St James Cycle Trail

There’s a lot of chatter on a Facebook group, Bikepacking New Zealand, where people keep asking if it is possible to do the St James in a day, and I keep replying “Why would you do that?” This is stunning NZ high country, remote and unspoiled (except for the power pylons and the odd 4wd track) and it truly should be savoured, not rushed. Do it slowly, take your time, check out the hot pools up the Cow Stream and then you won’t have to bother with the pools at Hanmer Springs, a tourist-oriented town, excused only by its surrounding beauty.  

 

We only had a day, and we have e-bikes so we are constrained by having to recharge now and then, but I reckon we would be able to knock the whole thing off on a single charge. We did 40K which included a couple of good climbs and had about 30-40% battery left, so if the whole thing is 65k with a lot more climbing than we did I reckon it could be done, perhaps by someone fitter and younger than myself and Jill. We’ll do the other half one of these years.

 

The photos speak for themselves, not than I’m any more than an adequate photographer, but it’s just a stunning part of the world, therefore photogenic as hell.

 

Total distance: 42.06 km
Max elevation: 947 m
Min elevation: 620 m
Total climbing: 1177 m
Total descent: -1171 m
Average speed: 16.37 km/h
Total Time: 05:58:29

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