Looking for a way to kill a couple of hours at the end of your holiday in Cairns? Blazing Saddles offers two options: a leisurely horse ride absorbing the views around their sugar cane farm or a revved-up blaze through the mud on a quad bike.
The property where Blazing Saddles offer their tours is in Yorkey’s Knob, about 20 minutes from the centre of Cairns, and it has a beautiful big lagoon with lily pads and geese as its centrepiece.
The tours at Blazing Saddles are designed for beginners so if you’ve never ridden a horse or a quad bike, then treat this as a really awesome introductory lesson.
I admit I am not normally a fan of horses but my kids were super excited about going horse riding, so we made it a family affair. And I am happy to tell you that it was a pretty good way to spend the morning.
On the day we did the horse riding tour we were joined by some overseas tourists, a couple from China and a few backpackers.
We were all different ages and some of us had no riding experience whatsoever while others were experienced riders, but it didn’t matter because Blazing Saddles paired each of us up with a horse that made us feel comfortable. Kiana, our instructor, paired me with Soxy who turned out to be a gentle giant.
After being fitted with a helmet and given a brief rundown on how to ride, go, stop and steer, we began our ride.
For those who were a little nervous and not entirely comfortable with steering their own horses, the staff were really helpful and walked alongside them and lead their horses along the trails.
Each horse walked in a single line behind each other and were positioned in a particular order, because horses have personalities too and they get along with some better than others. All the horses knew their place and happily followed the leader.
We enjoyed a scenic walk around the property, which started off following a track through rainforest and beside a creek, then followed a grassy track across the farm to the large lake on the property.
We walked around the gorgeous lake with its lily pads, looking out for birdlife and the resident saltwater crocodile that apparently lives there.
On the way back those riders who wanted to were able to trot back to the stable.
This tour is great for families, beginners and tourists looking for something different to do.
Experienced riders may find the tour a little limiting, but check when you book as sometimes the staff can take more experienced riders individually for a canter.
If you’ve never ridden a quad bike before but always fancied giving it a go then this is a good introduction.
And even if you’re a little bit nervous you don’t need to worry, because Blazing Saddles make it super easy.
Since I don’t know how to ride a motorbike I was concerned about changing gears at the same time as negotiating muddy bumps but as it turned out I needn’t have worried because the quad bikes are set up so you don’t need to change gears yourself.
Literally all you need to do is know how to steer a bike.
Children aged 12+ can ride their own smaller quad bike.
After getting geared up in helmets and gumboots we were given a quick briefing session about how to ride the bike before following our guide around a grassy paddock a few times to make sure we could handle the bike.
Once we got comfy and knew what we were doing it was time to start tackling the deep rutted tracks through the canefields and the muddy lagoons.
There was no stopping for an hour or so and I’m pretty sure we overtook the horse riders about 10 times! By the end I was covered in red dust and my thumb ached from holding the throttle so hard but jeez…it was fun!
travel nq fast facts:
- Blazing Saddles are located in Yorkey’s Knob approx. 20 minutes from the centre of Cairns
- For more information go to www.blazingsaddles.com.au.