec, Texas and Utah.
Season Three: Arizona, Belize, Costa Rica, Kentucky, Quebec, Texas and Utah.
Season Four: Southern Spain, Alaska, Central Turkey, Quebec City and Beyond, Scotland and Wales.
Good Books for Horse Lovers and Equestrians
Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior (Paperback) by Temple Grandin
Philosophers and scientists have long wondered what goes on in the minds of animals, and this fascinating study gives a wealth of illuminating insights into that mystery. ---Publishers Weekly
The Horse: A Miscellany of Equine Knowledge (Hardcover) by Julie Whitaker with Ian Whitelaw
The Horse is an informative gallop through everything to do with the horse: evolution, history, biology, breeds, behavior, training, competition, health, and care—all gathered into an accessible gallery of solid information, essential facts, and fascinating trivia.
Hunter Seat Equitation (Hardcover) by George H. Morris
A classic by a world-renowned teacher and master equestrian--the definitive work on the art of teaching and riding the hunter seat, now updated to include refinements in Morris's insightful program of riding instruction.
The New Encyclopedia of the Horse (Hardcover) by Elwyn Hartley Edwards
Chronicling the history of the horse, this guide encompasses the early domestication of the horse, classical riding styles, as well as a survey of the great stud farms and current international sporting events.
usual maximum is 8
Intermediate to Advanced
Dates & Rates
Australia Bush & Beach 7 days
Time in the Saddle
2-5 hours per day.
220 lbs (100kg) unless experienced rider then 242 lbs. (110kg)
Sunshine Coast Airport (preferred) or Brisbane International
Best time to visit
March to November