Get in the saddle and explore the forests and beach around Punakaiki, a fantastic way to experience the natural wonders of this special region. If you want the wind in your hear and the sound of the sea in your ears then you are in the right place.

The West CoastPunakaiki

If you love riding, then Horse Riding the West Coast is a must, the scenery is impressive, heaving swells of the Tasman Sea have carved a spectacular coastline allowing only a thin strip of land before being abruptly stopped by the towering Southern Alps creating the coasts natural western boarder. Lush primordial rainforest, lakes and rivers alongside the world's most accessible low-lying glaciers fill this coastal plain making it indeed a spectacular place to explore by horseback.

But what it lacks in land and population it makes up in personality, on a good day you could be forgiven for thinking you are in a South Pacific Island resort as the Coasts seemingly endless beach’s are fringed by the striking nikau palm tree giving the whole place a tropical feel, but on a bad day its torrential rain, massive sea’s and howling gales that gives you a fairly good indication as to why this region is known for remarkable natural rock sculpture, stratified limestone stacks that look like pancakes and huge limestone bluffs.

Early settlers relied heavily on the horse for regional development in the West Coasts and its history is intrinsically intertwined with the animal; it is fair to say without this beast the ‘Coast’ would be a very different place today. Gone are the days when gold mining, logging, farming and general transport relied solely upon the horses brute strength, but today if you want to take a step back in time and explore the scenic and natural treasures the coast has on show, horseback is a great way to experience it.

Punakaiki

 

An invigorating ride through forests and beach...

Get in the saddle and explore the forests and beach around Punakaiki, a fantastic way to experience the natural wonders of this special region. If you want the wind in your hear and the sound of the sea in your ears then you are in the right place.

Ford the Punakaiki River and trek deep into Paparoa National Park, through native bush and past huge limestone bluffs. The local inhabitants will make them selves known and can be quietly observed from horseback, like the gorgeously plumed Pukeko, the fat Native Kereru or wood pigeon, the noisy Paradise duck or the nosy Weka.

The grand finale is riding down the wild Punakaiki beach where you can experience the powerful sea rolling onto the famous Pancake Rocks.  This is a real West Coast experience!