There’s a big misconception that holidays have to be extravagant events. Planes, trains, suitcases and so much planning. But I believe the best breaks are often short and sweet. Sometimes just a few hours is all you need to reset, recharge and experience something different. Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures is an easy one hour drive north from the centre of Sydney. Situated among rolling green hills and soaring cliff faces, it’s an oasis just minutes from the craziness of city life and an idyllic setting for a morning spent horse riding.
I booked to take part in the two hour horse riding adventure. Both myself and my friends had ridden just a handful of times before, but this was no problem at all. From the moment we arrived, the helpful staff had everything under control. They helped us understand the basics, from safety gear, to mounting, talking to the horse and handling the reigns. I felt empowered from the very start.
I was matched with Gus, a sweet-natured horse with a gentle temperament. Gus knew exactly how to handle an inexperienced rider like me. As we set out, he slipped seamlessly into the line of horses with other new riders. He was easy to control, despite my lack of horsemanship. He was a pleasure to ride.
In the early morning sun, we weaved our way through gullies, paddocks and fiends. The air was cool and crisp, and the valley was blanketed in dense white winter fog. But as the sun slowly rose, the fog gave way to a clear, crisp and perfectly sunny winter’s day.
We meandered through the bush, listening to tips and tricks from Aundre, our expert guide. He explained the basics about trotting, and within minutes we had the horses moving at a decent pace. Despite my inexperience, I felt confident and in control. I learnt how to hold the reigns properly, rise & fall in the saddle during a trot, and basic commands for controlling the horse. It was exhilarating.
There really are few things more pleasant watching the world slide by from on top of a horse. The scenery in Glenworth Valley is spectacular from every angle. One of the things I have noticed as I get older is that “fitness” is more than just muscle mass, strength and flexibility. Mental fitness is for me, equally important. Getting outside and surrounding myself in nature has a profound impact on feeling of wellbeing.
The ride lasted two full hours, and I could not recommend it more highly. It’s scenic, well organised, and caters perfectly for all experience levels. And make sure you leave time afterwards to sit back, relax with a coffee in hand, and enjoy the scenery.
Getting there: Glenworth Valley is about an hour’s drive north of Sydney via the M1.
What to wear: Active wear. Long pants, jeans, leggings. T-shirt, jumper, sunscreen. Closed shoes or work boots.
Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures
69 Crooks Road, Glenworth Valley, NSW, Australia
Gabrielle Boyle is a reporter for Nine News Australia, based in Sydney. With fifteen years experience in television reporting and presenting, Gabrielle specialises in breaking news, and thrives on the adrenalin which comes with covering breaking national and international news.
In her spare time, you will find her enjoying the great outdoors, whether it be bushwalking in the Blue Mountains, kayaking on Sydney Harbour or camping out in the Royal National Park.
Follow Gabrielle’s off-camera adventures on Instagram or Twitter.