Know before you go
The main access into the Clarence is over Blind Saddle Road. From Kaikoura, follow SH1 south for 5 km to the Waiau/Mt Lyford turnoff and head inland to the car park at Kahutara River bridge, 25 km from Kaikoura. There is a locked gate here restricting horse and vehicle access. Vehicle access into the Clarence is arranged by contacting Colin Nimmo of Muzzle Station on +64 3 319 5791. A road maintenance fee is charged for motorised vehicles. 4WD open weekends are no longer organised by DOC.
Visitors should be prepared for all weathers; snow can fall at any time of the year and the sun can be relentlessly hot. It is important to carry water and be equipped with warm, waterproof clothing, adequate food and accurate maps. It is advised to leave your intentions with family or friends. Remember your safety is your responsibility.
Dogs are allowed by permit only from Wairau/Renwick Office, and must have a current vet's certificate showing that they have been treated for Taenia ovis (sheep measles) less than 1 month and more than 2 days prior to entering the reserve. Certificates must be carried into the reserve and shown on request.
Due to the high fire risk, fires are not allowed in Ka Whata Tu o Rakihouia Clarence.
Permits for horses, dogs and hunting can be obtained from the Wairau/Renwick DOC office.
Hunting on public conservation land is by permit only. Hunting in the Special Lease Area requires a separate Ka Whata Tu o Rakihouia Clarence hunting permit. Contact the Wairau/Renwick DOC office for further information.