Rundell's Warrnambool mid-year horse ride and Tower Hill National Park

Warrnambool Travel Blog

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Me on Stella the horse at Rundell's Warrnambool

Photos by Eva and Luci.

Unfortunately, this is going to be a bit of a 'we did this and then we did that' blog entry. The main reason I'm writing it is so that people interested in riding at Rundell's Warrnambool can get an in-depth look at what we did.

Rundell's Warrnambool is a horse riding operator who runs both trail rides and lessons in Warrnambool, Victoria. Last weekend, we rode for two and a half days at Rundell's. We drove to Warrnambool in a convoy of three cars, and spent the night at Warrnambool Backpacker's.

The next morning, we turned up at Rundell's at 8.30 am, and were paired-up with our horses. We left Warrnambool and rode through some sand dunes and along the beach towards Tower Hill National Park.

Alli on Majestic, looking over Tower Hill National Park


We were the first people to go into Tower Hill National Park on horseback, so, apparently we were 'making history'. Tower Hill was Victoria's first national park, although much of it isn't natural bush. A lot of the trees had to be planted, since the area wasn't initially treated like a national park. People came in to take wood and other natural resources, and it wasn't until recently that it became regarded as an actual national park. The park encompasses a double crater; Tower Hill is an extinct volcano, and numerous eruptions have allowed for its unique shape. There is an outer rim and an inner rim. The space between the two rims looks like a wide and circular u-shaped valley, and a lot of this valley is wetland. Surprisingly, the wildlife was pretty ordinary as far as Australia goes.
I'm on the far left
The area is still being used to hunt Magpie Geese, some of which we saw sitting on a cliff. Other than these birds, there were grey kangaroos, emus, koalas and fairy wrens.

After lunch in the park, we rode along some roads to our motel 'pub', which was more or less in the middle of nowhere: somewhere in between Port Fairy and Warrnambool. It was a creepy old thing, and was no longer operating as a pub. The owners put a lot of effort into making us a hearty barbecue dinner with salad and pasta, followed by some ice cream for dessert. They supplied us with cereal, toast and juice for breakfast. The house was filled with a collection of paintings that would give most people the shivers, and our rooms were almost as creepy.

Molly checking out what's available
Eva and I shared a room on the upper level. The ceiling was sloping and the room was only big enough for the two beds, and not much else. When we closed the door, it was like sleeping like a box! We wondered if it was possible for us to suffocate in our sleep, and ended up arguing about who would get up and open the door. Eventually, Eva caved and told me that she hated me, heh heh.

The next day, we woke up at 8 am and headed for Port Fairy via the beach. Once we got to Port Fairy, we rode through a drive-in bottle-o, purely for novelty's sake, and then did a circuit of the town. Everyone in town stopped in their tracks, and little kids waved at us. It was as if we were Disney mascots on a parade! Then, we made our way towards Warrnambool again, via the beach.

We cantered half the time, and walked half the time.
Everyone walking along the beach
On one canter along the beach, I managed to lose both my stirrups from cantering over a stretch of beach that was strewn with seaweed. Because the safety elastic had come off one of my stirrups, I couldn't seem to find my left stirrup, and in the process, lost my right one again. I ended up cantering most of the way without my stirrups, and during the canter, Stella (my horse) decided to jump a particularly large clump of seaweed. After surviving the surprise jump with no stirrups, I decided it was unlikely I was going to fall off, and just enjoyed the rest of the canter...

On our third day, we had a three-hour jumping lesson. Sandy, who organised and led the ride for us, took the lesson. I was a bit nervous about jumping since I hadn't done much of it before, but Sandy was encouraging. She also set up a number of jumps of all sizes in the adjacent paddock. It was good because it meant that experienced jumpers could have a go at some fairly large jumps, and those of us just starting out could stick with the smaller jumps.

Stella was an awesome horse in almost every way (I say almost because she was a bit strong at times). I had an awesome time at Rundell's. Even after two and a half days of riding I wanted to keep riding (which is unusual, for me). Can't wait to go back.

If anyone reading this is interested in riding here, their number is 03 5565 9111.

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Me on Stella the horse at Rundell…
Me on Stella the horse at Rundell…
Alli on Majestic, looking over Tow…
Alli on Majestic, looking over To…
Im on the far left
I'm on the far left
Molly checking out whats available
Molly checking out what's available
Everyone walking along the beach
Everyone walking along the beach
Bodey looking over Tower Hill Nati…
Bodey looking over Tower Hill Nat…
Us hiding from the rain at Tower H…
Us hiding from the rain at Tower …
Us
Us
Sparkle, too cute for your own good
Sparkle, too cute for your own good
Me
Me
Me again
Me again
Bodey looks as though hes just go…
Bodey looks as though he's just g…
Riding through the bottle-o
Riding through the bottle-o
Me pointing at the drive-in sign
Me pointing at the drive-in sign
Warrnambool
photo by: asturjimmy