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Billabong Horseback Adventures

Home > Port Douglas > Adventure | Animals and Wildlife | Day Trips | Escape the City | Outdoor
by Katy Holliday (subscribe)
A freelance property, lifestyle and travel writer based in the picturesque Sunshine Coast Hinterland. See more of my work at
Published October 16th 2012
Saddle Up to Kuranda

Billabong Horseback Adventures
Billabong Horseback Adventures

Have you stomached the sky-rail up to Kuranda, marveled at the impressive Baron Falls, wandered through the funky markets and caught the scenic rail back to Cairns? Do you think you have seen all there is to see of Kuranda? Think again.

There is another way to get close-up and explore the region while having a ton of fun. Billabong Horseback Adventures offers guided rides for all ages and experience. The establishment keeps up its end of the bargain with a pretty billabong, a small kangaroo sanctuary and over twenty well-trained horses. They offer small group rides to suit your experience or private rides for those who want their own tailored adventure.

We opted for the three-hour morning ride for beginners. After fitting helmets and a quick debrief, horse expert and operations manager Tom has us mounted and raring (hopefully not rearing) to go.

The ride takes off slowly as we all get acquainted with our horses. Mine is a feisty old fellow, actually a bit of a stubborn mule. He would have enjoyed his "hay-day", with a steely name like Magnum, but in his old age, as with most male species, he has become a bit of a flatulent grump. Despite this, we get along very well and I throw affection at him wantonly.

The scenery offers expansive vistas of the valleys below. We ride up through thirsty bushland and then descend into the cool, soothing rainforest. We cross creek-beds still flowing with water, where the sweaty horses stop to drink. In the scrubby, bushland we see enormous termite mounds.

Tom offers excellent knowledge of the region, flora and fauna. He is passionate about horses and it really shows in his manner. On Tom's queue we take off in a trot. I know I will feel it tomorrow.

Billabong Horseback Adventures
basket fern

Back at the ranch, a lovely lunch spread is waiting for us – fresh fruit, salad, pasta, bread rolls, snags and refreshing drinks. There is a relaxed atmosphere and our group chat together, while country tunes blow in the wind.

A local whip-crackin' cowboy has come to see Tom. His name is Tim and he patiently shows us a few of his tricks. It's a nice way to finish our tour, with a taste of Aussie country life, far removed from most of our city-slicking ways.

Billabong Horseback Adventures
A crackin' good time

Billabong Horseback Adventures offer a range of combo's and packages you can book through their website. Combine the day with either an ATV ride, sky-rail and scenic rail passes, a nature park package or skydive the reef! They also offer return transfers for guests staying in Cairns and the Northern Beaches. School holiday camps are available, as are private lessons.
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Why? To burn those buns while seeing a new side to Kuranda..
When: Open everyday, but book ahead to avoid disappointment
Phone: 07 4093 8929 or 07 4015 2425
Where: 186 Mt Haren Road, Kuranda QLD 4881
Cost: Ranging from $55 - $900, depending on what you are after
Your Comment
My sister lived up that way for a while and I heard all about Kuranda and the railway. She loved it!
by Paula McManus (score: 3|3796) 3597 days ago
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