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The View to Pakiri Beach.
The View to Pakiri Beach.
Horse riding at Pakiri Beach.
Horse riding at Pakiri Beach.

Pakiri Horses

Thursday, August 10, 2000
Picture this: riding a horse along an uninterrupted, pristine, white-sand New Zealand surf beach, galloping into the waves.

Pakiri Beach horse riding is on the 800ha coastal hill farm Taurere. Taurere is the Maori word for "launching point"; birds launch out to sea from the headland after feeding on the flats. The farm is home to 200 beef and breeding cattle, 800 sheep and 130 mixed breed horses, including 25 Arabians.

Laly and Sharley Haddon have been running their horse-riding business for 16 years on the Maori land which has been handed down through their ancestors for generations. It is a little gem, going from rolling green pastures to lush forests. Laly is a former All Black and has lived on the farm all his life. They take about 6000 riders every year, their most famous student being Harvey Keitel during the filming of The Piano.

The Haddons offer one to seven-day treks, usually with one guide for each four riders and a maximum of 15 horses on a ride. The speed is up to you.

One of the biggest drawcards of any of the rides is the beauty of 23km of uninterrupted, pristine, white-sand surf beach.

A two-day ride starts at 10am with a ride to Te Arai Point, which has wonderful views over the coast to Little Barrier and Hen and Chicken Islands. From there you ride for three to four hours along the isolated Pakiri Beach, among sand dunes and cliffs along an old warrior path used by Laly's ancestors to protect their land from other tribes. In the right conditions, you can unsaddle your horse and ride into the waves.

Then you ride back to your accommodation and enjoy a barbecue or traditional hangi dinner, consisting of chicken, beef, mutton and lamb steamed in the ground and served with lots of vegetables, salad, Maori bread and pavlova.

The second day starts with a 75-minute ride through farmland to very dense native bush and pine forest, following an old kauri logging path. The ride goes through a cattle and sheep farm which is part of Taurere. Then it's back to base.

Over the two days you will ride for about four to six hours, depending on the ability of the riders, and cover about 40 kilometres.

There is a variety of accommodation, such as beach cabins, backpacker cabins, farm stay or river cabins. The river cabins, which are only 500m from the beach, were forestry cabins before the Haddons bought them from the government.

The four backpacker cabins are very simple and have a shared bathroom. Two have bunks, one has a double bed and one cabin is the share kitchen. You can cook your own food or eat at the farmhouse. You will need to provide your own sleeping bag. At the other end of the scale is the Executive House, big enough for the entire family to stay in.

Location

One-and-a-half hours north of Auckland on New Zealand's North Island.

Cost

Pakiri Beach Horse Riding: two-day rides cost about $280 per person, including accommodation and all meals. They operate year round and have rides from one to seven days.
Qantas flies daily to Auckland. Return economy airfares start at $549 from Sydney, $619 from Brisbane and Melbourne, $749 from Adelaide and $949 from Perth.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.

More information


Pakiri Beach Horse Riding
Ph: (0011 64) 9 422 6275
Fax: (0011 64) 9 422 6277
Email: pakirihorse@xtra.co.nz
Website: www.horseride-nz.co.nz
Qantas: 13 1313

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