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New Zealand’s Poronui: A Horse-Rider’s Paradise
– Activities

Keen equestrian Laura Imperia recently spent nearly two weeks at Poronui indulging her passion for all things outdoors, particularly horse riding. We caught up with her before she left for home.

My husband Paul and I are adventure travelers. Paul is an avid fisherman and I have a love of horse trekking. Poronui is such a special lodge because it offers a premier experience for both of us.

This was our second visit to Poronui. The first was in 2004. We had such an amazing time we had to come back.

The lodge is managed by Eve and Claire and has all the comforts of home. The staff are professional and friendly. Chefs Kate, Steve, Glen and Matt prepare gourmet meals that are delicious and plentiful.

What makes Poronui so special for me is the equestrian experience. The horses are all New Zealand station bred, chosen for their sure-footedness. They are also in exceptional condition and love their jobs. I’ve never seen a barn and tack so well maintained.

Poronui sits on nearly 7000 hectares, looking out at the beautiful Kaimanawa and Kaweka Mountain Ranges, Taharua Valley and Mohaka River.

I rode for six days on a different track each day. They were all spectacular but my favorites were the Pinnacles and Stag Hill. We cantered up hills into beech forests filled with birds, red deer, sika deer, wild goats and views that went on forever. We rode to the Safari Camp for lunch and did long working trots while looking out on emerald green pastures, hillsides filled with wildflowers and manuka bushes just starting to bloom. I rode Tucker, Texas and Rocky and fell in love with each horse. By the end of the week I was in the best riding shape of my life.

I can’t compliment the horse guides enough. Lead guide, Tracy cares for the horses as well as she cared for me. Her knowledge and skills as an equestrian is top notch. I also enjoyed the conversations we had during our rides about the history of Poronui, the local fauna and flora, and current events.

Tracy was so accommodating, she even arranged two trips off the ranch: one to Taupo to watch some of the Ironman 70.3 event (American Meredith Kessler won) and another to the Christmas Classic Showjumping Event, where I got to see the famous Wilson Sisters and Katie Laurie ride to victory.

I have traveled the world for horse trekking and Poronui is my all-time favorite. I would recommend a stay there to any of my friends.

Thank you so much Eve, Claire and the entire staff at Poronui for creating such a magical experience. I can’t wait to come back again.

Poronui’s equestrian season has been extended until May. A fully equipped arena is also nearly completed. For more information, contact info@poronui.com.

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