There is no better way to fully enjoy all the beauty of New Zealand than from the back of a horse or the bow of a boat. The leisurely pace of both gives you the time to observe closely, breathe deeply and connect with the world, allowing you to experience the real New Zealand. Visitors can easily plan river cruises and horseback riding trips through New Zealand travel services. Plan ahead and make reservations because some trips fill up quickly.

Traveling on horseback and cruise boat also allows you time to get to know and enjoy your companions. Make new friendships and take home great stories as your souvenirs.

Horseback riding

Begin your ride in Aotea Harbour or Kawhia Harbour and ride with tangata whenua, your hosts for these journeys. Riders enjoy some of the most spectacular scenery on the west coast of the North Island by traveling with Wild West Horsetreks.

Both Aotea and Kawhia harbour, the starting point of these treks, are famously tranquil harbours. A horseback ride along miles of beach, through forest and farmland, provides many opportunities to observe shore and sea birds from the back of your horse.

Wild West Treks offers many options, too, so every horse lover can fit at least one ride into their plans. Go for a short two-hour trek, or spend more time getting to know the area on a full day ride. If time allows, pick the Weekender.

A full six-day horseback beach trek along the wild west coast allows plenty of time to really develop meaningful relationships with fellow trekkers as well as those you meet along the way.

Both the Weekender and the “Ultimate” include all food, accommodations and refreshments. The “Ultimate” includes a cruise on the two harbours and a visit to natural hotpools, tides permitting. The “Ultimate” also lets riders see Bridal Veil Falls and take a day trip to Waitomo caves.

At the end of the trek, celebrate one last time, rocking out with the “Band.” What a great end to a thrilling six days.

River cruising

Cruise the rivers and travel as the Maori did for generations. A Mokau River cruise also retraces historical supply routes when riverboats carried supplies to farms and industries. This cruise offers an exciting option: cruise up the river aboard the vintage vessel MV Cygnet and kayak back! Accommodations on the riverbank allow for an extended wilderness experience.

If your New Zealand vacation includes the city of Hamilton, the Waikato river cruise offers scenery with historical commentary. A two-hour cruise leaves from Memorial Park

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