Get off the beaten track in Tasmania and explore the beautiful Mersey Valley, Cradle Mountain in the Vale of Belvoir Conservation Area and Bakers Beach (Narawntapu National Park) on horse back. This five-day ride takes in parts of the Tom Quilty endurance riding course and the 480km Tasmanian Trail which stretches across the island. There are creek crossings, log jumps and varying terrain and it’s likely you may spot platypus, wombats, kangaroos, wallabies or echidnas during your ride. Accommodation is in a basic but comfortable 'shearers cottage' for 3 nights with one further night in the Narawntapu National Park homestead.
These rides travel through undulating areas of old-growth eucalyptus forest, historic farmland, forest plantations and rivers, all with spectacular forest, rural and mountain views. Experience a range of landscapes from the stunning agricultural hinterland of the Mersey Valley to the renowned Cradle Mountain and the deserted sands of Bakers Beach. Rides also cross areas of the Great Western Tiers region and there are views across to the distant waters of Bass Strait.
Please Note: The opinions expressed in these reviews are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Unicorn Trails Ltd. These reviews are "directly from the horses mouth" and unedited. Unicorn Trails may make additional comments for clarification clearly identified in red.
Review received from JM of Monroe on 20/02/2020
Transfer to the ranch and settle in, meet your welcoming hosts and fellow riders over dinner and discuss the trail ahead. The first nights accommodation will be at your hosts' ranch in the traditional 'shearer's quarters'. The rooms are basic but functional, equipped with hot water and soft beds!.
You will spend today riding through the forests, grazing country and river flats of the beautiful Mersey Valley. The riding today includes views over the Great Western Tiers and lunch on the banks of the Mersey River, which is home to platypus and trout. This part of the trail offers experienced riders plenty of opportunities to trot and canter. Accommodation is at the shearers quarters.
Today's ride travels through the Vale of Belvoir Conservation Area on the northern boundary of the world-famous Cradle Mountain/Lake St Clair World Heritage Area. The views of Cradle Mountain and the surrounding peaks are stunning. Return back to your hosts ranch for the last night staying in the shearers quarters.
You will enjoy a trip to Narawantapu National Park (Bakers Beach) where you ride through the grasslands that are the feeding grounds for wombats, wallabies, forester kangaroo and numerous other species of Australia's native marsupials. Then it’s onto an amazing stretch of pristine beach where you can canter through the shallows and those who don't mind getting wet even have the opportunity to swim with their horses. Tonights accommodation is in the heart of Narawntapu National Park in a historic farm cottage.
The final day of riding takes you through the coastal bushland of Narawntapu and past strands of the uniquely Australian, Grass Tree. The breathtaking views over Bass Strait, Narawntapu National Park and Bakers Beach also extend to the Great Western Tiers and Mt Roland. The riding today will be finished around 4pm then it's time to say goodbye to your hosts and the horses. You can then travel back to Lauceston (around an hours drive) for flights or travel onto Hobart (a 3.5 hour drive) if you want to explore Tasmania further.
Christmas Ride (FULL)
Our Christmas itinerary is exactly the same as above but involves an extra day with no riding. Departing on the 22nd, you will ride on the 23rd and 24th, have a day off from riding on the 25th (meals included), and finish the itinerary on the 26th and 27th. Departure 27th December.
Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.
The horses: There are over 20 horses and ponies at the stables to cater for a wide range of guests. Most of the horses have at least a dash of draught in them with some having 50% draught.
There are also some Arab and Arab x and the occasional Thoroughbred. They also have a handful of Quarter Horse crosses. Heights range from 14.2 - 17hh. The horses are schooled and well trained for trail riding; forward going, responsive and in excellent condition. Every effort is made to match horse and rider and there is the opportunity to swap horses if necessary.
This ride is for novice to advanced horse riders. For the minimum riding ability required (novice) you are expected to have a firm and balanced seat in walk, trot and canter, be confident riding in open, varied country and to be able to mount and dismount unassisted.
The weight limit for this ride is 220 lb/100 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.
You will stay at two different accommodations on this ride. The first 3 nights will be spent on your hosts' 6,000 acre ranch in Kimberley and is in twin or double rooms with a shared bathroom. The accommodation is surrounded by a tree plantation and native forest which you can admire from the veranda. Accommodation is basic but functional and includes a fully equipped kitchen, hot showers and a comfortable bed. The final nights acccommodation is in the heart of Narawntapu National Park in a historic farm cottage with 3 twin bedrooms, bathroom, living room and kitchen.
Breakfast will have cooked options such as bacon/egg/waffles as well as cereals/toast and tea, coffee and juice. Lunch is usually a home-made picnic on the trail and dinner will be more home-cooked food such as roast chicken and vegetables or sometimes a BBQ. Your hosts are not licensed to supply alcohol but are happy to assist riders with purchasing alcoholic drinks to have with dinner if requested.
Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.
Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip. If Visa’s are required the requirements can change from year to year depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country. Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate on request.
Visas are required for all travel to Australia. British visitors can obtain Electronic Travel Authorities (ETAs) via the Australian High Commission (Australia House, Strand, London, WC2B 4LA; tel: 020 7379 4334) or directly via the Department of Immigration & Multicultural & Indigenous Affairs. Website: www.immi.gov.au/e_visa/index.htm.
The British consulate in Canberra can be found at Piccadilly House, 39 Brindabella Circuit, Brindabella Business Park, Canberra Airport, CANBERRA ACT 2609. Telephone: +61 (2) 1902 941 555. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Foreign and Commonwealth office also provides travel advice on their excellent we site at www.fco.gov.uk
Tasmania has four distinct seasons with the warmest months being December to March. The average maximum daily summer temperatures are between 17 and 23 degrees Celsius and winter daily temperatures sit between 12 and 17 degrees Celsius. The driest months are Dec-April and the wettest months are June-September. July and August sees the highest rainfall.
There are no specific health issues when travelling to Australia. Please check with your doctor before travel.
For up to date information on health abroad please contact the Medical Advisors For Travellers Abroad. Their website can be found at www.masta.org or see the department of Health's website at www.dh.gov.uk
Voltage is the same as in the UK and most appliances such as battery chargers for videos, hair dryers etc. can be plugged in with appropriate adapters. These are available for purchase at most airports and travel shops.
Both of the accommodations on this ride have electricity for charging cameras. However there is NO wifi at either accommodation complex. Telstra 4G phone and internet works well at either Bakers Beach location and there is some Telstra 4G phone service at the Kimberley location.
•Suitable riding boots or shoes/boots with a low heel
•Lightweight rain / wind jacket
•Helmets are compulsory: you can bring your own or helmets can be provided.
•Sunscreen, sunglasses, compact camera, riding gloves
•Long sleeved shirts (protection from sun and branches)
•Tall leather boots are not recommended, especially in summer, because of the hot weather and humidity. Instead it is recommended to wear short riding boots with short chaps.
Please be aware that all used horse riding gear must be declared on arrival into Australia and must be clean and free of sand and horse hair.
This is a 4 night/5 day programme with 4 days riding available on request throughout the year, excluding August and September.
2020: Any day start throughout the year. Closed in August and September.
Confirmed departure: March 2
|Riding days||Product item description||£|
|2020 - 4 nights||5d/4n||4||double pp||919|
|2019 - 4 nights||5d/4n||4||double pp||919|
|Riding days||Product item description||€|
|2020 - 4 nights||5d/4n||4||double pp||1,015|
|2019 - 4 nights||5d/4n||4||double pp||1,015|
|Riding days||Product item description||$|
|2020 - 4 nights||5d/4n||4||double pp||1,185|
|2019 - 4 nights||5d/4n||4||double pp||1,185|
|Riding days||Product item description||SEK|
|2020 - 4 nights||5d/4n||4||double pp||10,695|
|2019 - 4 nights||5d/4n||4||double pp||10,695|
- English Passengers is a historical novel written by Matthew Kneale in 2000, which won that year's Whitbread Book Award and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Miles Franklin Award. It is narrated by 20 different characters and tells the story of a voyage to look for the Garden of Eden in Tasmania and the rapid decline of that island’s indigenous population of Tasmanian Aborigines.
- The Hunter is the first novel by Julia Leigh, published in 1999. It follows the efforts of an anonymous agent as he attempts to track down the last Tasmanian tiger rumoured to exist in Tasmania.
It is also possible to arrange quad-biking tours, fishing trips and visits to a local cheese and chocolate factory.
Riders are likely to ride past forester kangaroos, wallabies and the occasional wombat as well as dozens of species of bird life. Some parts of the ride take guests through a native coastal landscape that includes amongst the many species of flora, the rare Tasmanian Grass Tree, a species that dates back thousands of years.
In 1768 the British Admiralty instructed Captain James Cook to begin a search for the 'Great South Island' first reached by Dutch sailors in the early 17th century. The crew of The Endeavour subsequently landed at Botany Bay and claimed the Island for the British. King George III decided that Botany Bay should become the destination for British convicts under sentence of transportation and in January 1788 the first fleet sailed under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip. In total more than 168,000 convicts were transported but the discovery of gold in the 1850s also began to attract free settlers to the Island.
The indigenous population of Australia, the Aboriginies, have suffered as a result of this colonisation. However succesive governments have addressed this issue and there are now several government organisations and laws protecting and supporting these people and their claim to land.
Australia is a multi-cultural country, so its not unusual to walk down a street and hear people speaking Italian, Greek, Lebanese, Vietnamese or Arabic as their first language. Aboriginal languages are also spoken. English-speaking Australians have a passion for abbreviations and are liable to use a hotchpotch of local slang that can take the first-time visitor a while to untangle.
Australia's biggest attraction is its natural beauty. The landscape varies from endless sunbaked horizons to dense tropical rainforest to chilly southern beaches. Scattered along the coasts, its cities blend a European enthusiasm for art and food with a laid-back love of sport and the outdoors.
Australia is between eight and ten hours ahead of GMT depending on where in the country you are. They use the metric weights and measures system, so kilometres and kilograms instead of miles and pounds. There is approximately 1.6 kilometres in a mile and 2.2 pounds in a kilogram.
The international dialling code is +61.