• Home
  • Treks 2017/2018
  • Musters Mountain Pack Trail

Musters Mountain Pack Trail

Suitable for people with good riding ability and good levels of fitness as this trail is designed with walking, trotting and cantering in mind.

Dates Length of Stay Number of Riders
15/16/17/18/19/20/21st February 2018 6 days riding
6 nights’ accommodation
6 to 10 riders

  6 saddles left  

Book now

21/22/23/24/25/26/27th March 2018 6 days riding
6 nights’ accommodation
6 to 10 riders

  8 saddles left  

Book now

11/12/13/14/15/16/17th April 2018 6 days riding
6 nights’ accommodation
6 to 10 riders

  5 saddles left  

Book now

Riders will obtain a true appreciation for the New Zealanders cross bred horses. They are strong, surefooted with calm natures and cool heads and we have bred them specifically for this environment.

Riding Day 1 – Meet at 2pm Constable’s Cottage, St. Bathan’s, Central Otago – 2 hours riding

You will meet your tour guide and wranglers and luggage will be taken to our accommodation for the evening. We will then introduce you to your horse that will be saddled and ready for the afternoons ride in the surrounding St Bathan’s area. This is to ensure that we have a happy relationship between horse and rider. There will be opportunities to have a group photo outside the historic hotel. On our return riders can enjoy some time in the beautiful historic gold mining town. Many of the old mud brick buildings have been restored or if you prefer a few drinks at the hotel. Dinner will be served at our accommodation for the evening with drinks and nibbles followed by a hearty home cooked feast. Our accommodation for the evening is one of the historic cottages within the township.

Riding day 2 – 6 hours riding

Look forward to a spectacular day as we crisscross the Dunstan River 24 times and make our way alongside this beautiful glacial river through St. Bathan’s Station and into Dunstan Downs 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. The old water races constructed by the miners can be seen along the mountain ranges leading back to the Blue Lake. This gives you a strong sense of history, as you start to understand the numbers of men and women that lived and worked in this area and how difficult life must have been for them, as they sought to make their fortune. Gold fever can be a strong draw card however; the reality of this arid environment took many lives.

There is an opportunity for riders to change the pace today if you so desire.

As we ride up the valley the majestic Old Man peak stands in front of us (waiting for us to conquer the following day.) Our accommodation for the evening is in “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 enjoy the most breath-taking display of stars, the lack of light pollution makes the starlight very intense. Tents are offered here if people would rather have their own privacy.

Riding day 3 – 9am – 7 hours riding

After a cooked breakfast with lunches packed we saddle up riding out of Fat Mans hut and head onto the mountain track which leads us up Old Man Peak. This is the highest stock pass in New Zealand at just under 6000 feet above sea. The landscape on top is the nearest you will find to being on the moon. On a clear day you can see the four highest peaks in New Zealand’s South Island, Aorangi (Mount Cook) Mount Aspiring, Mount St. Bathan’s and Mount Tutoko, lakes Dunstan & Pukaki. As we descend we enjoy views out towards the Southern Alps with Mother Earth laid out before us like a patchwork quilt. We descend into the Dunstan Downs cattle yard at 3000 feet to enjoy our lunch beside the Alpine Lindis pass. Our pack horses are waiting in the cattle yards to carry our gear through the mountain passes. After lunch we cross the road, riding into Dalrachney Station. Here we ride along the river filled with wild lupin’s and roses (depending on the time of year), painting the landscape blue, pink and purple, (keep the camera handy it is a unique feature of the McKenzie and Lindis pass area’s) Leaving the river behind we begin our ascent on the steepest part of our trail. You will begin to understand the type of horses you are riding as they are purpose bred for this terrain. We are heading to our accommodation for the evening, at the Lindis Ridge hut set high on the edge of the Southern Alps @ 5000feet above sea. This site is looking out over typical, “Lord of the Rings” Country.

This hut has 10 bunks with two separate bedrooms, a long drop toilet, solar lighting and a log burner, with a deck that faces out into the mountains and overlooking our spectacular ride the following day. We enjoy nibbles, a glass of wine and a hearty dinner.

Riding day 4 - 3 1/2 hours riding

After a late breakfast, to allow us to take in the stunning mountain scenery which surrounds the Lindis Ridge hut. We pack our lunch and descend down into the head of the Lindis basin where we will be met that afternoon by our back up vehicle. On our arrival tents will be erected for our evening’s accommodation. This is a short day to enable the riders and horses to rest before tomorrow’s stunning and dramatic ascent to the top of Mount Prospect.
For those riders who enjoy walking and observing Alpine plant life, this is a great opportunity to do so. This location is filled with unique New Zealand flora and fauna.
Tonight we enjoy a hearty back country meal flanked by the Southern Alps.

Riding day 5 – 7.5 hours riding

Today is one of the trail bosses favourite days riding; enjoy a day filled with mountain scenery on horseback, second to none in New Zealand. You can be forgiven if your mind tells you that you are riding through the Rocky Mountains in USA or Mongolian mountain ranges (without the worry of grizzly bears or mountain lions). Breakfast over, pack horses loaded and horses saddled we forge even deeper into the mountain ranges. Today is filled with adventure as we follow old pack trails around the side of Mount Prospect. Our trail leads us over shingle slides and through snow fed creeks. Here keen eyes may spot Shammy (Chamois -an agile goat/ antelope with short hooked horns) and Himalayan Tahr (is associated with wild goats from the Himalayas in southern Tibet). We cross two mountain ridges before descending into native beech forest and bush arriving in Timaru Creek where we will have our lunch.

Tummies full, we begin the second half of our days ride along the side of Timaru Creek, looking up into the rock formations that we have ridden before lunch. Our trail takes us up and over the Mount Martha saddle which is part of the famous “Te Areroa trail” https://www.teararoa.org.nz/ Our accommodation for the evening is beside the Longslip Station hut where there is a long drop toilet and tents will be erected for our accommodation. There is a beautiful crystal clear mountain stream beside the camp site if riders would like a swim. Hot showers will be provided from our camp trailer.
Dinner tonight will be a traditional Kiwi barbecue

Riding day 6 – 6 hours riding

Breakfast over; lunches packed we begin our last day’s equine adventure. Heading towards the Ahuriri River we ride alongside a safaris park which is filled with Red, Fallow and Wapiti stags with heads full of impressive antlers. We ride through many small streams with some opportunities for trotting and cantering. This is Merino sheep country whose fine wool has made New Zealand famous.

Today we will enjoy views of the Ahuriri conservation park. We head to the end of our ride at the Historic Ribbonwood woolshed. The last 45mins of this ride, we ride alongside a mountain stream in the bush before reaching our destination and the end of our trail.

Here we will be met by a vehicle and transported to our accommodation for the evening in a comfortable hotel. Riders can enjoy a relaxing evening which includes a dip in the Omarama hot tubs to soak away those aches and pains and enjoy the incredible stars in this “light” conservation area. The horses will be put on the truck and transported to a good paddock for them to enjoy a well-earned break and dinner.
Tonight we enjoy our final dinner together at the hotel.

Day 7 – Final day,

after breakfast you will be picked up by Bus and returned to Queenstown Airport or your accommodation.

Cost per rider $ 3,950.00

  • Includes transfers from Queenstown airport and return to Queenstown Airport (this is subject to traveling on set dates to meet rides)

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

  • We are 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
  • Ability to trot and canter where terrain and weather permit
  • 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

Extended ride enjoys the final evening in Oamarama hot tubs under the stars http://www.hottubsomarama.co.nz


Impressions

20170316 150829
DSCF4799
DSCF4814
DSCF4846
DSCF4856
DSCF4888
DSCF4898
DSCF4919
DSCF4926
DSCF4947
DSCF4954
DSCF4966
DSCF4973
DSCF4976
DSCF4988
DSCF4996
DSCF5009
DSCF5037
DSCF5077
DSCF5092
DSCF5097
DSCF5101
DSCF5130
DSCF5145
P1030728
P1030756
P1030777

Dec 2016

Pictures by Andreas Baumann

The Group
DSC02908
DSC02914
DSC02670
DSC02686
DSC02693
DSC02703
DSC02720
DSC02733
DSC02738
DSC02755
DSC02788
DSC02801
DSC02818
DSC02819
DSC02821
DSC02828
DSC02843
DSC02860
DSC02872
DSC02887

Pictures by Michelle Jarvis

001
002
003
005
006
007
008
010
011
012
014
015
016
017
018
019
020
021
022
023
024
025
IMG 6196
IMG 6209
IMG 6221
IMG 6269
P1130551
P1130574
P1130581
P1130590
P1130596
P1130599
P1130629
P1130638
P1130702
P1130721

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.