The Government recently purchased St James Station in the back of Hanmer and reverted it to a conservation area. Being 78,000 ha it has some great day and multi day rides in it and below are two of them.

St James

The best one I have done so far is the Lake Guyon loop starting from Lake Tennyson over Maling Pass and down into the Waiau River valley to Lake Guyon.

Lake Guyon

Lake Guyon (above) has a small but comfortable DOC hut (below) on its shore.

Lake Guyon DOC Hut

The track then heads around the lake past the historic Stanleyvale Hut then turns to up to Fowlers Pass. Much of this section to the summit is un-rideable, after which is a great single track ride down to Tophouse Road then an 8km ride back to Lake Tennyson.

The second ride is over Edwards Pass and following the Edwards River until it meets the Waiau River.

Below is an old musterers hut called Scotties Camp which is still usable today.

Scotties Camp musterers hut

The track up the Waiau River can suffer from washouts as shown below, this one was about 10m deep.

Washout

I headed up river hoping to cross at an old swing bridge as the river was high and unsafe to cross.

Poolies Bridge (Waiau River)

But on arrival I found the swing bridge closed and a bit unreliable.

Poolies Bridge (Waiau River)

So I had to back track to the car and head up to Lake Tennyson to do the Lake Guyon loop.

View of the Waiau River valley from Charlies Saddle

Above is the view of the Waiau River valley from Charlies Saddle.

Article and photos by Wally Guise