Explore the Trails
Riding up the Otahuna Valley
Otahuna Downs is the next valley north of Otahuna Valley. It is also the start of the route Over the Top to Governors Bay.
The Otahuna Downs Valley Ride
This is a two hour to all day ride through the old Otahuna Farm up a Valley through a gum tree forest and overlooking mature Kowhai forests as we climb. With the Canterbury Plains stretching out behind us to the South we follow the trail right up to the summit road, where we lunch under a waterfall or right on top, take a look over to Lyttelton Harbour and return via a loop trail before picking up the gentle descent we came up. There are good opportunities to trot and canter up the trail, and amazing views to the South and West.
Lunch on Top of the World, About 2,000 feet
Looking Over to Lyttelton Harbour
Over the Top Ride to Governors Bay
We offer a 2 day ride of 4-6 hours per day, Over The Top, that traverses the West side of the extinct volcano of Lyttelton Harbour, and return. Old vocanic red rock from the days when this area was a live volcano can be seen all the way along. It takes us up the Otahuna Downs Valley to the top of the Port Hills to around 2,000 feet, then down the other side into Lyttelton Harbour, where you are met with transport to take you to your accommodation. The following day we return via a different route out of Lyttelton Harbour.
Our ride begins at the Otahuna Horse Riding Trekking base, where we partner up. We then take the Otahuna Downs Trail to the top. Once out onto the top we take the summit road to the right for a small distance and take a trail down to Allandale Bay through the Living Springs farm with sheep and cattle watching our progress. The view of Lyttelton Harbour stretches right out to the ocean, and takes in much of the northern Banks Peninsula. There is some leading down this portion to do, so make sure your knees are up to it, and the soles of your boots have some tread on them. Once at the foreshore we can ride along the shoreline to the historic Governors Bay Hotel for dinner or await your pick up at the domain, where the horses stay.
The ride down to Allandale
Along the Waterfront to the Governors Bay Hotel
Riding out of the Harbour the next day via the sign of the Bellbird
The next day we make our way along O'Farrells Track through coastal native forest, which is completely different to the West side, consisting of pepper trees, matipo, fuscha and lacebarks. We then take a steep track up to the Sign of the Bellbird. From here we can see both views at once, the West and East, so after taking photos here we head towards Bellbird Lodge and join the trail descending into Otahuna Downs, and back to the trekking base.
The ride back down