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New Zealand: swimming with horses in Turangi at Korohe Horse Treks

by Flitter Fever
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Swimming with horses? That’s new to me! Horse riding outdoors is one of my favorite things to do during my holidays, so why not in Turangi, New Zealand? Just for a couple of hours, not for days in a row. Turangi is a village located just south of Lake Taupo, an excellent base for the famous Tongariro Crossing. And it happens to be that you can go horse riding including swimming with horses in Turangi!

Korohe Horse Treks in Turangi
One happy shot of Uira and me in Waimaro River

Korohe Horse Treks

I had a wonderful experience, so please let me share some tips with you. In the morning I drove up to the ranch of Korohe Horse Treks. My cousin recommended them as she went horse riding in Turangi a few months before. It was such a beautiful sunny day! John and Sammii were already waiting, a lovely couple who run their business with passion. John belongs to the Maori tribe (Iwi) Tuwharetoa, who got the land back a number of years ago.  

As a 10-year-old girl I was obsessed with horses and I enjoy riding since.

The horses of Korohe Horse Treks are definitely not average; they are obviously well-trained and used to go through thick forest and a rocky, deep river. My horse Uira was so brave and dutiful around the Waimaro River! This is not something you can do with any horse.

When the river gets so deep that the horse starts to swim, is an indescribable feeling. It made me smile from ear to ear.

Korohe Horse Treks in Turangi
Korohe Horse Treks in Turangi road sign
Sammii and John of Korohe Horse Treks
Sammii and John of Korohe Horse Treks are lovely people

Wonderful ride

What a memorable and unique ride, one of the best I have ever done in my entire life! I felt already super lucky to be able to do this, go riding and swimming with the horses. Moreover because it was a private ride with just Sammii and me. Super serene, lovely horses and such a beautiful scenery.

I am so grateful my Kiwi cousin Astrid told me about this fantastic ride! I would recommend it to any horse lover.

Of course I wished that the trek would have lasted longer when the ranch came into view again. If you want to go all the way to Kaimanawa Forest Park, book the half-day experience (see below for details). It is not cheap but definitely worth it!

The sun shines but the river water is chilly
The sun shines but the river water is chilly

This is one of the five most magical and unique horse rides around the world I have ever made.

Treks options

Korohe Horse Treks offers several kinds of horse treks, depending on the experience and preference of the rider(s):

  • 20 min lead rein with small forest ride NZ$40
  • 1hour forest walk NZ$70, fast pace NZ$150
  • 1hour forest and river walk NZ$90, fast pace NZ$170
  • 1.5 hour forest & river walk NZ$130, fast pace NZ$200
  • Half day experience (2.5-3 hours in the saddle, briefing, etc.) forest & river NZ$400
  • No full day or multiple day possibilities

Obviously I would recommend one of those treks that include going to the river as it will mean you will be swimming with horses!

These rides are professionally and patiently guided to ensure all riders are safe and comfortable. You do not necessarily need to have riding experience.

High grass, flowers and overgrown paths near Kaimanawa Forest Park
High grass, flowers and overgrown paths near Kaimanawa Forest Park
Watch your head when riding the bush bush
Watch your head when riding the bush bush

What to bring

Going horse riding with Korohe Horse Treks in Turangi? I would recommend to bring the following items.

  • Cash NZD to pay for the ride
  • Waterproof camera or smartphone
  • Towel
  • Water bottle
  • Riding gloves*

Besides a jeans and T-shirt, I was so glad I wore my water shoes! Riding caps are provided. I could leave my car key with John, who stayed at the ranch while Sammii and I were going on a ride.

Should you need riding gloves* or anything like that, go to Williams Tack and Feed in Taupo.

Going into the river together
Going into the river together

Contact Korohe Horse Treks

For horse riding in Turangi please contact John and Sammii of Korohe Horse Treks. One of the easiest ways is to contact them via Facebook Messenger.

Please tell John and Sammii I said hi!

Read more

If you are interested to read more about:

  • Tongariro Crossing
  • Other activities in/near Turangi
  • Where to stay in Turangi
  • Where to eat in Turangi
  • How to get to Turangi
  • Camper rental
  • Map with activities, accommodation, etc.

…then please go to my other article Tongariro Crossing and other practical tips for visiting Turangi.

My beautiful brave horse Uira at the Waimaro River
My beautiful brave horse Uira at the Waimaro River
horse riding in Turangi
Going this deep into the river made me laugh out loud

Looking for more travel inspiration and tips for New Zealand? Check out the New Zealand Blog Archives.


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I hope this article was interesting and useful for you. Did you ever go swimming with horses or would like to? Please feel free to leave a comment or question below. Also if you know of any other locations in New Zealand where one can go swimming with horses!?

Last Updated on 06/21/2021 by Flitter Fever

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2 comments

Cheryl Sands 06/16/2021 - 08:46

I have a great grandaughter of 11 years old who would love the river trek.with her experience rider grandfather. She has had 2yrs riding lessons. Do you do this weekly or is it necessary to book in advance please. Sounds and looks amazing.

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Flitter Fever 06/21/2021 - 10:42

Dear Cheryl, the horse treks are all upon request. So best is to contact Korohe Horse Treks, for contact details see the article. Let them know when would suit you and if that would be possible for them you. John and Sammii and very accommodating so I’m sure you’ll find a date/time that will suit everybody that wants to join. Enjoy the ride! Best regards, Elisa – flitterfever.com travel blog

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