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St James Walkway, West Coast

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St James WalkwayExperienced

Submitted by George Mitchell

Info Info
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Trail Information





West Coast

Hanmer Springs

Back country - remote

Point to Point (one way)

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush
Open tussock/grasslands


Not Suitable (Slow)
11:00 (Moderate)
8:00 (Fast)



Subject to avalanche risk and heavy snow

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10 km from Lewis Pass to Ada Pass Hut via Cannibal Gorge Hut. The track enters the bush, crosses Cannibal Gorge and goes to the Cannibal Gorge Hut. Past the hut the track follows an easy grade to Ada Pass Hut. Nice location between the mountains.

10.5 km from Ada Pass Hut to Christopher Hut. Travel over Ada Pass into the Ada valley. Beech opens up into clear valley alongside small lakes with great mountain views. Pass the Christopher cullers hut and continue to Christopher Hut. Great location in a big valley, wild horses were not far from the hut.

13 km from Christopher Hut to Anne Hut. Some nice country to run (when not boggy) to where the open flats converge with the river and toe of the hill. You can see the Ada homestead in the distance (private). Some sections of vehicle track in this section. Pass the Henry / Waiau valley confluence and continue to a suspension bridge over the Henry River. Follow the track to the Anne Hut.

17 km from Anne Hut to Boyle Flat Hut. A tough section for tired legs over Anne Saddle and into the Boyle Valley. Continue past the basic Rokeby Hut. Continue to the suspension bridge over the Boyle River, 100 metres from the Boyle Flat Hut.

14.5 km from Boyle Flat Hut to the Boyle settlement. Follow markers to the start of the track through the gorge. Cross the river a few times on bridges and continue to the Magdalen Hut. Follow down the valley on an undulating track to the Boyle Settlement which is 13 km down the state highway from the start.

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Features of interest

Starts in Lewis Pass, crosses through the St James Conservation area which was formerly St James Station. Finishes via the beautiful Magdalen Valley which is private farmland. A number of historic huts to be seen on the way.

Make Up of Run

Technical Single Track: 10%

Moderate Single Track: 70%

Easy Single Track: 20%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    St James Walkway Car park just before Lewis Pass as driving north

    Good carpark beside road to leave car.

    71 km

    54 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Generally easy to navigate, however watch for the next marker on the river valleys.


    Thermal leggings, Long-sleeved thermal top, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries, Gaiters.

    Huge rivers for water, seems okay to use, choose fast flowing areas for supply

    Can be subject to massive amounts of snow in winter and high alpine area any time of year. Pick a good day in settled weather, very remote spot.

    Would recommend to do in mid-summer to get full advantage of daylight. Wouldn't be easy in the dark.
    Subject to avalanche risk and heavy snow

  • Post run indulgence

    Hanmer Springs Pools / Town
    Hanmer Springs
    Great shops and hot pools to relax

  • Blog Posts and Articles
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