A visit to Ace-Hi Ranch is like being in an old western movie but it's just 90 minutes hours from busy, bustling Melbourne. It offers loads of things to do, and they cater for all riders, whether you are a beginner or more experienced.
The 81ha property has two homesteads, surrounded by horses grazing in green pastures, wagons and even a red rattler train carriage. There's a sheriff's office and jailhouse, livery stable, beautiful sandstone chapel restaurant and 12 log cabins with en-suite facilities. In recent years a wildlife park, flying fox and giant swing have been added. You can test your skills at archery, rock climbing, orienteering, BMX cycling, bush golf and try a low ropes course.
The 10ha wildlife park is fenced off, but its residents wander freely. Koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, dingoes, emus, wombats and plenty of native birds are there to see and photograph.
There are fully supervised trail rides, beach rides and forest rides, and for children under seven years old, there are special pony rides. Safety and security are the main concern at Ace-Hi. All staff have at least five year's riding experience as well as the ability to communicate with children in a learning environment.
Most meals are served in the Chapel Restaurant, a beautiful limestone building with stained glass windows, but picnics and packed lunches can also be arranged.
Holiday camps are well-organised and full of activities, until lights-out at 10pm. Families are accommodated in the cabins, each named after a Wild West character such as Wyatt Earp, Calamity Jane and Lone Ranger. They are basic, self-contained cabins with kitchenette, television and microwave. Linen is provided, but you need to take bedding and towels.