Experience Details

Garrawilla is a historic family owned and operated cattle station located east of Coonabarabran in New South Wales.Once you drive through the gates of Garrawilla you will be reminded of one of these scenic cattle ranches out West, comprised of cowboys, ranchers – and of course black cattle dotted on the hills. You have arrived in true Australian cattle country with more over 7000 acres of just waiting for you to be explored on horseback.

Once you settle in, life here at ‘Old Garrawilla’ becomes simple. It just centers around good rides, working cattle, learning from Australia’s best horse(wo)men, home-style cooked meals and discussions around the campfire or the fireplace where lifelong friendships are formed.

As with all of Horses & Cattle Australia experiences, this is the real deal and to get the most out of the experience as a guest, you will be supported and guided by experienced horse professionals, specializing in campdrafting, horsemanship, reining and ranch riding. If you are an experienced rider this will be an experience of a lifetime for you as a rider but it will also give you and your horse more exposure working out in the open range and learning to work together as a team.

For non-riders – or just in case you want to take a break from riding for a couple hours – there is plenty to do at the station and in the area. Coonabarabran is the stargazing capital of Australia and the small country town is on the edge of the iconic Warrumbungle National Park where the jagged volcanic silhouette of the Warrumbungles rises sharply from eucalypt-dotted ridges amid surrounding plains and when you climb up some of the hills on the back of your horse or in a 4WD the volcanic landscapes make for a picturesque backdrop.

Apart from riding, guests at the farm can try their hand at a range of pursuits from fossicking, bushwalking, yabby fishing to exploring the properties seemingly endless hills which provide ample opportunity for bushwalking and wildlife spotting. The way the station is set-up, it’s also easy to jump into the 4WD and join up with the rider’s group along the way. And then there is the spring-fed lake at your doorstep inviting you to go for a swim and cool off on a hot summer day. However, please be warned that you might just want to sit in the garden on the veranda with a glass of chilled wine and enjoy the serenity and beauty of this wonderful place.

At a glance

LOCATION:

Between Coonabarabran and Gunnedah, NSW

AIRPORT:

Tamworth

TYPE OF EXPERIENCE:

Cattle Station Experience

SEASON:

September until December and February until May

DURATION:

3 Full Riding Days / 4 Nights and 4 Full Riding Days 5 Nights

PRICING:

From AUD 2200 per person all inclusive

LEVEL:

Intermediate and Advanced Riders

ACCOMMODATION STYLE:

Country style accommodation in the original Garrawilla homestead

FOOD AND DRINK:

All Meals and Beverages

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

BYOH - Bring your own horse is available for advanced riders.

What to expect

Day 1 Arrival

Arrive mid-afternoon and get yourself settled in one of the spacious rooms at the homestead. Set up your horse yard or let your horse become acquainted with the new surroundings in one of the paddocks. It’s then time to join your group of fellow riders and trainers for drinks and learn more about the program of the days ahead. Since we only work with six to eight riders at a time, we will have a keen interest in learning more about your expectations for the week and the trainers will do everything possible to meet them.

Following dinner, enjoy a bit of stargazing or call it an early night to be ready for the next day’s adventures.

 Day 2

Start the day with a hearty breakfast before it’s time to saddle-up and get on your horse. The first morning will be filled with working with the trainer and some team activities in the yard and we will then head out for a ride. Lunch will be ready upon your return and in the afternoon, there will be another ride where you will have the opportunity to meet some cattle on the way. Get back to the station and once the horses are settled there are some nibbles and drinks waiting for you, followed by dinner.

Day 3 – 4 or 5

Regardless if you are booked on a four or five days’ experience, the program on each day is driven by the participants expectations, the trainer’s specialty and most importantly by what’s on the station’s agenda.

Depending on the type of experience you book, there are either three or four full action-packed days for you to enjoy and we do spend about 4 – 6 hours in the saddle each day giving you a chance to explore the most beautiful spots on Garrawilla on horseback. Usually, we head out twice per day and on the last day we often pack our lunches into a saddle bag and head out for an all-day adventure.

In line with the lead trainer’s specialty some experiences will focus more on cow working, ranch riding or cutting activities helping you and your horse to improve your skills in the relevant disciplines. However, regardless of the discipline the main objective will be to give you the opportunity to ride and apply these skills in a real live cattle station working environment – the place where your chosen discipline originated from.

Since this is an authentic working cattle station, it’s the animals and nature who dictate the schedule and what you will be doing when you join the station activities varies from day to day depending what’s on the stations’ agenda and the time of the year. However, a typical day would be an early rise and after a hearty country breakfast, you will saddle up and ride out to the area where a job like checking fences, mustering and moving cattle or checking water troughs and dams needs to be done that day. During certain times of the year you might also become involved in some yardwork like branding, earmarking, vaccinating, etc.

Back at the station, once the horses are fed and settled in their yards, there might be time to go for a swim in the spring-fed lake or you just go and have a shower to wash off the sweat and dust after a day in the saddle before you enjoy some nibbles and a cold beer  or a glass of sparkling on the veranda. This will then be followed by a home-cooked dinner

– to be enjoyed with a couple of glasses of that great Australian Shiraz. In the evening, after dinner, we usually sit around the campfire and have a bit of a yarn and so many laughs for sure.

Day 5 or 6

Take in the view from the breakfast table and if you rode one of our horses it’s time to say goodbye to your horse. And yes, if you want to make this equine companion your own, we might be able to arrange for you to take your horse back home with you! But then it’s time to say goodbye and take with you what’s for you alone to keep which are all of these great memories and learnings to be cherished forever!

The Horses

All of our experiences at Garrawilla are best to enjoy with your own horse. However, we realize there might be times where some guests might not be in a position to enjoy such an adventure with their own horse. For these occasions we do have a small number of selected horses, owned by us or by our trainers and we make them available for our guests to ride. These are Australian stockhorses and quarter horses, all of them well-bred, trained and regularly participating in campdrafting, ranch riding, cow working or cutting events. These horses are fast and nimble when you want to track a ‘beast’ and they are definitely ‘cowy’ which you will appreciate when working a cow or participating in campdrafting related activities. If you are after a more leisurely ride or just want to trail behind a mob of cattle for hours or ride through the hills and valleys, we have also a couple quiet horses available for a safe and leisurely ride.

Codie Law

Codie has been competing in campdrafting since he was a youngster As an accomplished competitor Codie’s list of wins and titles are impressive and throughout the year he successfully competes at all of the major events like the Warwick Gold Cup, Landmark Classic, the Sydney Royal and the Australian Stock Horse Nationals just to name a few.

Your Guide

Details

Included:

  • A great horse incl tack and all equipment
  • Overnight yard for your horse for riders who BYOH (Bring your own horse)
  • Support from experienced stockmen and trainers during the ride
  • Country style accommodation in the beautiful ‘Old Garrawilla’ homestead in spacious double or twin rooms with shared bathrooms. Double and twin rooms are available for single use for participants who don’t want to share (single occupancy surcharge applies)
  • Dinner on the first night of your arrival, three meals per day, smoko, beverages and breakfast on the day of your departure
  • Beer and wine with dinner

Transfer:

With your own car or by rental car from at your own expense from Tamworth (90 mins), Sydney (5 hours)

Not included:

  • Domestic or international flights from and to the destination
  • Transfer from and to Garrawilla Station
  • Single room surcharge for people who do not want to share a room

Prices and Dates

Experienced and advanced riders can join this event with their own horse on selected dates. For the Long Riding Weekend (3 Days / 4 Nights), pay AUD 2200 all inclusive if you BYOH (Bring Your Own Horse). The price of AUD 2200 includes an overnight yard (tape fencing or cattle yard) for your horse. You will need to bring your own gear, feed and hay. For the Cattle Station Riding Week (4 Days / 5 Nights) pay AUD 2400 if you BYOH.

Dates from Dates to Price Status
26th March 2021 31st March 2021 AUD 2400 BYOH / AUD 2800 for 4 Days/5 Nights all inclusive Postponed due to floods
21st April 2021 25th April 2021 AUD 2200 BYOH / AUD 2400 for 3 Days/4 Nights all inclusive Fully Booked
25th April 2021 30th April 2021 AUD 2400 BYOH / AUD 2800 for 4 Days/5 Nights all inclusive Fully Booked
1st June 2021 5th June 2021 AUD 2200 BYOH / AUD 2400 for 3 Days/4 Nights all inclusive Cancelled due to covid lockdown
5th June 2021 9th June 2021 AUD 2200 BYOH / AUD 2400 for 3 Days/4 Nights all inclusive Cancelled due to covid lockdown
7th September 2021 12th September 2021 AUD 2400 BYOH / AUD 2900 for 4 Days/5 Nights all inclusive Fully Booked
12th September 2021 17th September 2021 AUD 2400 BYOH / AUD 2900 for 4 Days/5 Nights all inclusive Fully Booked
17th September 2021 21st September 2021 AUD 2200 BYOH / AUD 2500 for 3 Days/4 Nights all inclusive Available
26th November 2021 30th November 2021 AUD 2200 BYOH / AUD 2500 for 3 Days/4 Nights all inclusive Available
30th November 2021 5th December 2021 AUD 2400 BYOH / AUD 2900 for 4 Days/5 Nights all inclusive Available
1st April 2022 5th April 2022 AUD 2200 BYOH / AUD 2500 for 3 Days/4 Nights all inclusive Available
5th April 2022 10th April 2022 AUD 2400 BYOH / AUD 2900 for 4 Days/5 Nights all inclusive Available

Get in touch

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+61 (0) 418 613 930

email us

info@horsesandcattle.com

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