Horseback in Port Stephens


I love horses. Always have, always will. I can remember my mum taking me to my first horse riding lesson in Somerset, England when I was a kid. Eight years old, a frosty January morning, I clambered atop a pony for the first time as myself and Elsa took our first steps together. I must admit I was little nervous. Elsa and I spent almost three years together, we became the best of friends before we moved to the city. It was the special kind of love that little girls dream of a love that I must confess I carry in my heart to this day although I doubt Elsa is still with us.


Fast forward 25 years or so, gosh is that the time? I'm in Port Stephens, Australia and being presented with a horse considerably larger than Elsa. I'm feeling that sense of nervousness all over again. I haven't ridden since I was 19 years old. Uni, a career in the city and starting my young family all conspire not only to cause a decade of your life to rush by but also for us to forget those passions that were part of the make up of what we are today.


With the kids staying at our friends house in Sydney, my husband, David and I took advantage of the opportunity afforded by our good friends to take a few days Farmstay break at Sahara Trails Horse Riding in Anna Bay, Port Stephens New South Wales. Set in 54 acres, this fantastic part of Port Stephens is made for the adventurer. The beach is just round the corner whilst the bustle of the marinas and shops of Port Stephens are less than 10 minutes away by car.


During the 3 days of our stay, David and I took our horses on short and long trails across the beach, on longer trails and through the 54 acres of Sahara Trails. I must admit it was like being 18 again. For me at least. David has only ridden a horse a couple of times before so if I was nervous, David was terrified. With a little education from the great hosts at Sahara, he quickly got into his stride.


Facilities were good with air conditioned rooms, a BBQ, private wash facilities, laundry and much more. A few days of life on the farm was the ultimate chill out for David and I. Our busy lives in London, the kids, the flight to Sydney all conspire to bring stresses and strains on us and this was the perfect way for us to eradicate that stress, and to rekindle some of those feelings that we had for one another when we first met!


Prices are good, the hosts are great, the horses adorable and the local environment is fantastic. For the begginer or the initiated I cannot recommend Sahara Trails Horse Riding enough.