Experience Details

Gidleigh Station is located near the historic village of Bungendore less than 50 kilometres from the nation’s capital Canberra.

The original homestead and the shearer’s quarters are situated in a wonderful picturesque sheltered valley with timbered slopes and its own micro climate ranging in elevation from 700 to 1,000 metres above sea level and this all adds up to more than 7000 acres of beautiful riding country to be explored on horseback.

The property was first taken up by Admiral Phillip Parker King who was the son of Governor, Philip Gidleigh King. The earliest buildings are the convict built 1830’s stables and 1840’s homestead complex. Legendary bush ranger Jackey Jackey (William Westwood 1820-1846) was assigned to Gidleigh Station and worked on the stables from where he made his first escape.

Current stocking allocation is a percentage of beef cattle and Merino sheep renowned for their fine high-quality wool. Hence, the property has always been productively managed to sustain an average winter carrying capacity of more than 7,000 Merino sheep and an excellent herd of 500 Angus breeding cattle and cropping are currently the mainstay at Gidleigh Station. Run in parallel with this traditional farming enterprise, Gidleigh also enjoys the production of free range pork and Truffles with over 1,000 Hazelnut and Oak trees hosting exceptional Truffles.

Once you get on your horse you will get more than just a taste of how it feels to work on a cattle station. You will be able to join right in and you can be a cowboy or cowgirl for the next few days, checking cattle, moving cattle and sheep and riding horses, horses and more horses.

Day to day activities are mostly dependent on the season and what needs to be done at that moment to care for the livestock. There is always a job to be done and most of the stockwork at Gidleigh’ s is still being done on horseback.

If you bring your own horse the emphasis will be to give your horse some exposure to ranch riding and developing your horsemanship skills. Depending on the trainer and the theme of the week, in addition to getting your hands dirty there will also be an opportunity to develop your cattle working skills. 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 in the area. The village of Bungendore is located just a few kilometres down the road from Gidleigh Station. The historic village dates back to 1837 and many of the original buildings still stand and it’s a charming rural escape where you’ll find everything from lovingly preserved colonial buildings to markets, wineries and incredible craftsmanship.

The Bungendore Wood Works Gallery is an institution, showcasing some of the best wood art and contemporary furniture in Australia. After exploring its collection, you can poke around the town’s galleries, antique stores and gift shops to unearth everything from great vintage vinyl to bric-a-brac, great leather works, local art and pottery.

Bungendore also has great restaurants that will suit food-loving, wine-sipping crowds: After visiting Bungendore, non-riders can take a leisurely drive through the Canberra wine region and have lunch at Lark Hill Biodynamic Winery. In winter, join a truffle hunt at Turalla Truffles alongside Jack Russell dogs who are trained to search for the prized black delicacy. The truffle farm is a short drive from the village near the southern end of the pancake-flat Lake George. You can also pick your own chestnuts at the family-operated Tweenhills Chestnut every April.

There is also a beautiful garden down at the homestead and you might just want to sit in the garden on the veranda with a glass of chilled wine and a good book and enjoy the serenity and beauty of this wonderful place.

At a glance


Bungendore, New South Wales


Canberra or Sydney


Cattle and Sheep Station Riding Experience


August until December and January until May


3 Full Riding Days / 4 Nights


From AUD 2200 per person all inclusive BYOH


Intermediate and Advanced Riders


Country Style Accommodation in the Shearer's Quarters


All Meals. Wine or Beer with dinner


BYOH - Bring your own horse is available and recommended for this experience. Located 60 mins from Canberra, 3 hours from Sydney

What to expect

Day 1 Arrival

Arrive mid-afternoon and get yourself settled at the shearer’s quarters. 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 Happy Hour and a briefing on the program that we have in store for you during the days ahead. We only work with six to eight riders at a time and we want you to have a truly enjoyable experience. This is a great opportunity for you to share expectations for the week and the trainers will do everything possible to meet them. Following dinner, we will call it an early night to be ready for the next day’s adventures.

 Day 2

Start the day with a country cooked breakfast before it’s time to saddle-up and get on your horse. The first morning will focus on 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.

We’ll saddle up again in the afternoon when we will head out to meet some cattle and sheep on the way and depending on what’s on the stations’ work agenda, you will get involved in moving some stock. 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 your expectations, the trainer’s specialty and most importantly by what’s on the station’s agenda. Please get in touch with us before you book yourself in so we can provide you with more details about what’s planned for the date you picked. Learning more about your expectations before you book, will ensure that this experience is right for you and for your horse (if you bring your own).

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 Gidleigh 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, sheep 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 relax in the beautiful garden near the homestead 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 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 Gidleigh are guided by two qualified horse trainers and these experiences 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 stock horses and quarter horses, all of them well-bred and trained. 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 pleasure horses available for a safe and leisurely ride.

Your Guides

Jay Charnock

Jay Charnock has been riding for most of his life, competing in a range of different equestrian disciplines, from English/European, to Western, to Australian sports like Polocrosse and most important of all – Campdrafting.

Brooke French

Join a great Australian horsewoman, campdrafter and farmer for a very special farm and horse riding experience where she shares her passion and love for the land, for the horses and for this beautiful part of the country she calls her own.



  • 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
  • Accommodation in the shearer’s quarters 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 and breakfast on the day of your departure
  • Beer and wine with dinner


With your own car or by rental car from at your own expense from Canberra (60 mins), Sydney (3 hours) or Melbourne (7 hours)

Not included:

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

Prices and Dates

You can join this event with your own horse. Pay AUD 2200 all inclusive if you BYOH (Bring Your Own Horse). The price includes an overnight yard for your horse. You will need to bring your own gear, feed and hay.

Dates from Dates to Price Status
March 2023 May 2023 AUD 2200 BYOH / AUD 2500 for 3 Full Riding Days/4 Nights all inclusive Get in touch with us

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