Prospectors Dream Trail

From NZD $2,455.00
  • Duration: 4 Days (approx.)
  • Location: Lindis pass
  • Product code: PDT

Riding day 1– arriving late afternoon to Dunstan Downs Shearers Quarters

Come dressed in your riding clothes as today we are going to meet the horses and enjoy an afternoon ride. 

Our evenings accommodation is  shearer’s quarters with hot showers, flushing toilets and electricity with a large cookhouse, dining area and TV room. You will be given your blue bag to pack that will travel on the pack horses (this must weight no more than 11kg)

Riding day 2 – 9:30am start – 4 hours riding

After breakfast with lunchboxes packed we are matched with our horses. Departing from Dunstan Downs Station cattle yards, from here we head up to the summit of Old Mans Peak, a height of just under 6000 feet above sea, the rock formations look like a moonscape. The vista you will encounter encompasses four of the highest peaks in the South Island. These are Mount Cook, Mount Aspiring, Mount St. Bathan’s and Mount Tutoko including Lakes Dunstan and Pukaki. At this point we begin dropping down into the Dunstan Valley to spend the evening at “Fat Mans Hut.” The original hut is over 100 years old and has been utilised by Musters to tend their sheep. A new cook shop has been constructed alongside the existing building which includes a welcome hot shower (high country style). After dinner you can enjoy magnificent views of the star laden skies.

Riding day 3 – 9:30am start – 4 hours riding

Look forward to a leisurely days riding, as we crisscross the Dunstan River many times and amble our way along beside this beautiful glacial river into St. Bathan’s Station. This is a very good fly fishing river and keen eyes may spot trout feeding in the many pools we view along our trail. We will be following in the footsteps of the old gold miners from the time of New Zealand’s gold rush. Accommodation for this evening is an old musters hut and tents, only 10m from a beautiful swimming hole. Our trail boss is a keen fly fisherman and he will be taking his rod, if you wish to do the same you can fish in the evening (you will need a rod that breaks down so you can pack it with your gear and a fishing licence, this is a catch and release fishery)

We enjoy a barbecue dinner, after which there are some wonderful walking tracks that lead up into the hills providing excellent photo opportunities of the hut and horses in the evening light. You can sleep out under the stars tonight if you so choose with the sounds of the river and horses munching.

Riding day 4 – 10:30am start – 4 ½ hours riding

Today is an easy day’s ride as we continue our way towards the historic St. Bathans Township following the gold miners trails. The high unusual rock formations to the side of the riverbank we are riding make your feel as though you are in a Wild West movie set. By the time we reach the Vulcan Hotel in St. Bathans we will have cross the river a total of 24 times. The gold miners were incredible engineers. Riding the valley you can still see the water races they constructed by hand using a bottle to sight their levels. These lead us to the Blue Lake in St Bathan’s (named for its distinctive blue colour caused by the minerals in the water.) Man-made by miners when the mining stopped, the hole filled with water forming the lake. The lake is a popular and unique setting for swimming and jet skiing with a two-kilometre walking track around the edge. We will ride into the St. Bathans Township (an historic gold mining town, located at the foot of the Hawkdun and Dunstan Ranges in Central Otago) established in 1863. There will be an opportunity for photographs in front of the historic Vulcan Hotel. Our accommodation for the night will be at the beautifully restored St Bathan’s Jail & Constables Cottage/ Rowan Cottage or the Vulcan (haunted) Hotel.

Last Day - Morning of the Fifth day – after breakfast, take the opportunity to look around St Bathan’s Township which is steeped in history before being picked up by our taxi returning to Queenstown airport or Queenstown hotel