Chukar hunting July 2022: Some blocks restricted to chukar hunting only – check the details section.
Canada goose: Goose hunt weekends are held each year – check the details section.
Acheron Road is currently open. However, entry/exit is only possible from southern end via Hanmer Springs until further notice. Awatere Valley road is closed. Check alerts for further access information.
Acheron Road 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.
Permits take at least 15 working days to process.
Permits for hunting deer, chamois, goats and pigs will only be issued for a specific period and for a specified area.
Different areas are available at different times of the year, depending on farm requirements and stock locations.
Landcorp and the Molesworth Recreational Reserve Manager do not issue hunting permits.
Any breaches of permit conditions are treated very seriously – past breaches have resulted in offenders being trespassed from Molesworth and prosecuted.
Areas may be used by other trampers, mountain bikers or other hunters accessing their block at any time. Wilding pine control by helicopter may be carried out at any time. Weed control staff will be informed of any hunters in the areas they are working.
Molesworth Recreational Reserve has the largest farm in New Zealand. It is administered by DOC and leased to Landcorp Farming Ltd.
Red deer, chamois, goats, pigs, and Canada geese are found here.
Chukar hunting will take place from July 2022.
Contact Nelson Marlborough Fish and Game for a permit:
Phone: +64 3 544 6382
These blocks are exclusive for chukar hunting only and do not allow you to hunt big game during this time:
Canada goose hunt weekends are held each year.
To participate, contact:
No large game hunting permits will be issued during Canada goose hunt weekends. A goose hunting permit:
Vehicle access is limited to the main formed roads Acheron Road and Tophouse/Wairau Hanmer Springs Road, also known as Rainbow Road, only and only when the roads are open. No vehicles are to be driven on any farm tracks.
Helicopters are not permitted at all.
There are three main road access points.
This road is open all year round, weather conditions permitting. This gives access to the southern end of the Molesworth, and north through to Lake Sedgemere. The road can be impassable because of snow during the winter months.
Rainbow Road goes through Rainbow Station and Molesworth Recreation Reserve, from near St Arnaud (turn off SH63) to Hanmer. This is a 4WD toll road with access restrictions. For details, see the Rainbow Station website.
This links the Acheron to the top of the Awatere Valley Road.
Road open from:
Outside of these dates, you must apply for an activity permit.
You also may need an activity permit for road access for other activities such as mountain biking or walking.
A hunting permit does not guarantee road access when the Acheron Road is closed.
An activity permit for driving access to your hunting block will not be issued when the road is closed except in exceptional circumstances due to winter weather and farming operations.
Travel down the Clarence sometimes to hunt the Eastern Zone.
You can hunt the Eastern Zone five non-exclusive riverside blocks under one permit if the blocks are open:
However, during the roar these become single blocks with exclusive access.
NZTopo50 maps: BS24, BS25, BT24, BT25, BT26.
A map of the boundaries of each block is available below.
Maps of individual blocks:
No dogs permitted.
There are no WARO activities allowed in this area.
Check when Molesworth hunting blocks are available before making an online booking request.
Possum control for Molesworth area May to November 2021
A possum control operation using 1080 bait was completed on 12 June 2021 in the western portion of Molesworth.
OSPRI is planning a further operation to apply biodegradable aerial 1080 to the Five Mile and Yarra catchment between October and November 2021.
There may be toxic carcasses in the area that can take months to break down. There may also be leftover toxic bait (green coloured pellets).
Do not take and eat animals in this area until the area is safe, 4 - 9 months following the operation. This will be shown by removal of the warning signs and this alert. The area in the pesticide summary map will also show as safe.
Check the calendar for dates of available hunting blocks. It's your responsibility to follow the guidelines if you choose to hunt during this period.
Any breaches of the conditions will be taken seriously and all members of the party will be excluded from hunting on Molesworth Recreation Reserve for a period of two years.
Bow hunting minimum criteria:
Crossbow minimum criteria:
All breach of any of the standard or 'special conditions' renders this permit null and void and may result in prosecution.
The applicant shall indemnify the Department of Conservation and Landcorp Farming against all claims by any person in respect of injury, loss or damage (including fire damage) caused by or arising out of any act of omission of the Applicants, its servants, agents, contractors, clients or invitees, or otherwise caused as a consequence of its use of the reserve or as a result of the conduct of the permit holder.