Janey alerted me to the new St James Cycleway and Katie and I investigated this… After reading the description we decided that perhaps with the biking equipment that I currently have it might be a bit too hard out. Instead we opted for an easier mission on the South side of the Hope River. There’s a four wheel drive track that leads in along the Hope River from the road to Hope Kiwi Lodge. On the map it looks great but there’s just one hitch, after arriving in the Lewis Pass reasonably late in the day and tracking down the land owners we got a blunt “no, you can’t do that”.
Day 1 – Windy Point to Hope Halfway Hut
Rather than abandoning the trip altogether we decided to cycle in on the tramping track from Windy Point. The first 40 minutes or so along the track was fairly rideable but after that it deteriorated into full on tramping track. We persevered for some time before finally giving up. I was somewhat stubborn and opted to take my heavy steel stead the whole way. The others stashed their bikes in the trees.
Above left: Abbie prepares Ed’s bike. Above right: Ed looks on.
Above left: Katie and Abbie transport Katie’s bike to the other side of the fence. Shortly afterwards we realised that the gate was not locked. Above right: Abbie pushing her bike across the swing bridge.
Above left: Ed pushes his bike out of a stream. It wasn’t long after this that we decided cycling was probably less efficient than walking. Above right: Stashing the bikes. We repacked our gear into back packs and my panniers and stashed the other three bikes.
Above left: Shortly after arriving at Hope Halfway Hut. Above right: The hut wasn’t too bad. I had been expecting a run-down shack as our topomap had called the hut a shelter. Ed and Abbie read on a bunk by candle light.
Above: A slightly photoshopped view from the hut in the evening.
Day 2 – Hope Halfway Hut to Hope Kiwi Lodge
We set off towards Hope Kiwi Lodge. At times having a bike was an advantage and at times it definitely wasn’t. After crossing a river we made a deviation to St Jacobs hut before heading down in the direction of Lake Sumner to the Hope Kiwi Lodge. Once at the lodge we blobbed for a bit before the ladies went for a stroll and Ed and I decided to go and run to Lake Sumner. Ed rode the bike some of the way until we got to the edge of the bushline then we both ran at a good pace down to the lake. There was enough time for a swim before having to scurry back before it got dark. It took around 2 hours and was most excellent.
Above left: The cows had churned up sections along the way which lead to bike-in-mud sinkage. Above right: We went for a little tikki-tour to St Jacob’s hut before heading down to the Hope Kiwi Lodge.
Above left: Katie enters the Hope Kiwi Lodge. Above right: View South towards Lake Sumner from the Hope Kiwi Lodge.
Above left: Ed and I went running to Lake Sumner in the evening.
Above left: View across Lake Sumner. Above right: Ed back at the Hope Kiwi Lodge.
Above left: Evening in the Hope Kiwi Lodge. Above right: Sunset looking towards Lake Sumner.
Above: Some good old swamp bubbling.
Above: Ed and I arrive at Lake Sumner.
Day 3 – Hope Kiwi Lodge to Windy Point
We wandered (I rode) out to where the others had dumped their bike and then we all rode out the rest of the way to the road. Katie and I tried to convince Ed and Abbie to go missioning to the West Coast but they weren’t having a bar of it so we hooned off there ourselves, making our way later to Arthurs Pass, and staying the night at Kennedy Lodge.
Above left: Ed and Abbie pass a bike over a tricky bit of track. Above right: Ed demonstrates the riding technique used on the majority of the track.
Above left: Ed and Abbie on a particularly rideable bit near the end (and start) of the ride. Above right: After finishing the trip Katie and I drove to Arthurs Pass via the West Cost. We had fush and chups (fish and chips) on the beach South of Greymouth.