A few photographs from two great days cycling the St James Cycle Trail return from Hanmer Springs in late November 2015.
Four of us headed over Jacks Pass from Hanmer, then fought a strong headwind up the Clarence Valley to the Maling Pass/Lake Tennyson turnoff. After dropping into the Waiau we rode downstream, then detoured to the luxurious Anne Hut for the night. A great spot to stay after a few hours of riding in drizzle. This comfortable hut had proved a sanctuary during my Te Araroa walk earlier in 2015 when we arrived there after 8 days rain; cold, wet and low on food. It was nice to return in warmer circumstances with plenty of food!
From Anne Hut we back tracked to the Waiau and followed the regular route out to Charlies Saddle and Peter’s Pass, finishing back in the Clarence and over Jacks Pass again to Hanmer.
The St James is a highly recommended ride: the terrain’s mixed enough to keep it interesting, and there’s a few variations possible as well as smaller loops for shorter rides. We rode hardtails (two of the four had suspension forks) and these are probably ideal, although ripping through the loop in a day on a full suspension bike would be fun too!
Read more about the St James Cycle Trail (Department of Conservation). Scroll to the end of the post for a map.