Flat and upper Acheron, Molesworth Station
Image: Rob Suisted | ©

Introduction

Molesworth 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.

Highlights

  • At Molesworth, farming and recreation go hand in hand.
  • Experience Molesworth for yourself during the open access periods, by car, bike, horse or on foot.
  • 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.
  • The 1347 m Island Saddle is the highest point on a publicly accessed road in New Zealand.
  • The weather here ranges from scorching summers to freezing snowy winters. 

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. Find out when you need a permit to drive on Acheron Road.

Acheron Road is only open in the summer and can close in that time without warning. Check if Acheron Road is open.

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)

Access and activities in Molesworth Recreation Reserve are managed by a permit system. Find out when you need a permit to mountain bike on Acheron Road.

Acheron Road is only open in the summer and can close in that time without warning. Check if Acheron Road is open.

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.

Access and activities in Molesworth Recreation Reserve are managed by a permit system. Find out when you need a permit to drive on Acheron Road.

Acheron Road is only open in the summer and can close in that time without warning. Check if Acheron Road is open.

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

Rotoiti / Nelson Lakes Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 521 1806
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   nelsonlakesvc@doc.govt.nz
Address:   View Road
St Arnaud
Postal Address:   PO Box 55
St Arnaud 7053
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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