Molesworth Recreation Reserve
Located in the Marlborough region
IntroductionMolesworth is a land of extremes. This vast landscape contains scree-scarred mountains, wide river valleys and tussock slopes. Check the Acheron Road is open if you intend to drive through.
Find things to do and places to stay Molesworth Recreation Reserve
Access and activities in Molesworth Recreation Reserve are managed by a permit system. Find out when you need a permit for walking and tramping in Molesworth.
Good trout and salmon fishing are available in the rivers, streams and lakes of Molesworth. Please park your vehicle and walk, as off-road driving and driving on farm tracks is prohibited. Walking access is possible up stream margins and major rivers.
Fishing permitted only during the open season (October 1 to April 30) and requires a licence from Fish & Game New Zealand
Anyone wanting access when the Acheron Road is closed must apply for a special permit from the South Marlborough Area Office.
Access and activities in Molesworth Recreation Reserve are managed by a permit system. You need a permit at all times to horse ride. Find out about permits.
Acheron Road is only open in the summer and can close in that time without warning. Check if Acheron Road is open.
Routes and logistics need to be carefully planned. See the indicative horse trekking routes (PDF, 7,232K)
Rafting the Clarence River is a multi-day wilderness experience, offered by a number of adventure tourism companies employing qualified guides. Trips are generally four days and five nights.
Rafts are launched at the Acheron River confluence and the journey ends 214 kilometres later where the Clarence meets the sea. Rapids are a moderate grade two and three. October to December is the main rafting season, when water levels are sufficiently high.
The Acheron River is narrow and unpredictable, particular the section known as the Shute, just above the confluence with the Clarence River. Rafting this section is not advised.
The 1347 m Island Saddle is the highest point on a publicly accessed road in New Zealand.
From Blenheim, follow SH1 south, then turn right at the Awatere Valley intersection just north of Seddon and the Awatere Valley Bridge. A sign here will indicate whether the Acheron Road through Molesworth is open.
From Hanmer, take Jacks Pass Road a short distance past the Hurunui isite and about 750 metres along that road turn right into the Clarence Valley Road. Follow this road over the pass and turn right for Molesworth and the Acheron road.
Molesworth care code
- Open fires are not allowed, even in cottage fireplaces. Use portable stoves for cooking.
- Leave gates as you find them.
- Keep vehicles to the formed roads.
- Dogs are prohibited.
- Don't remove or damage native plants and animals.
- Check for seeds and plants on your gear before entering.
- Remove rubbish.
- Respect our cultural heritage.
- Toitu te whenua – leave the land undisturbed
Fish & Game
Marlborough office, +64 3 578 8421
Nelson office, +64 3 544 6382
Molesworth Recreation Reserve contains special and diverse biodiversity, including tiny inconspicuous endangered plants. Almost half of the over 60 endemic plant species found in South Marlborough grow on Molesworth.
Molesworth has a rich farming history. The area is also home to the historic Acheron Accommodation House (1862) and the historic Molesworth Cob Cottage (1866).
Learn about the history from interpretation panels, camp outside the Cob Cottage, picnic by the mighty Acheron River or enjoy walks from 10 minutes to several days duration.
The 180,787 ha reserve is New Zealand’s largest farm, running the country's biggest herd of beef cattle, numbering up to 10,000.
|Whakatū / Nelson Visitor Centre
|+64 3 546 9339
|+64 4 471 1117
Millers Acre/Taha o te Awa
1/37 Halifax Street
Private Bag 5
|Full office details
|Rotoiti / Nelson Lakes Visitor Centre
|+64 3 521 1806
PO Box 55
St Arnaud 7053
|Full office details