12 Day Tekapo Safari (Tekapo to Hawarden) Every thing that I thought it would be, and more!!
Lawrie, Jenny and Corinna are very friendly and down to earth and run a very professional business with emphasis on everyone enjoying the experience but rider safety always coming first.
Big fast walking horses, comfortable saddles, excellent food and plenty of it. The accomadation was always comfortable and no different than going on a normal hiking trip. Most people had not met before the ride but all got on well and had a lot of laughs.
The scenery was fantastic, a lot of high country that you would never be able to see normally as we travelled through a lot of private land. Lawrie has vast knowledge of the areas travelled through which made the ride that more interesting.
A great way to stress out from work as there is no cell phone coverage and it is easy to forget what is going on in the outside world. Saying that, a satellite phone and locator beacon are carried for emergencies.
You need to be reasonably fit as the horses are walked down hills and a good stick is recommended. Age is really not an issue (our group ranged from 54 to 63) as long as you are fit.
As you are in a tight group for 12 days, lasting friendships develop and now keep in contact with Lawrie, Jenny and Corinna.
If you are thinking about doing this ride, you will never regret it. Book it now!!
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Six day trek. From the time we arrived we were made to feel really welcome. The following day we were introduced to our mounts. They were bred and fit for purpose, top notch! Suitable for beginner to experience rider. Accommodation was really good to fair depending on where we finished each day. Food was very good and plenty of it. The country we travelled through was spectacular. I cannot recommend highly enough the enjoyment we both had doing this safari. No cell phones to distract us. No crowds to offend us. No worries about life in general. Very refreshing.
Having said that though I feel you must approach this sort of holiday (where you are expected to help out with all aspects of horse care and cooking cleaning duties) with the right attitude. You shouldn't expect to be pampered and if you are not the sort to take direction with good humour then perhaps this it not for you. My wife and I have ridden horses all our lives (read 35yrs) and I work in the equine industry as a farrier. I also break horses in on my days off so I know a bit about horse. However there was plenty for me to learn about packing and trekking. Our guides were professional and loads of fun and always happy to talk about the land we were crossing and the horses we were riding.
On our trip we had several nationalities and in particular an Italian bloke who hadn't ridden before. His final comment on his day of departure was that he had been saving for two years to do this particular trip and in his opinion it was the best experience of his life. (35yr old we'll travelled guy) My wife and I stay in touch with him and a couple of other people we met on Safari we also keep in touch with Lawrie and Jenny O'Carroll our host. I think that this alone is testament to the regard we hold Alpine Horse Safari in. These sort of shared experience holidays forges lasting friendships and in the end isn't that what life's about.....