Driftwood Eco-Tours | Exclusive Adventures & Guided Tours of Real NZ | St James Horse Sale Tour


2023 Tour, St James Station, North Canterbury

Unite with horse lovers from around New Zealand at the iconic wild horse sale at St James Station, North Canterbury. This event only occurs once every two years.


Join a 4x4 expedition through the vast, remote valleys of the Rainbow and Molesworth Stations. Meet the owners of two magnificent high country sheep and cattle stations deep in Marlborough's Awatere Valley.

As well as experiencing the back country, there is also some time on this tour to indulge in some R&R. Staying in the quaint Alpine village; Hanmer Springs for 2 of the 3 nights you will have the chance to enjoy the famous thermal hot pools and lovely boutique shops the town has to offer.

On the day of the horse sale relax at the casual pre sale picnic by the river before hearing the story of the origins of these powerful, good natured horses and how the biennial sale came about.


On tour you will have the opportunity to meet people who have purchased the horses and have had outstanding success with this beautiful and vigorous breed, including Nicky Stevenson owner of the legendary Upcot Station with her husband Bill.


Nicky will introduce you to the horses she breeds for mustering this magnificent back country property.


Bring your swag and nestle down in the newly built farm quarters belonging to Hayley and Jeremy Pitts at the Pitts' families' 8,500 hectare property for the last night of the tour.


Hayley will treat you to good old country hospitality and you will not be short of hearing a story or two about what life is like on a remote high country merino station. 

Departure dates:

From Blenheim 8.00 am

2023 date to be confirmed, 

expressions of interest

are welcome.

Returns to Blenheim

between 1.00 and


Driftwood Eco Tours - Fitness level required 2+/5


Per person on application

Please see inclusions below


3 nights, 4 days


by SUV Toyota 4x4.

Group size:

Minimum 6 maximum 8


2 nights in a comfortable studio unit in Hanmer Springs

1 night at an Awatere Valley high country station, in the newly built farm quarters (Twin share, last night only)

Driftwood Eco-Tours | Exclusive Adventures & Guided Tours of Real NZ | St James Horse Sale Tour


  • Two nights in a comfortable studio unit at Drifter's Inn Motel, Hanmer Springs, North Canterbury, close to the thermal hot pools and cafes.

  • All meals, picnic lunches, full breakfast day 2 and continental breakfasts day 3 and 4. Two course dinner from the a la carte menu at a local tavern and from the set menu at a Restaurant in Hanmer Springs. Farmhouse light lunch and dinner supplied by our hosts at the Awatere Valley. Alcoholic beverages are at your own expense.

  • Enjoy the view and let your guides negotiate the rural roads in air conditioned 4x4 Toyota Fortuner and Land Cruiser.​

  • Meet Nicky Stevenson of Upcot Station at the Awatere Valley. Nicky will show you her beautiful stock horses and share her love of the land.

  • Meet Hayley Pitts and her family at Mt Gladstone Station further down the Awatere Valley, here you will stay the night in her new farm quarters.

  • Commentary from your guide Will Parsons at breaks along the way, Will is a local ex farmer and is knowledgeable about the history of this area.

"Great kiwi hospitality, excellent local knowledge, & willingness to go the extra mile to make unique tours lots of fun!"
Meeting the locals
Meeting the locals

St James Horse Sale

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From garden to plate
From garden to plate

St James Horse Sale

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Exploring the Rainbow Station
Exploring the Rainbow Station

St James Horse Sale

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Meeting the locals
Meeting the locals

St James Horse Sale

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Ring 0800 708 844

Suzy Philips