Travelling through Molesworth Station is a unique high country experience. There are two routes through the station – the Acheron Road which opens to the public for usually just over three months from late December and the Rainbow Road which goes up the western edge of the station and through to St Arnaud.
Acheron Accommodation House,
The Acheron and Rainbow roads can be combined to make a good, though long, round trip. The Rainbow Road is a 4WD and toll road; $25 per vehicle, $15 motorbikes and a gold coin for trampers/mountain and push bikes. The toll is collected at the Rainbow cob homestead.
To ensure a safe and enjoyable journey, travel on roads that are open to the public only. As well as being potentially dangerous, off-road driving can damage fragile plants, spread weeds and start fires.
Travel through Molesworth is at your own risk; for your safety, ensure you plan and prepare for your journey through the station.
The Acheron Road is open from 28 December 2012 to 7 April 2013, from 7.00am to 7.00pm but may be closed without warning due to weather conditions or fire danger. You should check the road status before setting out; it can be checked 24 hours a day by contacting the DOC South Marlborough Area Office: phone +64 3 572 9100.
The 207-kilometre journey from Blenheim to Hanmer Springs through Molesworth takes around 6 hours, with the 59-kilometre Acheron Road section through the station taking at least two hours. The road is suitable for two-wheel drive vehicles. Vehicles towing trailers, caravans, buses or vehicles over 7 metres long are not permitted. Careful and slow driving is needed on the narrow, unsealed road.
Camping is available at the Molesworth Cob cottage and Acheron Accommodation House at either end of the road - see Places to stay.
Hanmer-St Arnaud Road (via Rainbow Station)
The 112 km Hanmer-St Arnaud Road is accessible by four-wheel drive vehicles only. The drive takes around three hours. Check with DOC or i-SITE visitor centres before setting out as road and access conditions may change at any time.
To prevent the spread of the aquatic pest didymo, drivers should use bridges, where these are available, rather than fords to cross creeks on the route.
Travel on this road is remarkable for the landscape’s transition from wide tussocklands and screes along the Clarence River to craggy, beech-covered mountains in the Wairau catchment. Scenic highlights include the 239-hectare Lake Tennyson – surrounded by mountains and forest – the Island Saddle alpine pass and wetlands around the Sedgemere Lakes. There are places to camp on the route - see Places to stay.
From 7am 26 December 2012 until 5pm Easter Monday 1 April 2013, the road is a toll road; $25 per vehicle, $15 motorbikes, and $2 for trampers/mountain and push bikes. The toll is collected at the Rainbow cob homestead. Outside this season, other locked gates will be encountered and access permission must be obtained from the runholder, Star Holdings Limited.
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