The first of the Great Rides to open was the St James Cycle Trail, in November 2010. It passes through the iconic St James Station, near the alpine spa village of Hanmer Springs.
Established in 1862, the St James Station was one of the largest cattle and sheep farms in New Zealand, before being purchased by the New Zealand Government in 2008 to form the St James Conservation Area.
The 64km trail offers a mix of riding grades through stunning and diverse scenery including soaring mountain peaks, crystal clear rivers, high-country lakes, alpine meadows, sub-alpine beech forest and expansive grassy river flats.
In spring the alpine meadows are in full bloom, while from summer through to mid-autumn riders can experience rich contrasting colours on long evenings, with the chance to see the famous St James wild horses.
The St James Cycle Trail is an enthralling and challenging journey through some of New Zealand’s most spectacular and historic high-country – a true mountain biking experience to be proud of, and one you will never forget!
In early 2013, a new family friendly ride called the Homestead Loop was opened. This 15km loop starts from the end of the St James Cycle Trail at St James Station Homestead.
360 degree panorama views
View a series of 360 degree panorama images as you move around the St James Cycle Trail - from the Maling Pass Entrance through to the St James Homestead.