Russell Jack, Southland Yoga Guru, Explains Why a Horse Is Your Best Guide to the Ecological Splendor of New Zealand


Few countries can match the dedication of New Zealand to the cause of conservation. Many parts of this vast ecological paradise are best viewed by horseback, as roads are pleasantly scarce. Russell Jack, Southland native and yoga instructor, describes the reasons why exploring New Zealand on horseback is the only way to see many of the impossibly beautiful aspects of this breathtaking island nation.

The Joys of Exploring on Horseback

Too often these days, vacations are all about the destination. Get to the main attraction quickly, see it, and head on your way. Trekking on horseback is different. It’s a slower, more leisurely way to enjoy the journey—because the trip is just as important as the destination.

Riding on horseback, you’ll have the time to enjoy your surroundings, all while taking in the breathtaking natural beauty of New Zealand. Without worrying about roads, the entire island will open itself up to you, allowing you to go to places left mostly undisturbed by modern technology. When you see New Zealand from a horse, you see it as it was meant to be seen.


This spectacular area at the northern tip of New Zealand is home to pristine white sand beaches along the western coast. Take a trek along the beautiful Ninety Mile Beach, which stretches from Scott Point in the north down to Reef Point, just west of Ahipara Bay. You’ll find your journey is complete with ocean views, sand dunes, and rolling hills.

The Aotea Harbor remains in exceptionally pristine condition, thanks to its relatively low profile in the world of vacation destinations. The land here is full of history, stretching back to ancient Maori settlements, and horseback trekkers will be treated to long stretches of isolated beachfront, as well as rich forests and farmland.

Tongariro National Park

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Located in the central part of New Zealand’s North Island, Tongariro National Park is a spectacularly beautiful area. Described by some as the New Zealand Outback, Tongariro contains vast bushlands, rushing rivers, and rugged mountains, including three active volcanoes:  Mt. Tongariro, Mt. Ngauruhoe, and Mt. Ruapehu.

Traveling to the park by horse will give you the chance to immerse yourself in the wilderness. You can ford streams, climb mountains, and explore the seemingly untouched nature.   


While Glenorchy is best known as a famous filming location for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, it is only a testament to the surrounding area’s heer natural beauty. Located in the southern part of the South Island, the immense mountain ranges that make up the Southern Alps sit next to pristine lakes, including Lake Wakatipu. The countryside in Glenorchy will take you through pristine valleys, around snow-capped mountains, along glacial rivers, and through ancient beech forests.

During your horse trek, it will be easy to lose yourself in the beauty of your surroundings, getting swept away by the dramatic grandeur of the world around you. Seeing New Zealand by horse is the best way to experience this breathtaking country’s unmatched ecological wonder.

About Russell Jack

Russell Jack, Southland Yoga Training founder, left environmental sciences studies at the University of Otago to pursue his passions as a mindfulness and yoga teacher. He enjoys learning and writing about spirituality, meditation, and the vegan lifestyle, sharing his valuable insights with his clients. Russell is devoted to living in harmony with himself and with nature, as well as conveying these skills to others. His classes will help you to think clearer, improve memory and concentration, and enhance your physical health and mental wellbeing.