Lake Tekapo was our second stop on our New Zealand South Island road trip. I will never forget the turquoise colour of the lake. I screamed when we first saw the lake. Unbelievable. There are a few things to do in Lake Tekapo to enjoy the stunning scenery and horse trekking Lake Tekapo was our favourite one. Here’s an overview of our experience.
The views when horse trekking Lake Tekapo are spectacular.
Sometimes, you see photos online and think someone went a bit too crazy with the filters. That’s how Lake Tekapo colours looked: unreal.
We don’t often go horse riding. It’s an activity we only do when on holiday. It’s a nice way to experience a place without having to walk. I love hiking, but giving our foot a break can feel good! The feelings are very different to hiking. Horses follow each other, so you cannot chat easily with others in your group. If you’re a beginner, your phone will stay in your bag. No distraction makes you enjoy the beauty of the place fully.
We were interested in the longest trek that takes you horse riding all the way to Lake Alexandrina and on the western side of Lake Tekapo. But as we booked late, we had to join another group on the shorter Mountain Top trek.
For two hours, we explore the base of Mount John, with stunning views of Lake Tekapo, the mountains and Mackenzie Country. We went up and down a few slopes, then along a ridge and the lake before coming back through the forest. As the terrain is uneven, the horses walk slowly, which was perfect to allow us to take a few photos during the trek.
We only wished it lasted longer.
The horses and the guide were excellent.
The horse riding trek we did in Lake Tekapo may be a bit intimidating for those who have never done horse trekking. It’s not flat terrain. There’s another trek that is shorter and more flat for those who aren’t sure about the experience. But the views are not as good!
The guide took safety seriously and was very patient to explain the basics and help those who weren’t comfortable at the start. You don’t need horse riding experience to go horse trekking in Lake Tekapo.
I’ve done horse-riding a few times in tours like this one. As I am not experienced and I don’t really know what I’m doing, my horse is in control and decides where it wants to go. I often end up off track or create a traffic jam as it decides to take a break and eat (I always get the hungry horse!). But when we went horse trekking Lake Tekapo, I found their horses were the most docile and gentle I had ever met. They were very well behaved and made the horse riding adventure very easy.
Equipment for horse trekking Lake Tekapo?
You will be provided with the horse riding equipment. The company taking you on the trek will be able to give you advice on what to wear. If you have any doubt, I recommend asking them. But here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Long pants and enclosed shoes are essential for horse riding. Then, you’ll need to adjust your clothes according to the weather. I like to have a breathable jacket that I can easily open if I’m hot. It’s only a short trek so you don’t want to have to stop to take off clothes. If you’re horse trekking Lake Tekapo when it’s cold or windy, I highly recommend wearing gloves. Your hands are exposed all the time and you cannot warm them in your pockets!
I also like to have a belt bag for these kinds of activities to store your items (I’m mostly thinking of the camera). You’re sitting so your pants pockets won’t be accessible. If your jacket has pockets you can close, it may be enough.