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  • Prospectors Dream Trail

Prospectors Dream Trail

Suited to riders of all abilities with good levels of fitness

Trails Dates Length of Stay Number of Riders
Trail 1 10/11/12/13/14th Feb 2018 3 days riding
4 nights’ accommodation
6 - 10 riders

  8 saddles left  

Trail 2 15/16/17/18/19/20th March 2018
Longer trail for those who enjoy more time in the saddle
4 days riding
5 nights’ accommodation
6 - 10 riders

  2 saddles left  

Trail 1 21st/22/23/24/25th April 2018 3 days riding
4 nights’ accommodation
6 - 10 riders

  2 saddles left  

  • Important Notes:

    the last date on these trails is the date you leave after breakfast from St Bathans to your next destination
    the weather in this location can be very changeable and the trail may need to be altered accordingly

  • Trail 1

    First Evening – arriving late afternoon to Dunstan Downs Shearers Quarters

    We enjoy nibbles and wine before a hearty farm house dinner where we can get to know one another before our trail ride begins. There is an opportunity to meet the horses although we won’t be riding today. The shearer’s quarters have hot showers, flushing toilets and electricity with a large cookhouse, dining area and TV room. You will be given your bag to pack that will travel on the pack horses (this must weight no more than 11kg)

    Riding day 1 – 9:30am start – 4 hours riding

    After breakfast with lunchboxes packed we are matched with our horses. Departing from Dunstan Downs Station cattle yards, from here we head up to the summit of Old Mans Peak, a height of just under 6000 feet above sea, the rock formations look like a moonscape. The vista you will encounter encompasses four of the highest peaks in the South Island. These are Mount Cook, Mount Aspiring, Mount St. Bathan’s and Mount Tutoko including Lakes Dunstan and Pukaki. At this point we begin dropping down into the Dunstan Valley to spend the evening at “Fat Mans Hut.” The original hut is over 100 years old and has been utilised by Musters to tend their sheep. A new cook shop has been constructed alongside the existing building which includes a welcome hot shower (high country style). After dinner you can enjoy magnificent views of the star laden skies.

    Riding day 2 – 9:30am start – 4 hours riding

    Look forward to a leisurely days riding, as we crisscross the Dunstan River many times and amble our way along beside this beautiful glacial river into St. Bathans Station. This is a very good fly fishing river and keen eyes may spot trout feeding in the many pools we view along our trail. We will be following in the footsteps of the old gold miners from the time of New Zealand’s gold rush. Accommodation for this evening is an old musters hut and tents, only 10m from a beautiful swimming hole. Our trail boss is a keen fly fisherman and he will be taking his rod, if you wish to do the same you can fish in the evening (you will need a rod that breaks down so you can pack it with your gear and a fishing licence, this is a catch and release fishery) We enjoy a barbecue dinner, after which there are some wonderful walking tracks that lead up into the hills providing excellent photo opportunities of the hut and horses in the evening light. You can sleep out under the stars tonight if you so choose with the sounds of the river and horses munching.

    Riding day 3 – 10:30am start – 4 ½ hours riding

    Today is an easy day’s ride as we continue our way towards the historic St. Bathans Township following the gold miners trails. The high unusual rock formations to the side of the riverbank we are riding make your feel as though you are in a Wild West movie set. By the time we reach the Vulcan Hotel in St. Bathans we will have cross the river a total of 24 times. The gold miners were incredible engineers. Riding the valley you can still see the water races they constructed by hand using a bottle to sight their levels. These lead us to the Blue Lake in St Bathans (named for its distinctive blue colour caused by the minerals in the water.) Man-made by miners when the mining stopped, the hole filled with water forming the lake. The lake is a popular and unique setting for swimming and jet skiing with a two-kilometre walking track around the edge. We will ride into the St. Bathans Township (an historic gold mining town, located at the foot of the Hawkdun and Dunstan Ranges in Central Otago) established in 1863. There will be an opportunity for photographs in front of the historic Vulcan Hotel. Our accommodation for the night will be at the beautifully restored St Bathans Jail & Constables Cottage/ Rowan Cottage or the Vulcan (haunted) Hotel.

    Last Day - Morning of the fourth day – after breakfast, take the opportunity to look around St Bathans Township which is steeped in history before leaving on the next leg of your journey


    Trail 2

    First Evening – arriving late afternoon to Dunstan Downs Shearers Quarters

    We enjoy nibbles and wine before a hearty farm house dinner where we can get to know one another before our trail ride begins. There is an opportunity to meet the horses although we won’t be riding today. The shearer’s quarters have hot showers, flushing toilets and electricity with a large cookhouse, dining area and TV room. You will be given your bag to pack that will travel on the pack horses (this must weight no more than 11kg)

    Riding day 1 – 9:30am start – 4 hours riding

    After breakfast with lunchboxes packed we are matched with our horses. Departing from Dunstan Downs Station cattle yards, from here we head up to the summit of Old Mans Peak, a height of just under 6000 feet above sea, the rock formations look like a moonscape. The vista you will encounter encompasses four of the highest peaks in the South Island. These are Mount Cook, Mount Aspiring, Mount St. Bathan’s and Mount Tutoko including Lakes Dunstan and Pukaki. At this point we begin dropping down into the Dunstan Valley to spend the evening at “Fat Mans Hut.” The original hut is over 100 years old and has been utilised by Musters to tend their sheep. A new cook shop has been constructed alongside the existing building which includes a welcome hot shower (high country style). After dinner you can enjoy magnificent views of the star laden skies.

    Riding day 2 – 9:30am start – 4 hours riding

    Look forward to a leisurely days riding, as we crisscross the Dunstan River many times and amble our way along beside this beautiful glacial river into St. Bathans Station. This is a very good fly fishing river and keen eyes may spot trout feeding in the many pools we view along our trail. We will be following in the footsteps of the old gold miners from the time of New Zealand’s gold rush. Accommodation for this evening is an old musters hut and tents, only 10m from a beautiful swimming hole. Our trail boss is a keen fly fisherman and he will be taking his rod, if you wish to do the same you can fish in the evening (you will need a rod that breaks down so you can pack it with your gear and a fishing licence, this is a catch and release fishery)
    We enjoy a barbecue dinner, after which there are some wonderful walking tracks that lead up into the hills providing excellent photo opportunities of the hut and horses in the evening light. You can sleep out under the stars tonight if you so choose with the sounds of the river and horses munching.

    Riding day 3 – 10:30am start – 4 ½ hours riding

    Today is an easy day’s ride as we continue our way towards the historic St. Bathans Township following the gold miners trails. The high unusual rock formations to the side of the riverbank we are riding make your feel as though you are in a Wild West movie set. By the time we reach the Vulcan Hotel in St. Bathans we will have cross the river a total of 24 times. The gold miners were incredible engineers. Riding the valley you can still see the water races they constructed by hand using a bottle to sight their levels. These lead us to the Blue Lake in St Bathans (named for its distinctive blue colour caused by the minerals in the water.) Man-made by miners when the mining stopped, the hole filled with water forming the lake. The lake is a popular and unique setting for swimming and jet skiing with a two-kilometre walking track around the edge. We will ride into the St. Bathans Township (an historic gold mining town, located at the foot of the Hawkdun and Dunstan Ranges in Central Otago) established in 1863. There will be an opportunity for photographs in front of the historic Vulcan Hotel. Our accommodation for the night will be at the beautifully restored St Bathans Jail & Constables Cottage/ Rowan Cottage or the Vulcan (haunted) Hotel.

    Last Day - Morning of the fourth day – after breakfast, take the opportunity to look around St Bathans Township which is steeped in history before leaving on the next leg of your journey.

    Cost per rider Trail 1 $ 1,950 | Trail 2 $ 2,439

    • Price includes pick up and drop off at Queenstown airport or Queenstown hotels/motels

    POINTS OF DIFFERENCE THAT SET THIS TRAIL APART FROM OTHER NEW ZEALAND PACK TRAILS:

    • This trail is designed to include novice riders or those who are just starting back into riding. The horses on this trail will be very experienced and look after the rider every step of the way. Shorter riding days mean that the riders can enjoy more time at the destination, fishing, walking, reading a book or just relaxing and allowing the stress of modern life to blow away in the fresh mountain air.
    • We are exclusively riding on private land through iconic high country stations. This allows us to experience the 100% pure unspoilt environment of New Zealand. Where you will enjoy dramatic scenery and complete isolation rarely found in these modern times.
    • Small personalised groups
    • We transport our horses to the very best private land in the South Island that we can find
    • We source local farm fresh produce to maintain a low carbon footprint

    Impressions

    Dunstans Down 2
    Dunstans Down 1
    Dunstans Down 3
    Dunstans Down 4
    Dunstans Down 5
    IMG 0465
    IMG 0466
    IMG 0467
    IMG 0474
    IMG 0476
    IMG 0477
    IMG 0478
    IMG 0480
    IMG 0481
    IMG 0482
    IMG 0473
    DSC 0442
    Saint Bathans 1
    Saint Bathans 2
    Saint Bathans 3
    DSC 0445

    Client Equipment Check List

    Equipment Required

    Sleeping Bag suited to mountain terrain
    Warm woollen/ merino clothing/ Thermal underwear (including long Johns)
    Warm Hat/gloves/warm socks/ scarf
    2 changes of clothes for riding/ PJ’s
    Suitable foot ware for riding and walking
    Light foot ware to wear in the huts
    Sun glasses/ sun hat/ sun screen
    Wet weather gear
    Toiletries / chap stick/ Insect Repellent/ hand sanitizer/ wet wipes/ Towel
    Water bottle/ small flask
    Hot water bottle if you feel the cold at night
    Ear plugs
    Small torch/ head torch
    Set of togs for swimming (in summer time)
    Panadol or equiv. (if you think you will require this)
    Chocolate (or other sweeties you can’t resist)

    Important information to note:

    Please let us know of any medical conditions that may affect your ability to enjoy the trek
    Please notify us of any special dietary requirements/ food allergies
    We need to know an honest assessment of your height, weight, level of fitness, age and riding ability if any. This is to enable us to match you with the correct horse
    Much of the time we will be outside cell phone coverage
    Toilets can at times be very basic, long drops etc.
    Most back huts do not have electricity or WiFi
    A kitbag will be issued to you on your arrival, this is for your belongings, 3 changes of clothes, sleeping bag, toiletries, hut foot ware, towel etc. It would be appreciated if your pack could be as close to 9kg as possible as this makes it easier when loading the pack horse. You will also be given saddle bags where you will carry your lunch, water bottles, thermos flask, camera, gloves, woollen hat, scarf, sunscreen, sunglasses and any medication that you may require.
    See our video on www.youtube.com , that explains what to bring.
    Oil skin wet weather coats will be provided for all riders and these will be tied onto your saddle.
    We will recommend you wear a riding hat
    Please remember to bring enough medication for the duration as we will have limited ability to source additional items once the trek starts

    Sleeping Bags can be provided but we need 2 weeks prior notice.