Introduction

Ka Whata Tu o Rakihouia Clarence provides a remote experience in a vast rugged high-country landscape straddling the Seaward Kaikoura Range.

Find things to do and places to stay Ka Whata Tu o Rakihouia Clarence

Manakau (2610 m) and Te Ao Whekere (2590 m) are the most rewarding climbs. A winter traverse on foot or skis is a major undertaking.

Although the routes aren't difficult, they are very long and remote. Climbers should be fit and well equipped, prepared to camp out or snow cave.

Climbers must seek permission from landowners for access to some areas.

The Clarence River provides ideal brown trout and salmon fishing. A licence from Fish & Game New Zealand is required.

Didymo is present in the Clarence River so it's essential that all fishing gear is cleaned.

Vehicle access into the Clarence is arranged by contacting Colin Nimmo of Muzzle Station on +64 3 3195791. A road maintenance fee is charged for motorised vehicles.

Looking down Blind Saddle. Photo: Garry Holz.
Looking down Blind Saddle

Driving in the Ka Whata Tu o Rakihouia/Clarence Reserve is at your own risk. The section between the Kahutara gate and Quail Flat is 30 km and will take a minimum of two hours. The road is steep, rough and narrow in places, with several fords. Slips and floods are common; there can be no guarantee of a safe vehicle passage.

The road is suited to people with 4WD experience and drivers need to be fully aware of their surroundings.

In the Special Lease Area

Keep vehicles to the formed track within the Special Lease Area marked on the map. Leave gates as you find them and avoid disrupting farm operations or stock.

Map of Ka Whata Tu o Rakihouia Clarence (PDF, 657K)

Horse riders will find the Clarence experience hard to beat. You must get an access permit through the DOC office at all times of the year.

Feed availability is unpredictable so it is recommended to take supplementary feed. To reduce the spread of weeds only take grain feed.

Travelling the Clarence River by raft, canoe or kayak is a great way to see the Clarence Reserve.

There are four huts accessible to river users; Forbes, Palmer, Goose Flat and Snowgrass.

Rafting on the Clarence River.
Rafting on the Clarence River

Travelling the Clarence River by raft, canoe or kayak is a great way to see the Clarence Reserve.

There are four huts accessible to river users; Forbes, Palmer, Goose Flat and Snowgrass.

Check, Clean, Dry

Clean all gear when moving between waterways to prevent the spread of didymo and other freshwater pests.

How to check, clean, dry your gear.

Contacts

Whakatū / Nelson Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 546 9339
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   nelsonvc@doc.govt.nz
Address:   Millers Acre/Taha o te Awa
79 Trafalgar Street
Nelson 7010
Postal Address:   Private Bag 5
Nelson 7042
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