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TREK WITH US – AN INVITATION

Peter Cochran

The Trail Boss

Peter is a fifth-generation mountain farmer whose influence, drive and dedication took him far beyond the family farm gate. He is a Vietnam War Veteran and former Member for NSW State parliament for the electorate of Monaro. He is passionate and knowledgeable about the mountains and their history. He is an exceptional horseman who generously shares his experience with guests. Officially “retired” he can still shoe a few horses before breakfast and ride longer and harder than men half his age. His only concession to age is that he doesn’t “bounce” as well as he used to after the occasional buster.

Ali Heenan

Ali is an officer in the Australian Army and a self-declared lover of all things with four legs. From a teenage riding school groupie to the Australian Army Ali brings a level of enthusiasm and military precision to everything she does. She has years of horseback experience and now runs the operational side of the business. Like all our staff she can ride, cook, put up a tent and find her way in the mountains, all in a day’s work. A veteran of Afghanistan, Timor Leste and Solomon Islands, Ali can handle any situation with calm competence and often a ringing laugh. She has found her home in the mountains and is here to stay, finding her own piece of paradise in Shannon’s Flat.

The Ride Coordinator

We have many other guides, all have undertaken our rigorous training, developed over 20 years. We have an enviable safety record because every time something goes even slightly awry, we develop policy to ensure it never happens. Everything we do is guided by our experience of trekking in the mountains, horsemanship and making sure we have legendary horses.

Our History – The Real Deal

You’re Invited to Join the Family…

You will be riding with people who have the mountains in their blood. Cochran Horse Treks is a family business licenced to ride in Kosciusko National Park. The Cochran family invite you to join them on their traditional summer trek into the high country where good humour, tall tales and spirited horses are part of the heritage of the people who live in the 1% of Australia that is alpine wilderness.

The poetry by Banjo Patterson recalling “The Man from Snowy River” may well be a myth, but the spirit of the legend lives on in the Cochran family at Yaouk.

Our History – The Real Deal

You’re Invited to Join the Family…

You will be riding with people who have the mountains in their blood. Cochran Horse Treks is a family business licenced to ride in Kosciusko National Park. The Cochran family invite you to join them on their traditional summer trek into the high country where good humour, tall tales and spirited horses are part of the heritage of the people who live in the 1% of Australia that is alpine wilderness.

The poetry by Banjo Patterson recalling “The Man from Snowy River” may well be a myth, but the spirit of the legend lives on in the Cochran family at Yaouk.

It all begun, sometime around 1838 when the Cochran’s left Scotland of their own free will to settle in Australia. They travelled overland on horseback eventually choosing the Yaouk Valley as their home. It is the Parish of Cochran and largely still held by descendants of the Cochran Pioneers.

Yaouk is a gaelic word, pronounced like kayak. At last count, the population was 25. Located 20km north of the small town of Adaminaby on the Upper Murrumbidgee River, it is more picturesque than populous!

Nestled between towering mountains over 2000 metres, with the Australian Capital Territory’s Namadgi wilderness to the north and Kosciuszko National Park to the south to the Victorian border, the farm is located between two of Australia’s greatest alpine areas. These amazing Parks, both covering nearly 8000 km2 of pristine wilderness, offer outstanding diversity of landscapes, animals and plants and are a mecca for horse riders and bushwalkers.

From the time of settlement, the Cochran’s took their cattle into the high country for summer grazing. The family packed horses with provisions and camped in huts or in swags as they shepherded their livestock. Young and old enjoyed the exhilaration of chasing brumbies, the solitude of rippling streams and the scent of wildflowers in abundance on the high plains. Their love for the high country was spiritual and physical. Today, the family still ride the mountains, sharing the history and folk lore with guests from all around the world.

Peter, was virtually born in the saddle. In 1943 his mother, Beryl Cochran married and moved to the Upper Murray River near Corryong. With family on the other side of the mountain range, in 1947 Beryl took her 2-year-old son, Peter, on the pommel of her saddle and rode across the Snowy Mountains alone, camping in drover’s huts along the way. Her historic solo journey is celebrated in our Mountain Divide Trek, which traces her journey of 150km. It is our premier ride and takes in a vast array of diverse mountain landscapes and timed to coincide with the The Man from Snowy River Festival in beautiful Corryong, Victoria.

Each summer the Cochran family continued their pilgrimage into the high plains until grazing was banned and horses excluded from vast areas of the National parks. Since then, Peter Cochran and his family have continued the tradition by spending several weeks each summer riding in the remaining accessible areas, visiting secret spots passed on from generation to generation and valued as special places to be treated with love and care. Many who joined the Cochran’s on their annual ride suggested that the opportunity could be passed onto others so that they too can benefit from this unique experience.

This is your opportunity to ride with history and tradition in one of the greatest natural alpine areas in Australia…

From The Horses Mouth

  • Thanks so much Peter, Michelle, Marcus and Ibby for a really wonderful trekking experience in the Snowy Mountains.We were part of the first trekking group of the new season, mountains still capped with snow and many herds of brumbies out grazing on the plains. Peter and the team were excellent hosts and despite some pretty chilly conditions at times, -2 degrees one night, we had a fabulous time, great food and great company! Best wishes for the rest of the season.

    Peter & Clair, New Zealand

  • We loved every minute of our wonderful man from snowy river experience from the incredible go anywhere mountain horses, to Michelle’s delicious gourmet cooking, to the amazing mountain scenery and so many laughs and great times with all the fantastic staff who worked tirelessly and happily to ensure we had the best holiday ever!!! Thanks guys, we love you!!

    M’Bah Goon Gang

  • Had the best trip, great area knowledge by Trail Boss Pete Cochran. Fantastic horses, a horse for every riding level. My horse Butch was a legend! Total care by Ali, Cowboy & Pete. Volunteer Mel has loads of local brumby and area knowledge. Staff are hand picked by Pete for their expertise. They go the extra mile. Food was plentiful & delicious. Great ride mates, had a lovely time. Thank you for the laughter.

    Karen and Pete

  • Speciality trips with attention to detail whilst visiting the great snowy mountain area with very knowledgeable guides.
    Ricki
  • Perfect, it’s just bloody awesome. My happy place.
    Richard
  • What an unforgettable, unbeatable experience. From the moment Peter picked us up to the moment we said goodbye. An extremely professional team and superb catering through to luxury camping. Thank you for your hospitality, humour, history lessons and the opportunity to experience such a magic part of this country. Most of all your beautiful, dependable horses made this journey one I will remember for a lifetime. 5 stars +
    Taryn
  • I wish I was able to give more than 5 starts because I’ve just had 3 amazing days!! The horses are so nice and are picked wisely by Peter, the views were amazing and the stories even better. The food was exceptional and the staff is just perfect, they are so friendly and helpful. I wish I could do it again sometime, and I highly recommend it!  The whole trip was just: Divine 😉
    Eveline, Netherlands
  • Best experience ever! Loved every minute of every day. All horse lovers should experience this ride.
    Deborah
  • Outstanding operation. Fantastic all round experience.
    Naomi
  • I’ve ridden twice with Pete and the team and both experiences were incredible. One ride was across the mountains as part of the Man from Snowy River Festival which was one of the best weeks of my life, the second was a brumby ride – both were outstanding. The staff are fantastic, food is excellent and the horses are delightful – safe, quiet and fun to ride. Can’t recommend them highly enough!
    Paula
  • I have ridden with Cochran Horse Treks on many occasions and have always had an amazing experience! I highly recommend this friendly and professional company.
    Michelle
  • Wilderness, horses, good food and good people. I had a great time, Peter and his guides know the country and their craft.
    Shane
  • Been three times, loved every day. Amazing horses and people.
    Lilian
  • You couldn’t find a better mob to ride with. Get this on your bucket list people, it’s an amazing place to ride.
    Joanne
  • This is a memory forever experience. Breathtaking scenery and new friends made. Horses are all made of sturdy stock and love what they do. Peter personally matches your horse with your riding ability. Staff feel more like friends and support you every step of the way. This is not glamping, but a real bush camping trip where you all pitch in. Food was exceptional, camp fires and an evening drink to reflect on the ride was a perfect way to end each day. Thank you, hope to do it again one day x
    Carol
  • The most incredible weekend of my life, from Peter picking the perfect horse for every rider, to the breath taking views, the staff, the food and the laughs. I will cherish the memories forever (until next year anyway). Thank you again for making our weekend so enjoyable. I’ll be telling everyone it’s a must do. See you next year!
    Kate
  • This is a must do experience for anyone who is a little horse mad!! Even if you haven’t ridden in years (35 yrs for me) the Cochran horse trek team take extremely good care of each and everyone of their guests…I cannot thank them enough!!!!! You guys rock. I will certainly be back again next year for more horsey shenanigans!!!
    Karen
  • On behalf of everyone at Mates4Mates, thank you for providing a very enjoyable, beneficial and healing experience for our Mates. I accompanied a group of veterans as they completed a Snowy Mountains Rehabilitation Adventure Challenge with Cochran Horse Treks which aimed to help improve their mental and physical wellbeing. From the moment we met Peter at the airport, to when we were dropped off, I knew we were in good hands. The staff are fantastic and they have managed to acquire a nice balance of skills and maturity, providing a beneficial program for everyone involved.  I honestly can’t fault the program. We are greatly looking forward to working with Cochran Horse Treks again in the future and help more veterans in need.
    Clinical Psychologist – Mates4Mates