8 of the best places to go horse riding in Sydney

There’s nothing quite like exploring Sydney and its surrounds on the back of a horse. And, remarkably, you don’t have to go far to enjoy the experience. Whether on a trail ride or in a class, here’s where to saddle up.

Destination NSW

Destination NSW

Mar 2024 -
min read

Centennial Parklands Equestrian Centre 

Sydney’s Centennial Parklands is immense, covering three interjoining parks: Moore Park, Centennial Park and Queens Park. That’s a lot of green space, and just a stone’s throw from the city. The parklands are home to an Equestrian Centre accommodating almost 200 horses, three arenas, a lunge yard and a number of riding clubs and schools. It’s one of the few parks in the world to offer inner-city horse riding. You can join the riding club at Eastside Riding Academy, improve your dressage technique at Papillon Riding Stables or ride the 3.8km riding trail with Showgrounds Riding School. 

Woman enjoying a horse riding experience with Eastside Riding Academy in Centennial Park, Sydney

Eastside Riding Academy, Centennial Park

Sydney Horse Riding Centre 

Travel just 45 minutes from the city centre and you’ll find yourself on an enormous 360-hectare farm in Denham Court, near Campbelltown. There are experiences available for all levels, from private and group riding lessons to beginner and advanced trail rides – there are even pony rides for little ones. If you’re looking for a fun way to entertain the kids during school holidays, book in for a full-day ‘camp’ designed to get children comfortable around horses, with activities ranging from grooming and feeding to handling, saddling and riding. 

Group horse riding tour at Sydney Horse Riding Centre, Campbelltown

Sydney Horse Riding Centre, Campbelltown - Credit: Sydney Horse Riding Centre

Hawkesbury Valley Equestrian Centre 

In the Hawkesbury – less than an hour’s drive from the city centre and home to historic towns such as Richmond and neighbouring Windsor – you’ll find this awesome equestrian centre. Sign up for group or private lessons, or head out on a bush trail ride – experienced riders can also meander through  Scheyville National Park and along rivers that wend through the property. Uniquely, the estate offers a ‘healing with horses’ program that combines innovative social participation experiences with horse riding and general horse care, which helps build confidence and self-esteem in participants whilst encouraging a healthy lifestyle. The centre regularly works with film and TV productions, so you can even ride the horses that featured in the movie The Great Gatsby, a large portion of which was filmed in Sydney and NSW. 

Golden Ridge Animal Farm 

In Sydney’s hills district, Golden Ridge is your chance to meet all manner of farm animals in a safe environment – for you and the animals. Guided tours of the property let you cuddle baby chickens, ducks and rabbits, and then try your hand at milking one of the resident cows. You can also go free reign in the paddock and run with the goats, or explore the grounds on the back of one of the beautiful (and much loved) horses or ponies. Bookings are required to visit the farm, so plan ahead.

Girl riding pony at Golden Ridge Animal Farm, Dural

Golden Ridge Animal Farm, Dural - Credit: Golden Ridge Animal Farm

Glenworth Valley Horse Riding 

Around an hour north of Sydney, this sprawling estate is home to 200 much-loved horses. Knowledgeable staff will help choose a horse for your experience and ability, catering to beginners and experienced riders alike. Individual instruction is given to all riders prior to departure and roving supervisors are on hand to assist riders if required. Visitors to Glenworth Valley have the option of free-range riding without a guide (experienced riders only) or guided riding (suitable for all abilities) – there are also ponies for little ones. And you can also sign up for lessons to improve your skills. If you want a truly memorable experience, book the guided horse ride that includes a gourmet picnic and ends back at the homestead with a cheese and wine tasting. If you can’t bear to leave, there’s on-site accommodation, including camping, glamping and eco-villas.  

Woman enjoying a horse riding experience with Glenworth Valley Horse Riding, Glenworth Valley

Glenworth Valley Horse Riding, Glenworth Valley

Terrey Hills Riding School

‘For the love of horses’ is the motto at Terry Hills Riding School, and you’ll understand why when you meet the estate’s glossy troupe of animals. Duffy’s Forest in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is your backdrop, and is a tranquil place to take a ride, have a lesson or partake in a horsemanship session – the latter involves spending time understanding horse behaviours, and learning how to interact and handle horses in a safe manner. The instructors here specialise classes for kids and beginners, whether on weekends or during special holiday programs. 

Scenic views across Cockle Creek and the Mangrove Boardwalk along the Gibberagong walking track - Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

Mangrove Boardwalk, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

Chapman Valley Horse Riding 

Nestled within the Wollemi National Park within the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park, Chapman Valley encompasses more than 100 kilometres of beautiful trails to provide you with the ultimate scenic horse riding experience. If you want a deep immersion into the world of riding, opt for the full-day experience – if you’re short on time, they also offer one-hour rides across spectacular mountain tops, through dense bush and around exhilarating open paddocks.  

Couple riding with Chapman Valley Horse Riding, Howes Valley

Chapman Valley Horse Riding, Howes Valley - Credit: Chapman Valley Horse Riding

Otford Farm Horse Riding 

A small town in the Illawarra coastal region just south of Sydney’s Royal National Park, Otford comes with plenty of space to spare. In short, it’s an ideal environment for horses, and horse riding, as you’ll discover at Otford Farm – some 120 hectares of rainforest with plenty of rivers, creeks and trails to explore, and plenty of native wildlife to meet along the way. There are more than 30 beautiful horses and ponies to choose from, catering to different levels of confidence and experience. Join a lesson to improve your skills, head out on a trail to a waterfall or sign up the kids for a five-day holiday camp to take a deep dive into Otford’s equestrian world.    


What is the best place to go horse riding in Sydney if you are more experienced?

What is the best place to go horse riding in Sydney if you are more experienced?

There are a number of places that cater to experienced riders, including Glenworth Valley and the Hawkesbury, both of which have trails that experienced riders can explore on their own.  

Where is the closest horse riding to the Sydney CBD?

Where is the closest horse riding to the Sydney CBD?

Centennial Parklands is only a couple of kilometres from the CBD, and offers a number of horse-riding schools where you can partake in lessons or rides through leafy parks.  

Where can you learn to ride a horse in Sydney?

Where can you learn to ride a horse in Sydney?

All equestrian facilities in and around Sydney offer horse-riding lessons in addition to trail rides.

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