Lake Wakatipu offers classic high country scenery with alpine flora and fauna, rugged river gorges and dramatic ‘Lord of the Rings’ landscapes. There are three well established and remarkably scenic horse riding area’s worthy of consideration.
Queenstown - Lake Wakatipu
New Zealand's longest lake lies at an altitude of 310 metes (1,020 ft), and is situated at the southern end of the South Islands Southern Alps. Surrounded by mountains, notably the Remarkables range stretching along its southeastern edge. Lake Wakatipu offers classic high country scenery with alpine flora and fauna, rugged river gorges and dramatic ‘Lord of the Rings’ landscapes. The glacier fed Dart River flows into its northern end and the Kawarau River, near Queenstown, handles the outflow. Horse Riding in Queenstown in World Class!
Lake Wakatipu has three well established and remarkably scenic horse riding area’s worthy of consideration.
1) Paradise and Dart River
At the head of Lake Wakatipu is the small township of Glenorchy, gateway to Mount Aspiring National Park and Te Wahipounamu, a World Heritage Area. Not far from here you can ride the tracks alongside the braided, glacier fed, Dart River or get inside the famed “Paradise Valley” a well known filming location for the Lord of the Rings.
2) Ben Lomond Station
On the northern shore of the lake and close to eastern end of its middle section located in the valley on the other side of the Queenstown Gondola sits Ben Lomond Station. Historically an important goldfield, rich in history and scattered with mining artifacts, has more recently been turned into 35,000 acres (14163 Hectares) farm providing a series of stunning riding location including beautiful Moke Lake, trekking up the mountains or following a trail to see the relics of the gold mining era - water races, waterfalls, mountain bluffs, beech forests, river canyons can be explored along all of the trails.
3) Walter Peak Station
Walter Peak Station is located diagonally opposite Queenstown on the opposing shore of Lake Wakatipu. Take passage onboard the historic steamship the TSS Earnslaw to Walter peak station, the Earnslaw has been operating on Lake Wakatipu since 1912 and provides a very comfortable and scenically beautiful way to get to the station.
Although short, the forty-minute horse trek allows you to experience the rolling high country farmland all the way to ‘the’ look-out with unrivaled views of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains. This is suitable for all riders even the inexperienced and your guides will have you back enjoying your morning or afternoon tea at the Colonel's Homestead in plenty of time to catch the return boat.