Maling Pass Track

Maling Pass is a great track for a day ride, camping destination, or an interesting addition to your route if you’re up that way doing the likes of the Molesworth/Rainbow Road. Helen Clark and Conservation Minister Steve Chadwick allocated $40 million for the purchase of St James Station (North Canterbury) in 2008 to guarantee public access to this magnificent property plus protect it from intensive farming and development. Maling Pass was an area previously unavailable to the public, however with a quick online registration for the access code you can now enjoy fantastic scenery and a great 11 km ride (22km return trip). Getting this access code also gives you access to the Edwards Pass ride (start point located 22km south of Maling Pass start point on Tophouse Road) which is a 17km ride (34km return trip), together they make a great ride.

At the time of writing (2010) access is only allowed to the end of Maling Pass Track, DOC were very specific about telling me this.  Effectively this means no venturing down to the river bed or riding on any other part of the property, however its not a biggie as the track ends at a place with access to fishing, hunting, and plenty of great areas for camping.

The track is a gravel/clay 4X4 track with half a dozen small stream crossings as you climb Maling Pass to an altitude of over 1300 metres. There is only one stream that can potentially be impassable in heavy rain and this is Sandy Stream. At times outside of heavy rain Sandy Stream is normally only around 1 to 2 feet deep. As you climb to reach the top you get a spectacular view down into the Waiau Valley before descending down to the flats. There are a couple of steeper loose gravel sections as you drop down into the valley but nothing to cause any troubles, just be gentle on that front brake!

The ride is not very long taking me only 25 minutes one way just dawdling along enjoying the scenery, as mentioned above doing the Edwards Pass also is a great option to fill in a day.

Fishing

Huts

Routes

Photo preview

The below photos take you from the start of the track to the end by the parking area

The start of the track just past the bridge below Lake Tennyson

Approximately 1km up you come to the gate that requires the access combination

Sandy Stream running at about 1 foot deep making for an easy crossing. A footbridge on the left is available in times of heavy rain and high waters to get your bike across

A stunning view down into the Waiau River Valley

Arriving at the Waiau River

Vehicle and Track Information

GPS - GPX File Downloads

Camping and General Facilities

Cautions and Safety Information

Author of this article: ADVGD(366)