Experience Details

Located on the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales, Markdale offers an out-of-the ordinary experience to fire up the senses of horse enthusiasts. Once you drive through the gates you are about to immerse yourself in station life on one of Australia’s most historic sheep stations located in the beautiful New South Wales Southern Tablelands.
Markdale is rich in history and impresses with some of Australia’s great equestrian sports pasts. This is where James Ashton, father of Australia’s first polo team settled in 1920 which marked the beginning of polo in Australia. His sons, the Ashton brothers team rose to dominate Australian polo and the film ‘The Four Horsemen’ tells the story of their adventurous and successful voyage – with their 25 polo ponies – to play polo during the 1930 English season. From England, the brothers proceeded to New York to play a series of exhibition matches in the hope of selling their polo ponies.
Today the property continues to be a fully operational sheep station with over 8,500 fine merino sheep and some cattle and there are 6300 acres of beautiful horse riding country, just waiting to be explored on horseback
Once you get ready for your morning ride, you will continue to be surrounded by equestrian history as you pass by the famous Ashton brothers polo hitting pit and once you are on horseback you will have the opportunity to ride on the original polo field before you start exploring 6300 acres of riding country which can only be described as an equestrian’s dream.
There is also an abundance of activities to be enjoyed at Markdale beyond horse riding. The beautiful Edna Walling Garden with the pastoral homestead are a magical haven to relax after a long day in the saddle and if you still want to be active, there is a beautiful tennis court and a heated pool waiting for you to be enjoyed.
Our group will be staying in rustic accommodation, double and twin rooms in the two refurbished original stone cottages and in the historic shearer’s quarters, built in the 1850s. In the morning you will wake up with the sun and after a nice evening meal you will spend your evenings relaxing in the courtyard or by the log fire.

At a glance


Crookwell, New South Wales


Canberra or Sydney


Sheep Station Riding Experience


August until December and March until May


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


Starting from AUD 2750 per person all-inclusive BYOH


Intermediate and Advanced Riders


Rustic country accommodation in the original stone cottages and shearers' quarters


All Meals and Beverages


BYOH - Bring your own horse is available for this experience on selected dates for advanced riders. Located 90 mins from Canberra, 3 hours from Sydney

What to expect

Day 1 Arrival
Arrive at Markdale mid-afternoon and get settled in the historic stone cottage. Take a stroll around the area and get a glimpse of the beautiful countryside which you will be exploring on horseback during the coming days. Explore the beautiful Edna Walling Gardens and visit the historic polo hitting pit where the Ashton brothers used to practice their polo game. Depending on the season you might want to cool off in the pool or play a game of tennis before dinner. When you hear the dinner bell it will be time to get back to the cottage for dinner and meet up with your guides and fellow riders for the week.

Day 2
Following a hearty country breakfast you will get the horses ready for the day. Once saddled up, you will have a chance to ride around the historic polo field and get acquainted with the area and if you ride one of our horses you will also get to know your equine companion for the ride. After lunch, you will ride out and meet some sheep and cattle on the way. Once back at the quarters, a cold beer, a glass of white wine and nibbles followed by another example of great Australian home style cooking will be waiting for you – to be enjoyed with a couple of glasses of that great Australian Shiraz.

Day 3 and 4
For the next two days you will continue to enjoy this beautiful country on horseback with scenery that will take your breath away. Following breakfast, get ready for an action-packed day filled with all types of station activities and work. Your rides will take you to various areas of the station where you will check fences, dam levels and water troughs and based on what’s on the station agenda there will be some cattle or sheep to be moved. On one of the afternoons you will also have a chance to develop your skills by working with cattle props on the polo field.

Back at the station there might be some time to enjoy a stroll in the beautiful garden, to go for a swim in the pool or hit some balls on the tennis court. Then it’s time to enjoy some nibbles with a glass of sparkling on the verandah, followed by one of these great barbecues with some Aussie beef to be enjoyed! After dinner you will sit around the campfire and listen to some bush poetry and have a bit of a yarn. And don’t forget to take some time out for yourself before you go to bed to gaze at the stars before you retire to your comfortable quarters for a good night’s rest. These starry nights are to die for!

Day 5 Departure
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 to be cherished forever!

The Horses

You will be riding different breeds of pleasure horses - or even a brumby - all of them well trained. You can bring your own horse to this experience on selected dates.

Your Guides

Leanne Kelly

Leanne's journey with horses is a testament to her deep-rooted love for the land, a love that becomes palpable when you embark on a riding experience guided by her. Guests enjoy riding with her, as her spirited personality adds a delightful touch to the overall experience.

James Forbes

With James as your guide, you'll unravel the intricacies of stockmanship and Australian horsemanship while forging lasting memories filled with fun, laughter, and engaging tales along the way.



  • 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 rustic Stone Cottage or Shearers’ Quarters in 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 (90 mins), Sydney (3 hours) or Melbourne (7 hours)

Not included:

  • Domestic or international flights from and to the destination
  • Transfer from and to Markdale Station
  • Single room surcharge for people who do not want to share a room. No single room supplement applies for women travelling alone for mid-week experiences

Prices and Dates

BYOH - Experienced and advanced riders can join this event with their own horse on selected dates. You will pay considerably less if you BYOH (Bring Your Own Horse). The price includes an overnight yard (tape fencing) for your horse. You will need to bring your own gear, feed and hay.

Dates from Dates to Price Status
13th March 2024 17th March 2024 AUD 2750 BYOH / AUD 3500 for 3 Days/4 Nights all inclusive 2 Saddles Available
17th March 2024 21st March 2024 AUD 2750 BYOH / AUD 3500 for 3 Days/4 Nights all inclusive 1 Saddle Available
19th October 2024 23rd October 2024 AUD 2750 BYOH / AUD 3500 for 3 Days/4 Nights all inclusive 2 Saddles Available
23rd October 2024 27th October 2024 AUD 2750 BYOH / AUD 3500 for 3 Days/4 Nights all inclusive 1 Saddle Available
26th November 2024 30th November 2024 AUD 2750 BYOH / AUD 3500 for 3 Days/4 Nights all inclusive 5 Saddles Available
30th November 2024 4th December 2024 AUD 2750 BYOH / AUD 3500 for 3 Days/4 Nights all inclusive 5 Saddles Available

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+61 (0) 418 613 930

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