I haven’t been horseriding since I was about 15 years old and back then I was pretty scared of it but gave it a go. For some reason this year I decided I was keen to make a return. I took my mother in law as our Christmas gift to each other.
We made a day of it and visited the amazing saddles on the way there for a rustic brunch. This is a place that made our top dining list for 2019 for its picturesque setting and lovely food. We then get on our way to the Glenworth Valley.
Glenworth Valley is Australia’s largest horse riding and outdoor adventure centre. It is in the hinterland region of the NSW Central Coast is approx 1.5 hours drive from Sydney (give or take a bit depending on the traffic).
Take the turn off and the signage makes the site easy to find. Take a drive down a dusty road past a beautiful lookout and find the Glenworth Valley Outdoor Centre and park in one of the many parking bays.
You’ll see an event centre where you check in if you’ve pre-booked (which we recommend you do as they do sell out) and make your way up to the cottage with your completed application form to receive your helmet and meet your guides.
We found the check in process quite seamless. The site also has bathrooms, free locker use, a kiosk with drinks, coffee, ice creams and some sandwiches. They also sell some necessities like sun cream and bug spray.
They operate more than just horseriding, such as camping, abseiling, laser skirmish, kayak hire and quad biking, so if those interest you, check out their website. The site also runs events such as team building and weddings. The horseriding was all that we signed up for and I think enough to do just that in one day. They offer three sessions a day; 9am, 11am and 1pm. We were there for the 11am and it was super busy. We felt the staff did a great job sorting out groups with different experience levels. Although I’d ridden before, I requested beginners and was in a group of people who were of the same level. Although two people in our group had ridden a bit, the guide offered them opportunities to do a bit more than us.
My horse was nice, slow placed and placid, which I appreciated. We like that all the horses seemed very well cared for, understood the requirements of them and behaved well. The guide told us they don’t do all three trips a day so they get the rest they need.
Our guide Nat was excellent. She explained the trail and journey well, taught us how to trot a bit as we became more confident and gave facts about the horses along the way. She also pointed out wildlife and natural features on the journey. She was suitably supported by volunteer Mia, who was competent and delightful and managed her role well (and I presume of only approx 13-14 years old). Along the way we stopped every 30 minutes for saddle checks and water.
The journey was relaxing and enjoyable and went for 2 hours through wilderness and valleys. At $99 for the activity, I feel that’s very reasonable. I would recommend this to anyone of any experience for a fun outdoors activity. For anyone who may feel apprehensive, rest asssured the staff make you feel at ease and the animals are superbly trained.
Kudos to all involved.
69 Cooks Road
Glenworth Valley NSW 2250