Flat and upper Acheron, Molesworth Station

Image: Rob Suisted | ©


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.


  • 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. 

Place overview


  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Four wheel driving
  • Horse riding
  • Hunting
  • Mountain biking
  • Rafting
  • Walking and tramping

In this section

Find things to do and places to stay Molesworth Recreation Reserve

About this place

Getting there

From Blenheim, follow SH1 south, then turn right at the Awatere Valley intersection just north of Seddon and the Awatere Valley Bridge. A sign here will indicate whether the Acheron Road through Molesworth is open.

From Hanmer, take Jacks Pass Road a short distance past the Hurunui i-SITE and about 750 metres along that road turn right into the Clarence Valley Road. Follow this road over the pass and turn right for Molesworth and the Acheron road.

Know before you go

Check if the road is open

You can drive through Molesworth via the Acheron Road. You  may need a permit.

Acheron Road is open

Acheron Road through Molesworth is normally open 7 am – 7 pm daily from the Saturday of Labour Weekend in October, to Easter Monday or the second Sunday in April – whichever is later.

It can close without warning. Check for alerts on the Acheron Road and Molesworth pages, or call the Renwick office +64 3 572 9100

Historic buildings

The Acheron Accommodation House and the Cob Cottage buildings are not for overnight stays. You'll need to camp outside.

Molesworth care code

  • Open fires are not allowed, even in cottage fireplaces. Use portable stoves for cooking.
  • Leave gates as you find them.
  • Keep vehicles to the formed roads.
  • Dogs are prohibited.
  • Don't remove or damage native plants and animals.
  • Check for seeds and plants on your gear before entering. 
  • Remove rubbish.
  • Respect our cultural heritage.
  • Toitu te whenua – leave the land undisturbed

Useful contacts

Fish & Game
Marlborough office, +64 3 578 8421
Nelson office, +64 3 544 6382

Rainbow Station
Email: info@rainbowstation.co.nz
Phone: +64 3 5224 413 between 8.30 am – 4.00 pm
Rainbow Station website


Wairau / Renwick Office
Phone:   +64 3 572 9100
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   renwick@doc.govt.nz
Address:   Gee Street
Marlborough 7204
Postal Address:   PO Box 51
Marlborough 7243
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
Rangiora Office
Phone:   +64 3 313 0820
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   esienquiries@doc.govt.nz
Address:   32 River Road
Rangiora 7400
Postal Address:   PO Box 349
Rangiora 7440
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