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Latest COVID-19 impacts - QLD national parks, state forests and recreation areas. Check the latest information and updates.

Horse riding

Horse riding is a great way to experience parks and forests. Photo: Maxime Coquard, Queensland Governement.

Horse riding is a great way to experience parks and forests. Photo: Maxime Coquard, Queensland Governement.

Horse riding is great way to get out and enjoy some physical activity in a beautiful environment. Horse trails on QPWS estate provide a range of challenges for riders—from gentle, well graded trails to rough and difficult terrain for experienced riders.

Where you can ride

Horses are not permitted in all parks, forests and reserves in Queensland. Check first where you can ride horses on QPWS-managed estate.

Permits and fees

Where horse riding is allowed, you will not generally require a special permit, except for commercial activities, organised group rides and competitive eventsContact us for more information.

Essentials to bring

Bring the right gear to ensure you have a comfortable ride and leave no trace for other users. Ensure you pack:

  • rubbish bags to take rubbish home—bins are not generally provided
  • drinking water
  • protective clothing and footwear, a helmet, sunscreen and insect repellent, for protection from the sun and biting insects.

Staying safe

Follow the give-way code when on multi-use recreation trails.

Follow the give-way code when on multi-use recreation trails.

Before you leave home, check for any park alerts affecting the park you intend to visit and get the information on closures and conditions.

Ride safely

  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Plan ahead, ride within your ability and according to trail conditions.
  • Slow down or stop when approaching other trail users. Follow the give-way code.
  • Avoid riding in large groups—keep groups to fewer than 12.
  • Avoid riding during and after rain when tracks are soft, wet and muddy.
  • Do not ride in areas closed to riding.

The give-way code

Be careful and courteous: walkers, horseriders and cyclists often share the same tracks.

  • Cyclists must give way to walkers and horseriders, and alert others when approaching them.
  • Walkers must give way to horses.

For more information, read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

Minimal impact

Help protect the park environment by adopting a minimal impact approach to riding.

  • Stay on marked trails—riding over vegetation, taking shortcuts and forming new trails damages plants and wildlife habitat.
  • Keep tracks in good condition and limit erosion by not riding during or immediately after wet weather conditions.
  • Please help to limit the spread of weeds by:
    • Ensuring your clothes, shoes, horses’ coats, hooves, equipment and floats are clean and free of seeds before park visits.
    • Providing weed-free, good quality, processed feed to horses at least 48 hours before entering a forest reserve or protected area.
    • Avoid riding through patches of weeds especially if they are seeding.
  • Only cross natural watercourses at designated crossing points on the trail.
  • Minimise damage to vegetation. Do not allow horses to graze on any vegetation while in the area.
  • Tether horses at hitching posts or resting areas only for short periods to minimise soil erosion and compaction.
  • Follow the code of conduct (PDF, 137K) for horseriding through parks and forests—a set of guidelines for horse riders to follow to minimise their impact on park environments, and ensure they are meeting the legislative requirements of the Nature Conservation Act 1992 and the Forestry Act 1959.

See caring for parks and forests for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.

Australian Trail Horse Riders Association (ATHRA)
ATHRA is primarily a leisure trail horse riding organisation that provides to its members the ability to ride anywhere that permits horse access.

The Australian Bicentennial National Trail (BNT)
ACN 010 860 143
PO Box 1196, Nerang Qld 4211
Phone: 1300 138 724 (within Australia only)

The Australian Bicentennial National Trail (BNT) is a 5330 kilometre self-reliant multi-use route through bush, wilderness and mountain areas, between Healesville (Victoria) and Cooktown (North Queensland). It is suitable for horse riders, walkers and mountain bike riders.

For outdoor activity information for all regions in Queensland see Outdoors Queensland.

Last updated
3 August 2018