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HORSE RIDING ON THE BEACH

Our guided beach trail rides are conducted on beautiful South Ballina Beach just 800 meters from the ranch. South Ballina Beach is a rare find on our fast developing coastline. During off-peak season the beach is virtually empty, no-one to be seen for miles, it’s very private. During peak season (long-weekends & school holidays) you will share the beach with just a small number of holidaying fisherman searching for that special spot on the beach likely to return a fish or two, but still quite private.

PLEASE NOTE: South Ballina Beach is not patrolled by lifesavers.

Threatened Pied Oystercatcher nests on South Ballina Beach from August to January

Pied Oystercatchers are listed as a "vulnerable species" in New South Wales. The South Ballina to Bundjalung National Park area supports between 30-70 birds with numbers fluctuating annually. This is up to a quarter of the total state population of 250 birds. There are 25-30 breeding pairs of Pier Oystercatchers in this area, however, breeding success is low. The 17 breeding pairs on South Ballina beach are very significant for the preservation of the species.

The Pied Oystercatcher breeds in pairs from August to January each year (earlier in the north of Australia). A breeding territory of some 200metres is formed and is defended by both birds. Nesting takes place on sand, shell grit or shingle just above high water mark on beaches, sandbars, margins of estuaries and lagoons. The two or three eggs are well-camouflaged, being pale brown with darker brown and black blotches and streaks. Both sexes share parenting duties.

How can you help protect this endangered species?

We have been working closely with the National Parks & Wildlife Service and the Department of Lands to develop a Management Strategy to improve the successful fledging of the birds and preserve the pristine condition of the beach. The draft Management Strategy recommends Horse riding and Four Wheel Driving be restricted to the inter-tidal zone below the high water mark. This means a little planning is required before you venture onto the beach each day. During your stay we will provide you with a tide chart to assist you in planning the best time to horse ride and drive on the beach. Please ensure pets do not roam on the beach, particularly at night. Domestic animals should be kept on leads at all times.

How does this affect your beach ride?

To ensure our presence on the beach does not damage any nests, when you book we check the tides and choose a mutually suitable time, in this way we ride on the inter-tidal zone of the beach and not on the dunes or near the foot of the dune where the birds nest. As a general rule we are not allowed to ride within 10 meters of the base of the sand dunes during nesting season.

 

Tassiriki Ranch beach rides rated Eco-friendly.

We are proud to announce our success at the 2008 Business Excellence Awards sponsored by the Ballina Chamber Of Commerce & Industry. Tassiriki Ranch won the "Best Green Business Award" for the second year in a row.

We were awarded this title for our initiatives to minimise the impact of our beach rides on the threatened Pied Oystercatcher birds nesting on the beach. These initiatives include restrictions to the size, scheduling, and speed of the rides.

Our group beach rides are restricted to a maximum of six riders and two Trail Guides. Beach rides are scheduled to coincide with low tide events so the horses ride on the inter-tidal zone away from the nesting areas at the base of the sand dunes. We avoid disturbing the birds feeding along the water's edge and the ride proceeds at the walk when the birds are nearby. Together these initiatives have a combined effect of minimising our impact on the environment where we operate.

We congratulate the Ballina Chamber Of Commerce & Industry on another successful awards night and wish to thank the Northern Star (the event's major sponsor) and GHD (the sponsor of the Best Green Business category) for their sponsorship. We look forward to the ongoing challenge of balancing the needs of our business with those of the environment in which we operate.

 

 

Tassiriki Ranch
249 Moylans Lane, Empire Vale via Ballina NSW 2478 Australia
P: 02 6683-4602 E:
sales@beachhorseriding.com.au