Opportunity opens up from Tuesday next week (28 December) to drive through the spectacular high country landscape of Molesworth Station, New Zealand’s largest farm.
The Acheron Road through the vast historic South Marlborough station is due to be open to the public until 7 pm on Sunday 3 April, fire risk and road conditions permitting.
Last year around 9000 people made the road trip during the 14-week open period.
Anyone planning to travel on the road should first check the road is open as it can close at short notice due to weather-related conditions. Calls can be made to the DOC South Marlborough Area Office, phone +64 3 572 9100 or people can ask at visitor centres in the region.
The 180,787-hectare station is a recreation reserve administered by the Department of Conservation with its working cattle station run by Landcorp Farming Limited.
DOC South Marlborough Area Manager Dave Hayes said the road trip through Molesworth Station provided a special experience of a working high country station that is steeped in history.
“Molesworth is a fascinating place to visit, for its dramatic landscape of towering mountains and river valleys and its rich history related to farming and as an historic travel route through the top of the South Island. That history can be sensed in looking around two historic cob buildings, the Acheron Accommodation House and the Molesworth Cob Cottage.
“The area is also ecologically important with over 70 threatened native plant species found there, including plants distinctive to the South Marlborough drylands.
“As it is a working farm, public access is restricted to roads and areas open to the public, including five short tracks for exploring on foot.
“The journey through the station can be made as a day trip, taking around six hours between Blenheim and Hanmer, or people can camp overnight near the Molesworth Cob Cottage and Acheron Accommodation House.”
“Visitors to Molesworth Station are asked to comply with a Molesworth Care Code to protect the farm and the area’s significant plant life. Care is particularly needed in dry summer conditions to prevent fires. Open fires are not allowed and portable cookers should be used for cooking.”
The narrow and unsealed Acheron Road requires careful driving and is suitable for two-wheel drive cars and mountain bikes but not for caravans or vehicles over seven metres long. The Acheron Road is open between 7am and 7pm daily during its open period. There is no fee to travel the road.