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December 9, 2016 - December 11, 2016


Event Dates: Friday 9– Sun 11 Dec 2016
Registrations  Now closed 2016

The dates shown are confirmed but subject always to NZ Army requirements regarding Army activities. All bookings must be made online. This guided tour is strictly limited in numbers and bookings are on a first received basis.register-now

The Kaimanawa Horse Treks explore the home range of the Kaimanawa horses, inside the Waiouru Military Training Area. The treks follow horse trails and tank tracks, winding their way across valleys of tussock grasslands, along alpine ridges, and through beautiful native beach forest and mature manuka stands.

This year day one of the three day Trek will be based at the Sports ground just down the road from the Army Museum. Then on Friday afternoon we will join the members of the two day Trek and travel out to our camp  along the banks of the Moawhango river, with the comprehensive Kaimanawa horse yards as our base, providing overnight security for your horse. We have several different route options for the two and the three day treks. Weather conditions will predicate which of the routes are used on which particular day.

The Kaimanawa Horse treks requires riders and their horses to be reasonably fit and competent. This will ensure you gain the most satisfaction from the ride. It is NOT a suitable trek for beginner riders, or unfit/undisciplined horses. All riders MUST be capable of mounting and dismounting their horses in the field unaided, and walking in rough country if required.

Trek Format

This years’ Kaimanawa Horse Treks will follow a slightly different format from the previous few years. The 2016 Kaimanawa Horse Treks will start on the first day of the three day Trek at the Sports ground at Waiouru Milatary camp (Those riders will camp there on Thursday Night). Friday Afternoon both the 2 and 3 days Trekkers will travel to the Kaimanawa Horse Yards in the Argo Valley some 12Kms from the army camp.


The Kaimanawa Horse Treks explore the home range of the Kaimanawa horses, inside the Waiouru Military Training Area. The treks follow horse trails and tank tracks, winding their way across valleys of tussock grasslands, along alpine ridges, and through beautiful native beach forest and mature manuka stands. The Waiouru terrain can be steep in places, so fitness is a must for both horse and rider. But the views from the top are amazing!

All horse trucks and horse floats will convoy into the Kaimanawa Horse Yards on Friday evening. All participants will convoy out together on Sunday afternoon. Due to the steep nature of the gravel road that accesses the Kaimanawa Horse Yards, suitable vehicles are either; horse trucks, or horse floats pulled by trucks or braked horse floats pulled by 4WD’s. Sorry, no horse floats pulled by 2WD vehicles. Those that have been there will know why we say this.

Please ensure your vehicle is in good mechanical condition. This includes truck tyres!! We know from previous experience that getting replacement truck tyres fitted to your truck when you have broken down at the trek will cost you at least twice what it would cost you back at your home location. It is a long long way to get an off duty tyre repair truck out to the Kaimanawa Horse Yards.

Trek numbers

The 3 day Kaimanawa Horse Trek option will initially be limited to 25 riders. This option will be conducted under normal Trekking conditions.

The benefit of this option is you will see more of the stunning scenery that Waiouru Training area has to offer in a smaller group of riders on the Friday ride.

The 2 day Kaimanawa Horse Trek option will initially be for 55 riders. . The 2 day trekkers will be conducted at the walk. You will see the wild Kaimanawa horses and experience camping out in the Argo Valley


The Sports Ground complex will allow you to have a hot shower or use the Toilets. There will be limited grazing for your mount. The Kaimanawa Horse Yards provide sufficient space for all horses to be overnighted inside the wire enclosure. During the day they can be corralled outside . In previous years the Moawhango river has been warm enough for riders and their horses to swim in the deep section

Self Catering

This is a self catered horse trek. Riders will not be permitted to leave the horse yards in their vehicle to go to town to buy extra items as we are a long way from town, and will be in the middle of the Waiouru Military Training Area, a restricted access area. So please remember to come completely self contained. Grog in moderation is fine at the campsite. No drinking whilst in the saddle. Helmets are compulsory (while riding, not while drinking).

Meeting point

The 3 day Trekkers will meet and camp Thursday night at the Waiouru camp sports ground which is just down the side road from the Army Museum. You must be on site by 6.30 on Thursday the 8th Dec. You will camp over night there and ride in the south western area of the main Army training area on Friday .

The meeting point for the 2 day horse trekkers will be at the Waiouru Sports Grounds. If you get there early you can get your horse out for a stretch and food/water. All 3 days Trekkers riders need to be at the Waiouru Sports Ground no later than 6.30 pm Thursday 8th December  or 4.30 pm Friday 9th  December (2 day trekkers). A safety brief will be given to all riders on the day prior to your event commencement. The convoy from the Sports grounds out to the Kaimanawa Horse yards is along 12 km of gravel road, steep in places, and takes about 20 minutes driving. Once at the horse yards, riders can set up their camp with horse truck or floats anywhere within the 5 acres of river flat, outside of the horse yards themselves. As the Waiouru Military Training Area is a restricted access area, do not turn up late!!!. You will not be permitted to enter the Waiouru Military Training Area by yourself! If you experience a breakdown on your way to Waiouru, please contact the organisers before the event via email to Marianne  at  horsetrek@offlimits.co.nz , or on the day at mob. 021 844 737.

Feed and water

While there will be good amounts of grass at the yards initially, it will not last long. Riders need to ensure they come fully self sufficient for horse feed. Do not forget electrolytes! If your horse needs them. Another good reason to ensure your horse is nice and fit. The water from the Moawhango river is fine for horses to drink, and people to swim in.

Vets and Farriers

Vets and Farriers are a long way from Waiouru, they will have been warned out regarding the event, but please ensure your horse is healthy, and is adequately shod. Barefoot horses are fine, however if the weather is wet, the clay and ash tracks can be very slippery, and riders should consider studs or boots for their horses. Riders will be responsible for any Vet or Farrier work required for their own horse.

Arrival in Waiouru, sign-in and briefing

These details will be provided in the administration instruction issued in November to all those who have registered and paid for the event.

Horse and Rider requirements:

The ride organisers reserve the right to refuse any horse and or rider from the ride if it is decided that the horse is unfit to take part or the rider’s equipment is unsuitable for the conditions.

  • Riders are to be a minimum of 14 years of age at the Trek
  • All riders are to carry photographic identification at all times.
  • All horses must be identified at all times, including at night, so that their owners can be found if there are any problems. A name written on the front of their rug will be fine.
  • No stallions or colts will be permitted at Waiouru or on the ride.
  • No pregnant mares will be permitted on the ride.
  • Horses must be 4 years of age or over.

The fitter you and your horse are, the easier and more enjoyable you will find this ride.

Horse equipment

  • Your horse, horse gear such as saddle, saddle blankets, horse cover, halter and lead rope, bridle, breast-plate, crupper, scraper, brushes and sponges, feed and water buckets, shovel for dung, small medical kits for your horse.
  • Electric fence corral and good energiser unit, if you are keeping your horse in an individual area.
  • You must have a red ribbon tied to your horse’s tail if you have any concerns that it will kick.

For the health and welfare of your horse and the other horses on the ride, we strongly advise you to get your horse vaccinated for Strangles and Tetanus.

Rider equipment

The Argo Valley in Waiouru on a warm summers day is a hard place to beat! The same place on a bleak wet windy summers day can be very cold, so warm clothes and waterproof leggings, hat and coat must be carried on the treks as well as good boots that are suitable for walking on rough terrain. You will also be required to wear a safety helmet. We recommend you bring:

  • Jersey, balaclava, socks, long-johns, gloves
  • Hot weather gear e.g shorts & T shirt
  • Gaiters are a good idea to keep rubbish & rain out of boots
  • Riding boots which are also suitable for walking
  • Small tent
  • Sleeping bag & mat/stretcher
  • Additional blankets
  • Towel & toilet articles
  • Sunscreen & insect repellent
  • Personal items and a roll of loo paper
  • Small first aid kit for you and your horse
  • Personal medications
  • Baby wipes are handy when hand washing is difficult
  • Camera & torch
  • Water bottle
  • Saddlebag, bum bag
  • Remember to come completely self sufficient for food and drinking water for the entire weekend


We need to know if you have allergies to any medicines, food, wasps, bees etc so that informed decisions can be made if you fall ill or sustain an injury. Please ensure you pack any medication you may need. Please email us separately with details of any medical issues.

Non Riding Partners

Non riding partners are permitted to come on the trek. A small camping fee will apply to help cover the cost of the nice hot showers.

Cancellation and refunds

All OFFLIMITS events could be cancelled or modified due to military requirements, weather conditions or unforeseen logistical issues which make the running of events either unsafe or unable to be conducted on the scheduled dates and in the locations advertised. Please refer to the Payments and refunds section for details on the cancellation and refund policy.

Trek Fees 2016

  • The registration fee for the 2016 Kaimanawa Horsse Trek will be:
  • Rider 2 day event $225.00
  • 3 day event $295.00
  • Non riding companion $20 per day.
  • A comprehensive ‘2016 Kaimanawa Horse Trek participants guide’ will be issued in November to all those who have signed up and paid for the trek.

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December 9, 2016
December 11, 2016
Event Category:


Waiouru Military Area
Waiouru Military Area New Zealand + Google Map