Date: 05 March 2013
The Acheron Road through Molesworth Station is to close from Tuesday 12 March due to extreme fire danger.
Monday 11 March will be the last day people can make the road trip through Molesworth this open period unless sufficient rain falls to reduce the fire risk and prevent early closure of the road.
The road through the historic high country station in South Marlborough opened to the public on 28 December, and had been due to be open until Sunday 7 April. The Department of Conservation, which manages Molesworth, will be monitoring the fire risk in the station and if it reduces the road may re-open during the current open season.
"We’ve had a steady flow of people through the station since the Acheron Road opened at the end of December,” says DOC South Marlborough Area Manager Dave Hayes.
“We’re hoping most people who planned to make the road trip this open period have already done so and there won’t be many who miss out but we do regret any disappointment the early closure of the road causes.’’
Mr Hayes says early closure of the road is necessary to protect the station’s working farm and outstanding natural and historic features from fire.
“Movement of people and vehicles through the station increases the risk of a fire starting and fire could cause serious damage to the station’s cattle farm, its rare native plants and animals and its historic buildings.
“We’re asking people making the journey between now and when it closes next week to take care to prevent fires both in the station and in surrounding areas. Conditions on Molesworth are currently among the driest recorded in recent years.”
To find out if the road is closed or open in the weeks up until the road closes for the season on 7 April, people can call the DOC South Marlborough Area Office on +64 3 572 9100 or check with visitor centres in the region.
Dave Hayes, DOC South Marlborough Area Manager, phone +64 3 572 9100
Trish Grant, DOC Nelson/Marlborough communications advisor, phone +64 3 546 3146