Catriona Rowntree was in her element when we asked her to visit the Wonga Beach Equestrian Centre at Wonga Beach. It's 25 minutes north of Port Douglas and 10 minutes south of Daintree Village so she was really in a special part of the world. There's nothing like riding a horse along a deserted beach, but with two World Heritage sites in one ride it surpassed her dreams, with the Daintree Rainforest to one side and the Great Barrier Reef to the other.
There aren't many places in the world where you can ride a horse on a beach and through a rainforest, but at Wonga Beach even inexperienced riders can enjoy the unique surroundings.
Some riders love to bolt along the beach, others enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the rainforest. Most decide to experience both.
Wonga Beach Equestrian Centre is a locally owned and operated family business. Sara Croaker and Jason Knack are accomplished riders and passionate about their horses and the region in which they operate.
Their horses are a mixture of quarter horses, Australian stock horses and unraced thoroughbreds. A majority of them are from cattle stations or they've been used in a variety of disciplines such as pony club, dressage, cutting, western pleasure and endurance riding.
Most horses are trained to be ridden with the English-style loose rein, but some are used to Western-style riding. Snaffle bridles and Australian stock saddles are used. When not out enjoying themselves, the horses live on a 12-hectare property at Wonga Beach and are rugged year-round.
The boutique centre has a stable of 32 horses so it can cater for the absolute beginner to the most experience competition riders. First-time riders generally start with a tentative little trot along the beach and vow to take riding lessons when they get home.
Wonga Beach, 25 minutes north of Port Douglas in For North Queensland.
Wonga Beach Equestrian Centre morning and afternoon rides are $115 per person. They start at 8.30am and 2.30pm respectively. Ninety-minute exclusive guided beach tours are $180 and $220 for beach and rainforest rides. Private lessons are $60 an hour.
Prices correct at November 5, 2009.
For further information
Wonga Beach Equestrian Centre
PO Box 238
Ph: (07) 4099 1117