Via Jacks Pass and the Clarence River
It takes 30 mins to drive slowly with a horse float up the unsealed Clarence Valley Road which turns off Jacks Pass Road in Hanmer Springs Village to get to the St James Homestead on Tophouse Road (sometimes called the Hydro Road).
The current St James Homestead is a collection of historic buildings (stables, woolshed and cookshop which are gradually being restored. There is a locked DOC staff hut which can be used by arrangement (18 beds). Contact DOC Area Office in Rangiora for this. There is a public shelter (concrete block 2 room hut) which has no bunks or furniture, so you need to take your own camping gear.
There are numerous small holding paddocks for horses as well as the cattle yards at which the triennial St James Horse Sale are held.
If you want to take a vehicle up the Edwards Valley to the Cow Stream Hot Pools or Scotties Camp, or take a vehicle over Maling Pass to the Waiau river, you will need to go onto the Department of Conservation website to get the current gate padlock combination.
It takes 2.5 to 3 hours to ride up to the homestead from Hanmer Springs Village via the Jacks Pass Pack Track. (see route notes in Riding the Hanmer Basin)
Enter from the ‘St James Homestead’ (which is actually the site of the homestead burnt down in 1947) for Peters valley access to the Edwards Valley.
Edwards Valley vehicle access road (through locked gate) is 5 mins drive or 15 mins ride further up the Clarence Valley from the Homestead.
Fowlers Pass track leaves from behind Fowlers Hut just over half way to Lake Tennyson, 20 mins drive or 2.5 hrs ride from the Homestead.
Maling Pass vehicle track (through locked gate) starts 50 mins drive or 4.5 hours ride further up the Clarence Valley from the Homestead.
Via the Boyle River at Boyle Village on the Lewis Pass Highway.
Park at the Boyle Village. Boyle Outdoor Education centre offers safe parking for a small fee, and has back-packer style accomodation. There is also a basic DOC campsite there. There are plenty of places to erect an electric fence to overnight your horse should you wish to stay there.
Follow the St James Walkway for a start until the horse route detours off (see route information)