Comboyne Plateau Ride

NSW Australia: (IT-AURT01)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/australia_comboyne.aspx

Introduction
NSW Australia
It is the aim to provide a quality equestrian experience on well trained and cared for horses, for capable and assured riders from around the world.  The horse quality and special training sets the pace of this ride with long trots and canters. From a secluded equestrian farm on idyllic property in the upper reaches of the Lorne Valley, this week long program offers riding through stunning forest and farmland combined with excellent food and top service.

During the week we ride through the diverse landscape of Australia’s New South Wales Mid North Coast there will be lots of opportunity to see wildlife in their beautiful natural habitat. We follow quiet little trails, 4WD tracks and fire trails through 20.000 hectares (50,000 acres) of state forest with pockets of rain forests, eucalyptus forests, waterfalls, creek crossings, and historic timber railway lines. Climb up and descend along steep ridges, then pass through rolling Australian farmland.

Visits to a local winery, cafes and a Macadamia Farm to taste the unique products from this region are featured, before riding along the Pacific Ocean on miles of long deserted beaches. We will climb up to the Comboyne Plateau, an elevated farming region of green rolling hills with breath-taking views out to the Pacific Ocean- don’t forget to bring a camera!  In the evenings refresh yourself with a swim in the pool, then relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the view from the veranda of your private cottage or share drinks and stories with fellow riders in the large communal area of the lodge, where guests and tour guides have dinner together. A delicious meal with complimentary wine and coffee will be served beside a crackling log fire in the cooler months or in summer alfresco on the veranda. The riders will retire to the comfort of beautiful bedrooms and awake the next morning to a leisurely country breakfast.

The Horse Treks Philosophy...
Every precaution is taken to ensure the comfort and safety of both horse and rider. Welcoming Australian hospitality, comfortable, quality accommodation and meals await you following your day of horse riding through magnificent Australian countryside - an opportunity not to be missed.

Your host and guide is fluent in English, German and Dutch.

Accomodation



Accommodations
This is a stationary ride, so all nights are spent at the same location.

Description
This trip is based at the 60 acres horse riding property, in the Lorne Valley between Taree and Port Macquarie on the Mid North Coast NSW Australia. The main lodge has beautiful, wide verandas which overlook the magnificent garden filled with native plants and trees, the large horse paddocks where the animals graze, and the saltwater swimming pool (open October-April); beyond is the lush forest valley of the Camden Haven region of Port Macquarie hinterland on the Australian NSW east coast.The lodge also has a large communal entertainment area for guests to sit together to enjoy meals and drinks in a family style atmosphere. Sometimes, riders may have to share bathroom if the trip is fully booked with single rooms.
WIFI is available. Laundry is not available.

Room Options

Studio-style cabin
Private surroundings with view over the horse paddocks and eucalypt forests. Contains one queen and one twin bed, a shower/toilet, veranda, air-conditioning, fridge, coffee & tea facilities. Ideal for a couple or two singles travelling together.
 
Single/ double room
The bedrooms in the lodge are accessed from the main guest living / dining area. Each bedroom also has an external door leading to its own decking space / verandah. Most with private bathrooms. Two single rooms who may have to share bathroom depending on group numbers.
3 Individual Bedrooms:

  • Kangaroo Room; single, ensuite bathroom with shower and toilet, leads out to main front verandah
  • Koala Room: single, double or twin, ensuite bathroom with shower and toilet, small outdoor deck
  • Kookaburra Room: single, shared bathroom with shower and toilet, small outdoor deck
We are dependent of rainfall for the total water supply. Therefore there are no laundry facilities offered for horse riding guests. Please be aware that our water is precious. If you wish you can hand wash your most urgent clothes in the bathroom basin and you are welcome to hang them to dry on the washing line behind the garage. Depending on the water reserves some exceptions for washing clothes can be made for international guests that are traveling for a longer period - please make requests when booking.

Room Occupancy
There is no additional fee for a single room.

Communications
Mobile phone reception on the farm property is poor and limited to SMS texting. Most riding days have some opportunity for mobile phone reception.
Free WiFi internet access is available for guests who bring their own Internet device. The use is limited to "standard" internet and email usage and short Skype phone calls. Please don’t download large files like movies or large photo files, make long Skype video calls, etc.



Meals
All meals are included except 1 lunch out at a local cafe. Emphasis is on fresh home-cooked meals and light salad lunches.
Buffet style breakfast with toast, condiments, cereals, yogurt, fruit. Cooked eggs & bacon on some mornings.
Lunch during day rides: light picnic lunches (cheese and salads) brought to you by 4WD support vehicle or saddlebag (sandwich) lunch.
2 course dinner at the dining table in the communal area, international and Australian specialties: beef stew, pasta, chicken, fish, roast dinner, barbecue.
We offer complimentary table wine with dinner. Extra alcohol can be bought at local store on arrival (pick up during arrival transfer). 
Juice, soft drinks (lemonade and coke), filtered rain (tank) water, milk, tea, coffee and hot chocolate are freely available on a self-serve basis.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to most dietary restrictions if given prior notice.


This trip includes some wine with dinner and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding

Riding Experience
Only capable experienced riders are accepted. Minimum riding level is Good Intermediate. Horse riders must be able to mount / dismount unassisted, have a firm seat and be confident and capable to control a forward going and fit horse at all paces (including long stretches of posting trot and gallops) in varied open terrain. Leading your horse over short distances may sometimes be required. Riders benefit if they are “riding-fit”, because the riding can be quite intense due to hilly forest terrain and pace of ride.
The horse riding tours and trail horses are not suitable for children or inexperienced riders and a reasonable amount of fitness is required for all rides.

Tack & Riding Style
Our horses are trained to be ridden on a loose rein in English style. We ride with English Style lightweight endurance or all purpose saddles and use snaffle or bit less bridles. Western Riders must have basic training in English riding and be comfortable in posting to the trot and a two-point canter.
When riding uphill or galloping riders should sit in a raised or 2-point position (similar to when jumping), standing in the stirrups and leaning forward, alleviating the horse’s back.
Downhill slopes are always in walk and riders should sit straight, balanced and slightly standing in stirrups (not leaning back), to alleviate the horse’s back

Riding Terrain
We ride through NSW State Forests, private farm properties, Crown Land and some public rural roads. Most country is undulating to steep terrain with some narrow overgrown rainforest trails. Rides go into remote and isolated areas, with limited mobile phone reception and assistance from third parties not immediately available.

Pace
This trip includes 5 riding days covering approximately 142 km and spending a total of 21 hours in the saddle. On the first day, there is a 3 hour introductory ride, followed by 3 full days of riding (4-6 hours) and on the last day we have a 2-hour beach ride.
Riding pace is moderate with long active walks, trotting, canters and fast galloping sections of up to 4 km's. Horse riding pace and tour itineraries are subject to terrain & weather conditions. Each day of riding generally covers 30 to 40 km per day in 4-6 hours riding.

Horses
We use well schooled horses, including Arab-Quarter horse crosses, carefully selected and trained for long distance trail riding. Many of the horses were bred specifically for endurance riding and complete endurance rides regularly. We have 6 pure & part-bred Arabian horses (14.2 and 15.3 hands / 145 and 157 cm), 1 Andalusian-Thoroughbred cross (16.2 hands) and 2 Brumbies.
The horses are sure-footed, good-natured and in excellent condition. They are kept in groups on large paddocks on the 60 acres property. The horses' agility, great stamina, adaptability to the Australian climate conditions and excellent people- and work- friendly temperament make them ideal horses for multi-day long distance trail riding through challenging terrain.
The horses' well being and safety is our main concern and riders can be assured that all trail riding horses are maintained and cared for to the highest standards.

Tack
Tack is of a very high standard and kept in good condition.
Australian made Endurance saddles: leather (Mackinder) and synthetic (Wintec). Wintec All Purpose and Dressage Saddles.
Snaffle bits, hackamores or bitless bridles/ Natural Horsemanship halters.
Synthetic Endurance breastplates, some with martingale.
Small saddlebag to carry water bottle (supplied), personal items for the day, lunch on some days.
Guests can offer to help with the horses and get their horse ready in the morning, saddle / unsaddle and wash & clean up the horse and tack, if they want (always supervised), but this is by no means compulsory or expected.

Weight Restriction
Due to the pace, duration and hilly terrain of our horse riding tours we have set rider weight limits for each individual horse with an overall weight limit of 80kg -– some exceptions in winter for up to 85 kg (depending on riding ability and height). Rider height–weight ratio is taken into account.

Safety
The guide carries a special mobile phone for regional areas (but not with 100% reception), UHF radio for communication with forestry workers and first aid kit.
Riding helmets must be worn at all time while on the horse.

Your Host and Guide
Your trail guide, Kathy, has a diverse equestrian background. She was a successful Dressage rider competing at Advanced level in The Netherlands (she moved to Australia in 2000) and also competed in Show jumping and Cross Country (Eventing). She now enjoys taking her Arabian horses to local endurance rides. Having been on many trail riding holidays and treks throughout Europe and Canada, your trail guide knows what makes a great horse-riding holiday.
Kathy and her team are also responsible for the gourmet side of the business, from cooking breakfast to your request, bringing lunch to the riders in the Australian bush or preparing a sumptuous evening dinner meal or barbecue.
Kathy is fluent in English, German and Dutch.

Non-Riding Activities
During the day, non-riding partners may travel in the Southern Cross Horse Treks' 4WD vehicle through the beautiful State Forest to join the riders for lunch or may simply relax near the pool on the "Kerewong" property.
When not horse riding, there are many other tourist attractions & holiday activities in the NSW Mid North Coast region. These include stunning coastal walks, pristine beaches, surfing, fishing, waterfalls, lookouts, Australian wildlife watching, birdwatching, bushwalking, national parks, golf courses, Macadamia Nut Farm, wineries, Port Macquarie and Taree coastal tourist towns, Koala-hospital and historic Timbertown.

Itinerary

Sample Itinerary - Subject to changes

Day 1: Arrival
Arrival at lodge in the late afternoon. Transfer from Port Macquarie Airport or Kendall Railway Station (fixed times). Dinner with your hosts and co-riders and discussing the week program.

Day 2: Kerewong Forest Ride 
Introductory Forest Ride through the hilly terrain with tall eucalypt forests and pockets of rainforest, beautiful quiet bush trails and short fun canters. Stop for lunch under the tall gum trees in the middle of the forest. This is a shorter ride with an easy-going pace, to enable riders to get accustomed to the terrain and horses and settle international travelers into the time and climate zone. Wildlife we may encounter on our rides and on the farm are Wallabies, Goanna’s and many bird species including Black Cockatoo’s. Occasionally we may even see a koala or echidna too!
Riding: 3 hours, approx. 22 km

Day 3: Mountain Top Ride 
Ride to impressive Comboyne Mountain (670 m), which peak can be seen from the lodge. Magnificent 360-degree view at the top: lookout over the expanding eucalyptus NSW State Forests landscape, regional farm properties, NSW Mid North Coast coastline, Bago Bluff National Park, Comboyne Plateau and the start of the Great Dividing Range. This is the most strenuous day ride for the horses with uphill cantering, long steep up- and downhill sections and some rough terrain. Horses and riders enjoy a well-deserved lunch break at the peak, before descending back home at an easy walking pace.
Riding: 5 hours, approx. 30 km

Day 4: Winery Ride 
Long day ride, starting along a historic timber railway line, to local Bago Vineyards. Creek crossings (platypus live here but are rarely seen) and maybe move some cattle while riding through neighbouring farm properties. We follow the Longworth's Tramway Heritage Trail and see the remnants of a historic timber railway line that was operational in the 1920's for timber log transport. Saddle bag lunch, sitting in the shade of tall eucalypt trees. Then, adventurous steep descent and fantastic long gallops of up to 4 kms on beautiful forest trails. On arrival taste the local produce while looking over the vineyards. Highlight in October - November are the purple blossoming Jacaranda Trees. Transfer back to riding centre by car.
Riding: 5 hours, approx. 35 km

Day 5: Beach Ride
Fantastic beach horse riding, galloping along the Pacific Ocean. Watch out for dolphins in the waves and a close encounter with kangaroos. Lunch during a break on the beach, at the ride base near a colony of the unique native Australian Grasstrees, or Aussie Fish & Chips at the local Fish Co-op. Sometimes, whales can be seen between May and November.
Transfers each way to the beach is by car & horse transport (45 minutes each way).
Riding: 2 hours, approx. 15 km

Day 6: Comboyne Plateau Ride
Farmland and forest horse ride to the beautiful green rolling and fertile farmland of the Comboyne Plateau with on clear days views to the Pacific Ocean. Comboyne is a volcanic plateau with a unique topography and fertile red soil and the ride takes us past dairy farms and avocado orchards. We stop at Waitui Waterfall and have lunch at an amazing rocky escarpment lookout before cantering along a spectacular old forest. Panoramic view to the landmark of the Three Brother Mountains, an Australian Aboriginal Place of spiritual significance to the local Biripi Aboriginal people, and on clear days the view goes all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Many great galloping sections in the morning and afternoon, as well as long walks to take in the beautiful scenery.
In the evening enjoy a farewell dinner.
Riding: 5-6 hours, approx. 40 km

Day 7: Departure
Departure after breakfast. Transfer to Kendall Railway station or Port Macquarie airport, with optional stop at Port Macquarie Koala Hospital (only included with departure transfer to Port Macquarie).

- Itinerary is subject to Forestry activities and weather & terrain conditions -

-----------------------------------

Additional Activities
-Visit Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie on departure transfer (only from/to Port Macquarie - not Kendall station)
-Whale watching in Port Macquarie on departure at own cost during whale migration season (May to November)


Rates and Dates for Comboyne Plateau Ride

Rates include:

6 nights accommodation in private cabin (double/twin available) or lodge room (single/double/twin available)- most with private bathroom facilities, most meals with wine at dinner, 5 horseback riding days.
Helmets and chaps can be provided!

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionAUS$ ~US$
    A
    20197 day Center based trip, AP- Country & Coast Ride$2475$1905
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 0.77

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionAUS$~US$
2019 Transfer included from Kendall train station or Port Macquarie airport at set times $ 0 $0
2019 Small group supplement (1 rider only) $ 440 $325
2019 Transfers outside schedule -- by request ~ (per trip)
This is a "Group Rate"
$ 150 $110

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2019 09/22 - 09/28 7d / 6n 7 day Center based trip, AP-... 2 /4 Expired
A 2019 10/01 - 10/07 7d / 6n 7 day Center based trip, AP-... 2 /4 Expired
A 2019 10/20 - 10/26 7d / 6n 7 day Center based trip, AP-... 2 /4 Expired
A 2019 11/03 - 11/09 7d / 6n 7 day Center based trip, AP-... 2 /4 Expired
A 2019 12/01 - 12/07 7d / 6n 7 day Center based trip, AP-... 2 /4 Reserve
A 2019 12/15 - 12/21 7d / 6n 7 day Center based trip, AP-... 2 /4 Reserve

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

One lunch at a local café, and alcoholic drinks -- paid locally

Other Info
Meeting: Kendall
Airport: Port Macquarie
Transfer: Pick up: Port Maquarrie at 5:15pm or Kendall train station at 6:15pm Drop off: Kendall in time for 9:00 AM train or Port Maquarrie airport at 11:00 am.

Climate:
                                                    Kerewong area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

82

81

78

74

69

64

63

66

71

75

77

80

Average Low Temperature (°F)

63

63

60

54

48

44

42

42

47

51

57

60

Average High Temperature (°C)

28

27

26

23

20

18

17

19

22

24

25

27

Average Low Temperature (°C)

17

17

15

12

9

7

5

6

8

11

14

15

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

8

9

9

9

7

8

6

5

5

6

9

8




Source: NOAA


Seasons

Australia is a country of extreme weather conditions. Although most of the time the weather is fantastic, there can be quite severe weather conditions, in particular when compared to European weather.
Ride pace is adjusted to weather and terrain conditions (slower pace in hot, humid and / or wet weather, slippery trails).
In case of severe weather warnings (severe rain or storms) and local bush fire danger we may be unable to go out riding due to safety concerns. We will try to arrange an alternative program for you whenever possible (Wine Tasting Tour, Port Macquarie town, Koala Hospital).

Summer (November to March)
The hottest months are usually January and February. At this time of the year, you should expect a tropical hot and humid weather (>30 degrees Celsius) with potential afternoon thunderstorms. January and February are generally also the months with the highest rainfall. On the hottest summer days we start the rides very early in the morning and return early afternoon to spend the afternoons relaxing near the swimming pool.

Winter (June to August)
Winter months usually have good weather for riding: mostly dry conditions, warm sunny days and cold frosty nights.

In-between-seasons (April, May, September, October, November) have a variety of weather due to the changing season: generally sunny and warm but also rain or wind; many flowering trees and scrubs.
The best time for riding is usually from April to November.


Special note – Wildlife
Most of Australia’s wildlife is active at night, but during the day on the farm or on horseback you may see wallabies, kangaroos, bandicoots, goannas, lizards, colorful bird life (king parrots, rainbow lorikeets, black cockatoo’s, kookaburras, eagles) and if you are lucky maybe even a koala in a gumtree! We regularly see dolphins in the ocean during the beach ride.
Snakes are sometimes seen on the rides but have never caused any problems as the horses are used to seeing the snakes and the snakes will move away when we encounter them, as most are not aggressive.

What To Bring:
We will supply your horse and the necessary riding equipment for the horse.
Helmets and chaps can be provided- please let us know at your time of booking.
Your guides will care for the horses and riding equipment during your trip!
 
This list is only a guideline for you

 

Travel documents and Voucher
Flight tickets
Passport
Visa (check with your consulate)

 

RIDING GEAR
Riding pants or Jodhpurs (used if possible!)
Suitable riding boots or shoes with a heel & no tread
Riding helmet (mandatory) - available at the Homestead - no charge for use
Riding gloves
Broad brimmed hat with a chinstrap
Rain coat/Wax jacket

 

PERSONAL CLOTHING
Joggers for bushwalking
Jacket or sweater for cool evenings
Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts
Jeans
Shorts
Underwear and socks
Panty hose are often worn to prevent soreness and chaffing (by men too!)
Pajama
Bag for dirty clothes
Comfortable shoes/sneakers
Swimsuit
Bandana
 
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO BRING
Personal Toiletries
Insect protection
Personal medications
Two crepe bandages in case your calves become chaffed
Sore cream (for an emergency)
Sewing kit
Handkerchiefs
Adapter for electric appliances
Camera and enough extra films
Belt pack
Address book and pen (for  postcards!)
Sun glasses with strap
Sun tan lotion and lip balm