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.

Heading up the Clarence Valley from the base of Jacks Pass.

Heading up the Clarence Valley from the base of Jacks Pass.

Sheltering from the wind for a lunch break at St James Homestead.

Sheltering from the wind for a lunch break at St James Homestead.

Heading west past Lake Tennyson and towards Maling Pass.

Heading west past Lake Tennyson and towards Maling Pass.

Tam dropping into the Waiau Valley from Maling Pass.

Tam dropping into the Waiau Valley from Maling Pass.

Hana descending Maling Pass.

Hana descending Maling Pass.

The Waiau Valley. The Te Araroa route comes down the true right.

The Waiau Valley. The Te Araroa route comes down the true right.

Biking the Waiau towards the Ada River confluence.

Biking the Waiau towards the Ada River confluence.

Crossing the Waiau en route to Anne Hut.

Crossing the Waiau en route to Anne Hut.

View down the Henry Valley from Anne Hut towards Waiau Valley.

View down the Henry Valley from Anne Hut towards Waiau Valley.

Breakfast time at Anne Hut.

Breakfast time at Anne Hut.

Waiting for the cuppa to cool.

Waiting for the cuppa to cool.

Henry River valley near Anne Hut.

Henry River valley near Anne Hut.

Looking west from Anne Hut.

Looking west from Anne Hut.

Anne Hut, built to replace an earlier version destroyed by fire a couple of years ago.

Anne Hut, built to replace an earlier version destroyed by fire a couple of years ago.

Prepping at Anne Hut.

Prepping at Anne Hut.

Departing Anne Hut on a moody morning.

Departing Anne Hut on a moody morning.

Hana crossing the Henry River (two crossings required to reach the hut from our route down the Waiau, although a swing bridge can be used on one).

Hana crossing the Henry River (two crossings required to reach the hut from our route down the Waiau, although a swing bridge can be used on one).

Heading back down the Henry River towards the Waiau.

Heading back down the Henry River towards the Waiau.

Heading back down the Henry River towards the Waiau.

Heading back down the Henry River towards the Waiau.

Final crossing of the Henry River, just before rounding the corner into the Waiau.

Final crossing of the Henry River, just before rounding the corner into the Waiau.

Waiau Valley, en-route to Pool Hut.

Waiau Valley, en-route to Pool Hut.

We saw several wild horses.

We saw several wild horses.

Looking back towards the Henry, Ada and Waiau River confluences from Saddle Spur.

Looking back towards the Henry, Ada and Waiau River confluences from Saddle Spur.

Saddle Spur.

Saddle Spur.

Pool Hut. This one's in a near-delapidated state. Hope DOC/enthusiasts fix it up a bit or it will be lost in a few years.

Pool Hut. This one’s in a near-delapidated state. Hope DOC/enthusiasts fix it up a bit or it will be lost in a few years.

The super steep climb onto river terraces heading to Charlies Saddle.

The super steep climb onto river terraces heading to Charlies Saddle.

Bit of a spill.

Bit of a spill.

Chilling at Scotties Hut. This one has been very well looked after by a local 4WD club.

Tam chilling at Scotties Hut. This hut has been very well looked after by a local 4WD club.

Chris at Scotties Hut.

Chris at Scotties Hut.

Final steep climb of the trip onto Peter's Pass, before the fast and fun ride down to St James Homestead.

Final steep climb of the trip onto Peter’s Pass, before the fast and fun ride down to St James Homestead.

4 Comments

Leave a Reply

0221639009