Introduction

Find out what access and activities are managed with a permit system on Molesworth Recreational Reserve.

Highlights

Possum control in Molesworth Recreation Reserve

OSPRI has an aerial 1080 possum control operation planned for Molesworth Recreation Reserve to control bovine tuberculosis.

The operation will happen sometime between May and November 2021. This is part of an ongoing operation through all of the Molesworth Recreational Reserve and Clarence Reserve.

Contact OSPRI for more information.

DOC issues all activity permits. Permits can be applied for using the online application form below. Allow 10 working days for us to receive and process your application. 

About activity permits

  • Public access to Molesworth is managed to balance recreation, farming needs, fire risk and public safety.
  • Access is available to the public within certain zones during specified periods of the year.
  • The Molesworth map (PDF, 2,248K) will assist your planning.
  • Outside these specified zones and time periods, public access is restricted and an activity permit is required.
  • Driving permits for the Acheron Road will not be issued during road closure periods except in exceptional circumstances, due to farming operations and winter conditions.
  • See the list below to work out if you need an activity permit.
  • Activity permits may be declined due to farming activities such as mustering, calving and animal pest control.
  • Activity permits may also be declined due to safety issues such as extreme weather conditions and fire risk.
  • Alternative dates or locations may be offered to the applicant.

Apply online for an activity permit

Check if the road is open

Acheron Road is currently closed

Acheron Road through Molesworth will reopen 7 am Saturday, 23 October 2021 – Labour Weekend 2021.

Find out if you need an activity permit for the following activities.

Driving

Plan your visit to Acheron Road before applying. The Acheron Road is a challenging and unsealed high country route. 

Acheron Road – vehicles that are prohibited

  • Vehicles with caravans
  • Vehicles over 7 m

Acheron Road – vehicles under 7 m and towing

Date: Any time
Permit required: Yes

Acheron Road – vehicles under 7 m and not towing

Date: Saturday of Labour Weekend until Easter Monday.
Permit required: No

Date: Easter Tuesday until the Friday before Labour Day Weekend.
Permit required:  Yes. Note, due to winter road conditions and farming operations it is unusual for driving activity permits to be issued during the road closed period.


Rainbow Station

To get a permit and the latest information on the road status:


Mountain biking

Acheron Road

Date: Saturday of Labour Weekend until Easter Monday
Permit required: No

Date: Easter Tuesday until the Friday before Labour Day Weekend
Permit required: Yes


Hunting

Any location

Date: Any time
Permit required: Yes. Special permit required – apply online.

Note: Due to winter road conditions and farming operations it is very unusual for permits to drive the Acheron Road to be issued during the road closed period. Plan for this in your block choices.


Walking

Leatham/Molesworth Route

Date: 1 May to 31 December
Permit required: No

Date: 1 January to 31 April
Permit required: Yes (to travel upstream of Saxton hut)


East/West Route

Date: Any time
Permit required: No (unless travelling upstream of Saxton Hut between 1 January and 31 April)


Central Zone

When walking on marked tracks from Acheron Road:

Date: Saturday of Labour Weekend until Easter Monday 
Permit required: No

Date: Easter Tuesday until the Friday before Labour Day Weekend
Permit required: Yes

When walking off-track:
Date: Any time
Permit required: Yes


North Zone (adjoining the Leatham)

Date: 1 May to 31 December
Permit required: No

Date: 1 January to 30 April
Permit required: Yes


East Zone (including Dillon Cone)

Date: 1 November to 30 April
Permit required: No

Date: 1 May to 31 October
Permit required: Yes


Southwest Zone (adjoining Rainbow Station)

Date: Any time
Permit required: No


Horse riding

Any location

Date: Any time
Permit required: Yes


Fishing

Any location

Date: Any time
Permit required: Yes, a fishing licence is required from Fish & Game New Zealand. Trout fishing season is 1 October to 30 April. No fishing allowed outside this time. You may require an activity permit for access if you are driving, mountain biking, walking or horse riding - the information for these activities is above.


Open areas may be temporarily closed due to weather conditions or stock movements.

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