The glacial peaks and lakes that punctuate New Zealand’s South Island will be explored on horseback on three 2020 departures of Wild Women Expeditions’ new 11-day Land of theLong White Cloud Ride (from the Maori name for New Zealand).
Adding an extra dimension to these women-only horseback riding expeditions will be a female guide who is trained in the practice of Equine Assisted Learning. The guide will help guests learn how to receive what a horse can teach its rider and how a rider can integrate these lessons into the riding experience and beyond. Forging positive relationships between horses and riders translates into self-management both on and off the horse.
“Horses have unique characteristics which contribute to a distinct human-animal interaction. They have evolved as intuitive, sensitive creatures that can be a motivator of strength and calmness,” said Jennifer Haddow, owner and guiding director of Wild Women Expeditions (www.wildwomenexpeditions.com/). “Empowering women to free themselves of fear, no matter what challenges they face, is fundamental to our travel mission, for guests and guides alike. Horses can help.”
After leaving the gateway city of Queenstown, guests meet their guide and horses at Hunter Valley Station, a 16,000-acre working ranch on Lake Hawea. The region is surrounded by Hawea Conservation Park, a rugged backcountry that is home to endangered species and the legends that came with early gold miners who were among the first foreigners to meet the indigenous Maori.
While riding away from the station, guests pass Hereford cattle and Merino sheep grazing freely and by vestiges of fishing cribs constructed by Kiwis in the 1950s. One of New Zealand’s best fly-fishing tributaries, the Hunter River, may lure riders off their horses for a few hours. Farther into the mountains, rare falcons fly high overhead the trail.
Throughout this journey, guests experience backcountry riding at its finest, with stunning high-mountain lakes and peaks chosen for each day’s discovery. One ride, for example, is to the “green lake” at 1200 meters above sea level, a wee, crystal-clear tarn, home to large trout, set in the heart of snow-covered mountain ranges. Another ride opens onto a valley filled with waterfalls and where a glacial-fed river tumbles its way over the river bed stones that the South Island is so famous for.
Trip departures in 2020 are scheduled for Jan. 6-16, Feb. 1-11, and Dec. 4-14. The per person rate of $5,295 includes:
- 10 nights accommodation in high country stations (musterers huts/ shearers quarters/shared hotel accommodation/shared farmhouse) and in mountain huts;
- A winery tour and all meals (catering to all dietary requirements) prepared by guides;
- Hire of Kiwi “station bred” horses, all tack (western-style saddles, saddle bags), helmets and Drizabone coats (slickers);
- The services of professional female trip guides, drivers and other staff;
- All transportation from trip start to end including return transportation
For more details on this women-only adventure please see https://wildwomenexpeditions.com/trips/land-of-the-long-white-cloud-ride/
“Respecting the special connection between women and active travel speaks to the heart of our Wild WomenKind mission to make the world a kinder place by empowering women to become leaders and change agents. We are responsible to take actions to respect cultures and the natural environment in the precious places we explore on our tours around the world,” said Haddow.
For more on itineraries, availability and reservations for these and all Wild Women Expeditions’ programs call 1 (888) 993-1222, email [email protected] or visit online at https://wildwomenexpeditions.com/.
About Wild Women Expeditions
Founded in 1991, Wild Women Expeditions is the world’s largest women-only travel company. Its initial focus was on canoeing on remote Ontario waters. Through an unwavering focus on Canada, one of the wildest, most pristine countries in the world, Wild Women Expeditions became experts in a pioneering niche that introduced small groups of women into wilderness settings. The company now hosts guests all over the world, offering more trips and more women-only, backcountry camping, hiking, paddling and horseback adventures than any other women’s travel company in the world.