WALHALLA, January 2022

Girls just wanna have fun

And that’s exactly what we Did have.


lots of it.

After almost 2 years of not being allowed to meet,

we Finally met.

In the beautiful Gippsland,

exploring the Mountain Rivers Trail.

Friday’s trail….
The routine, so special. The horses, so compliant.

After almost 2 years of not being allowed to hug,

we Finally hugged.

And hugged and laughed and hugged again.

Hugs and smiles and laughs…..
and catching up with friends, four legged and two: new and ‘old’

And just like that,

we were in back in the groove,

or should I say saddle

Another glorious beginning…..

Our home for the weekend

Was the interesting Walhalla Coach House

Built in the 70’s to replicate an old Swiss home,

it was quaint and quirky

and presented us with a list of do’s and don’ts :

Although if truth be told,

there were a whole lot more don’ts than do’s 😉🙄

Our Home from Home

The Coach House

Where we chatted, laughed, slept, drank and ate.

Did I mention we drank?

Did I mention we laughed?

Oh, and did I mention we relaxed?

As we watched the Walhalla Express pass below us.
We wandered Up…..
Wandering where……
Our leader was taking us.
Regardless, we followed……

With moments of contemplation
The “gals” played in the water too……
and down
from above
We wandered down roads….
….and around corners

As we explored the quaint Walhalla

What a history, what lifes were lived here

What about a repeat visit without horses to distract ….

Nature displaying its beauty
Reckless in its abundance
The history ….. the images…… the stories
There were tracks to explore
Things only the ‘they’ could see
And views we could all savour

And so, you see,

Girls just wanna have fun.


There was so much to smile about.

And so it is with grateful heart that I write this.

Grateful that you:

include me in your rides:

allow me to ride Dolly:

took such great photos for us:

that you introduced me to the Gippsland.

Garrawilla Cattle Station

All’s Well that Ends Well,

so Shakespeare once said,

and who am I to argue.

After all he knew a thing or two about life.

So after a great time at Markdale riding with Brooke and her horses,

(Markdale Madams…..),

I jumped at the opportunity to go further afield and extend myself.

Ah, and go further afield

and extend myself, I most certainly did.

In more ways than one.

Firstly, the distance.

This country is SO vast it continues to surprise.

The two maps give you some idea of the scale.

Secondly, the time.

We booked these two rides long before the world was turned upside down by our friend with many names, Corona, Delta, Omicron. to mention but a few – there are many other names we down in Victoria have used to describe ‘it’

And so we waited, as the dates were changed again

and again

The Shearing Sheds – still standing, just – pretty much how we felt waiting….

and again.

And what do the trees know of time……

In fact we waited so long

I had forgotten what I had signed up for

and there was no Brooke and her horses,

nor was there the horseman Cody that I was keen to learn from.

Casualties of our country’s interesting handling of the virus.

And by the time we could go,

two years of non living was being condensed into a tight space

before Christmas,

the possibility of more lock downs

and in my case, at least,


reminding me I must be mad…

causeways washed away…..

And Floods.

Did I mention the floods?

How could I forget…..

Driving up, being forced to pull up on the side of the road and wait till we could see.

Rain and rain whichever way you went
water everywhere…whichever way we looked….

Friends having to ‘take the long way round’ to finally make it to our home from home.


Garrawilla,was established in 1836. It is on the edge of the Kamilaroi Tribal are. 7000 acres of fertile volcanic land. Wagu bulls crossed with Angus heifers produce superb calves which form the foundation of the farming.

We were lucky enough to get involved with how they farm etc.
And stay in the original farmhouse.

The weather broke,

not just the roads,

but the horses


fixing bridges and feet kept us busy.

Whether it was riding one another…..
Relying on our own two feet and somewhat unreliable boots….
Or just playing with our trusty steeds……

Most days we played with cattle.

when things go according to plan…..
it is a beautiful, tranquil, ‘quiet’ thing.
and when it doesn’t, it can be ‘messy’
Some horses love this work and others (mine) do not 🙂
which made for interesting days……

And always we played with our horses.

With views to take your breathe away.

Roads to canter till your breathe went away

And field with grass so high it took ‘the other horses away’

It was ‘hard work’ this playing,

so sometimes we changed the game…..

lazing in the water;

snoozing on a log;

resting on the ground;

catching yabbies

There was down time,

to marvel, to rest,

to sit and think

To play

There was time to rescue;

to link arms

and line dance….

There were wild nights…..

With so much laughter
and joy

and ‘the morning afters’

There were friendships made,

friends come in all sizes…..
Our lovely guide, Carolyn Frost
Ben Newbury – a beautiful horseman.

There were friendships consolidated.

and just like that, two weeks was done.

There were ups and downs, in all sorts of ways,

there were tears and laughter;

there were amazing memories created.

Thank you team for the photos,

thank you Horses & Cattle Australia.

And so it was,


all’s well

That ends well.

And End Well, It did.


Hidden Valley. Hidden Trails.


In the middle of ‘nowhere’

Have you not done the Wonnangatta ride?…

You will love the Wonnangatta ride.

You must do the Wonnangatta ride.

Statements and questions that have been put to me more times than I can count.

And the answer, always was “No, I haven’t”

And so,

despite Lock Down,

(or perhaps because of it, since this ride is always booked a year in advance)

I ‘signed up’ so to speak.

Signing up in this case meant :

a) borrowing money from the kids

b) packing for an 8 day trail

c) rearranging work

d) getting to the start of the ride

All with less than 24 hour’s notice as lock down was only lifted the afternoon prior to the ride.

Such is life in the world of Covid.

But that is nothing compared with the organisational skills shown by

Laura and Christian Hayes

http://www.hidden trail horse adventures

throughout these crazy times.

For this long and fairly inaccessible ride,

they went ahead the week before to prepare.

To drop off feed for the horses.

To clear tracks.

To check campsites.

The list is long.

Not a mean feat when you see where we ride.

An 8 day ride is an interesting experience.

It is long enough for personalties to shine,

some offering a bright light,

some providing the shadows.

who all made it work…

It is long enough to challenge bodies, both ours and our amazing horses.

…whichever way you look at it

It is long enough to cover a large area and see amazing views.

Hell’s window.
Along Mt Magdala
Loo with a view. Mt Howitt

It is long enough to experience mountain weather in many forms.

Misty mornings
Never dampened a smile….
and made for great ……
Regardless of what weather we were given.
Fields of flowers on Mt Howitt
Not quite smelling roses, but close enough…..
Or as in this case, not close enough. Look where They are…..

It is long enough to make good friends.

all kinds of friends….

Nothing like a fire, clear sky and hot food to calm the soul……
And create a sense of quiet……
….or not, as the mood takes us.
home made, delicious all of it…
There was always something to smile about……
…. whether only They could see it……
… or we all could!
There were moments of remarkable…..
… serenity….
……that held one captive
or made one smile with joy
Times of quiet contemplation……
and earnest reading…
Times of relaxation….
Times of roaming….
Times of climbing……
up and down…
Moments to cherish
moments to show of the resident hairdresser‘s work
Times of seeing clearly
Times of seeing dimly….
whether we wanted to, or not
There was light and space…..
Colour and blossom
And ghostly shapes
There were rivers to cross and people to meet
There were roads to follow…
Moments to capture…
Or was that horses to capture…..
Ah no, it was light !
There was time to graze….
and time to gaze
and time ponder the beauty of nature….
Moments of quiet with no…..

……man in sight.
moments made of sheer joy.


as quickly as I had packed to join the ride,

so I had to pack to leave the ride.

The trip of a lifetime.

A trip never to be forgotten.

A trip I hope to repeat,

as I ask YOU now,

“Have you not done the Wonnangatta ride?…
You will love the Wonnangatta ride.
You must do the Wonnangatta ride.”

Photos are not all mine,  this was a ‘group’ affair – thank you everyone 

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