We have been quite slow in discovering the area, exploring a few different things on every visit: we've been at the Volcanic Center, at the AC Baths, visiting a glass blowing studio, lunching at the prawn farm, walking different tracks around Huka Falls etc. There is so much to do though, we will never risk running out of activities while we're here!
This time I wanted us to go experience something new, and I booked the family in for an hour horse trekking! The kids have been on a few pony rides when they were younger, but that was the fairground type, getting led around very slowly. This was going to be a different story!
Linnea checking out the presentation of the horses:
Waiting for the horses to get ready:
We all got a quick "instruction" on how to control the horse. None of which was necessary really, in a place like this the horses are so well trained, they basically just follow the horse in front.
Lucas on his horse Chief, and Linnea just arriving into the holding paddock in the background in a pink jacket:
When everybody had saddled up, off we went! The first half an hour we went riding slowly through the pine forest and the bush, to get a chance to get to know our horses.
We rode past the 'Craters of the moon', which is an active geothermal field. Nathan and I walked around it on my first visit to NZ 15 years ago. I think this will be a repeat for next time we come as the kids hasn't seen it other than from a distance:
The view from my horse, Paddy:
It was so lush and green! So beautiful... aaahhh. I so enjoyed this trek.
Linnea on her horse Jethro:
After the halfway point we could choose if we wanted to go faster, or stick to the slower pace. Lucas especially was all eager to go full out (...) but since this was the kids' first experience riding properly, we stayed in the slower group. We still got to trot a bit here and there on the way back to the stables, which the kids both loved! I could hear them squeeling with delight each time we sped up!
I was so proud of them! This was no pony ride, these horses were big horses, and the kids were riding them all on their own without anyone holding on to them. They did so well, and were so brave.
Lucas signing the guest book on our behalf:
The kids, especially Lucas, really loved this excursion. He said this was his favourite thing that we did during this trip, I guess we will have to come back next time!