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DOC Parks

DOC manages a number of large conservation areas, and parks in the Canterbury Region.  The DOC website rarely provides good information for riders, so we look for additional information to add to what's on their site.  But do check the official website for up to date information.

Hamner Springs Horse Riders Inc

Great local website, from local riders who are active advocates for horse riding Click here to visit

St James Conservation Area

Formerly St James Station, this 78000ha station is now open for public recreation.  Tramping, horse riding and cycling are all permitted. 

Getting There

St James Conservation AreaFrom Hamner Springs Town, take the Jacks Pass Road up hill, over Jacks Pass and down to the "T" intersection adjacent to the Clarence River, turn left, follow this road a further 4 odd Kilometres to the St James Homestead site..

drinkable water , safe parking area, picnic area, tie-rails (hitching rails), shade, marked trails, map(s)

May need 4WD to tow horse float / park if grass is slippery.

More great information on horse riding at St James available here >>

This is a DOC conservation area and more information can be obtained here.

Download a pdf brochure here 

Te Kahui Kaupeka Conservation Park

McCauley Valley

This track is at the northern end of Lake Tekapo. At Tekapo, turn off SH8 onto Lilybank Road (a gravel road) and travel to the end.

To reach the start of the track you need to cross Macaulay River first. This can be a difficult crossing in periods of high rainfall or snowmelt. Another option is to leave your vehicle at the end of Lilybank Road in the designated parking area and cross the river on foot.  Keep to the 4WD track initially as this is a public access easement through private farmland. Further up valley when you're in Te Kahui Kaupeka Conservation Park, you are free to roam in the riverbed area.

McCauley Hut is available on a first come, first served basis.  approx 5hrs one way

This hut is owned and managed by Mackenzie Alpine Trust - Lake Tekapo.

A recommended donation of $10 can be left in the iron post outside the hut.

Some videos rider Tony Stead posted on Facebook