10 October 2018

Incredible Horse Riding Trek in Lord of the Rings Locations

Are you a fan of the Lord of the Rings movies? Do you love horses but have only been on them once or twice?  If you answered yes to both of those questions - put this tour on your bucket list right now!

A few months ago when I was last in the South Island, I went on the Dart River Adventures Funyak tour which was honestly one of the most incredible activities I've ever done in New Zealand (very highly recommended). 

In the same beautiful Dart Valley region in Glenorchy, they also have horse riding tours among the spectacular mountain scenery where many Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit scenes were shot. 

My best friend and I went on the one-hour Hobbits' Hack horse riding trek, which is the perfect introduction to horse riding for inexperienced riders like myself - I had only been on a horse once before about 7 years ago.

Being as much of a LOTR fan and horse-lover as I am, my friend and I absolutely loved the tour and as it was her first time in the South Island - she was completely blown away by the gorgeous scenery! 

Hobbits' Hack Trek

The Hobbits' Hack Trek runs four times a day from the Dart Stables Office in Glenorchy. 
If you are staying in Queenstown, for only $20 you can add on transport to and from Queenstown in their shuttle bus. If you have your own transport like I did, it's a 45-minute scenic drive from Queenstown.

My friend and I were the only ones on the tour for that time slot (private tour!) and upon arriving we were geared up in helmets and given safety information. There were also boots, jackets and gloves available if we needed it.

You aren't allowed to take bags with you so I stuffed my phone in one pocket and camera in the other. We then hopped into a waiting shuttle for our short journey to meet the horses at the stables. Along the way, our driver Tom told us some interesting facts about the Lord of the Rings scenes shot in the area (which we were most excited to hear about).

At the stables, we met our lovely guide, Lindsey. She asked us about our horse riding experience and assigned our horses for the trek accordingly.

My gentle horse was named Nick and my friends one was Tui. There were handy steps we could climb to hop on easily and we were given a quick refresher lesson of how to turn left and right, stop and go forward. Once settled in and feeling confident, we were off.

We were guided through a 100-acre property of varying landscapes, over grassy fields, through rivers and stony beds, all while being surrounded by mesmerising snow-capped mountains. 

The horses were very well-behaved and trotted at an easy walking pace, allowing us to enjoy every moment and soak in the surroundings. I loved that when walking through the rivers, the horses stopped to take a drink from the crystal-clear water. 

Lindsey chatted to us all throughout the trek, telling us stories, information about the area and horses. She even kindly offered to hop off to take some pictures for us.

The whole trek ran seamlessly and although the hour seemed to go by quickly as we were enjoying it so much, we felt like it was the perfect amount of time for us.

If one-hour doesn't sound quite long enough for you, they also have a two-hour River Wild trek for riders of all levels.

After an hour of enjoying the remarkable landscapes and beautiful nature, we returned to the stables. We were helped down, said goodbye to our lovely horses and Tom was waiting to take us back on the shuttle to the head office. 

The experience lasted around two hours in total and we then happily went to the Glenorchy Cafe for lunch - a great recommendation by Lindsey. It was a brilliant morning and the horse trek was a definite highlight of our South Island adventure. 


Price: $147 NZD per adult, $126 per child (seasonal)

Reviews: 4.5/5 stars out of 2,091 reviews on Trip Advisor

What to bring:
  • Wear long pants and sturdy shoes (or you can borrow their own riding boots)
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen in warmer months
  • Warm clothes and gloves in colder months
  • Clothing with zip pockets to carry your phone/camera

Final Thoughts

You don't have to be a Lord of the Rings fan to enjoy this trek - if you appreciate epic scenery then any visitor to the South Island is going to love it. 

The views in every direction were amazing and it was so incredible to see via horseback.
Our guide was friendly and easy-going as well as being super professional and safety conscious. 

It's a perfect activity to be enjoyed in any season and by all kinds of travellers, from friends, couples, solo travellers to families, with children as young as five years old being able to ride.

I highly recommend this tour to any fellow horse-lovers out there and those who have always wanted to give it a go - it will be one memorable experience you'll never forget!

Pin it! :)

Happy Travels,

This tour was complimentary in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are, as always, my own. Thank you Dart River Adventures for another incredible #NZMustDo experience.


1 comment

  1. This is 100% going on my bucket list right now!


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