First Great Cycle Trail Opens


The first of the country’s ‘Great Rides’ to be fully completed, South Island’s St James Cycle Trail , will be opened by the minister of conservation, Kate Wilkinson, at 10am tomorrow.

The trail passes through the iconic backcountry of St James Conservation Area, near the tourist town of Hanmer Springs. The 64 km cycle trail starts and finishes at the Maling Pass and St James Homestead entrances which are 25 km apart along Tophouse Road.

It is home to matagouri scrublands and at least 5 different species of iconic tussock grass.

There is a mix of trail standards, down spectacular river valleys, past high-country lakes and through beech forest and grassland valleys. But of the 18 nationally promoted cycle trails, it requires the greatest level of experience to complete. Experienced mountain bikers are expected to complete the full trail in roughly 10 hours. There are four huts along the way, providing a chance to make a weekend of it.

Image |DOC

The St James Cycle Trail is the third trail to have sections of track available for use – but it is the first to be completed from start to finish.

Minister of Conservation Kate Wilkinson says DOC has worked incredibly hard with Nga Haeranga to complete this project.  “This is a real tourism asset and I have no doubt it will draw thousands of cyclists a year.”

Green Party cycling spokesperson, Kevin Hague, who is working with the government on the trails  said: “I look forward to taking my mountain bike out on this fantastic trail.”




  1. [...] in Cycling Featured General by Jon C — November 19, 2010 at 2:39 am | 0 comments [...]


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