Rundell's Warrnambool mid-year horse ride and Tower Hill National Park
Warrnambool Travel Blog› entry 22 of 28 › view all entries
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.