4WD Molesworth Station Tag-along Tour
Bring your own 4WD to follow our lead guide on this tag-a-long 4WD adventure tour of private farms from Blenheim to Molesworth, Hanmer Springs, Rainbow, Mailings Pass and St James.
Two 4WD’s parked at edge of Lake Tennyson - Molesworth Station Tour
Morning tea in St James High Country Station
Men of the high country historic farming photo Molesworth Station
Two 4WD’s parked at edge of Lake Tennyson - Molesworth Station Tour
© South Island Tours NZ
Molesworth Station offers abundant opportunity for New Zealanders and visitors to New Zealand to experience natural environments, rural lifestyles and natural history that few people get to experience. As New Zealand’s largest high country station it holds a special place in our history. Discover the magnificent scenery, unique plant life and the fascinating stories.
Bring your own 4X4 vehicle to drive in convoy style over some private farms as well as Molesworth Station, Rainbow Station, Mailings Pass and St James Stations. Follow our fun and informative lead guide to enjoy four days of driving in the fabulous unspoilt high-country regions, with towering mountains, meandering rivers and native beech forests through rolling farmland to the famous Marlborough vineyards.
If you don't have your own 4WD, you can still join this tour.
Blenheim to Awatere Valley Muller Station- 110km drive
Meet with your lead driver and other group members at the Blenheim Railway Station car park northern end at 8.00am, short briefing and introductions. Your drive starts by taking the coastal route around the Wairau Lagoons with its interesting history and wonderful views to your first farm track drive, then another farm with a good track and great views overlooking the Awatere Valley and Pacific Coast. Enjoy morning tea at a homestead before you head up the valley to drive up the highest accessible mountain road in NZ to look across at mountain ranges, river terraces and ocean views. Drive to a high country farm for a late lunch before driving to our overnight farm accommodation in the upper reaches of the Awatere Valley arriving about 5.30pm to unpack and enjoy a few drinks and a BBQ cooked by your tour guide.
Classic shearer’s accommodation on a high country station in the Awatere Valley. Individual bedrooms sleeping two people (mainly twin beds, please bring your sleeping bags, pillow and towel), bathroom facilities are shared and there is a large kitchen, dining room and lounge. Washing machine available.
Tea breaks will be served from our onboard supplies of locally roasted plunger coffee or tea and home baking from the cake tins. Lunch will be served on the farm. Two-course dinner. BYO drinks for evening dining.
DAY 2: Awatere Valley to Grey River to Muller Station - 110km drive
After a hearty farm style breakfast we will set off around 9am to drive up the Grey River and explore the 35,000 acre station with the owner coming with us for the day. Morning driving includes river crossings, driving round spurs, through flat grassy expanses with a cuppa in a back country hut. The return route lets you enjoy the same country from a different perspective arriving back at the homestead for lunch. Back on the track again to drive along a ridge line up to a height of 5,000 feet with great back country views over neighbouring stations including Molesworth Station. Driving down from the heights back to the valley floor with a home cooked meal awaiting and stories of the day over drinks to while away the evening.
Classic shearer’s accommodation on a high country station in the Awatere Valley. Individual bedrooms sleeping two people (mainly twin beds, please bring your sleeping bags, pillow and towel), bathroom facilities are shared.
Your choice of continental or full cooked breakfast. Tea breaks will be served from our onboard supplies of locally roasted plunger coffee or tea and home baking from the cake tins. Lunch will be served on the farm. Two-course dinner. BYO drinks for evening dining.
Day 3: Molesworth Station to Acheron to Hanmer Springs - 140km drive
After breakfast it’s time to see a piece of Muller Station with our host, share morning tea at a hut before we say goodbye and head toward Molesworth. See the original Molesworth cob cottage then head south into Molesworth Station. Enjoy a picnic lunch at the old Acheron accommodation house surrounded by nature and the extensive hills. Driving into Hanmer Springs via Jollies Pass around 4.30pm with time to enjoy the thermal pools or shopping before dinner.
The third night is at Hanmer Springs in ensuite motel rooms; situated approximately 100 metres across the road from the thermal pool complex, we recommend if you want to enjoy the pools, do so soon after arriving in Hanmer.
Your choice of continental or full cooked breakfast. Lunch will be picnic style enjoyed
Day 4: Hanmer Springs to Lake Tennyson to Blenheim - 220km drive
Departing at 9am and heading into the backcountry over Jacks Pass, stopping to enjoy the scenery at various vantage points and investigate the numerous alpine plants on the way to Lake Tennyson, where we will enjoy morning tea with an amazing backdrop of mountain scenery. Highlights will include Island Saddle, the Tarndale Lakes, and Rainbow Station. Returning to Blenheim through the many vineyards that are creeping into the upper reaches of the Wairau Valley by 5.30pm.
Continental style breakfast served in your room. Tea breaks will be served from our on-board supplies of award winning locally roasted coffee or tea and home baking from the cake tins. Picnic style lunch. Dinner at own arrangement.
Why come on an escorted tour with us?
Rich in history of the areas you are travelling through.
Opportunity to speak and meet with local high country farmers.
Meet like minded people travelling in your group and enjoy the personalised aspects of a small tour group where all the planning has been done for you down to the smallest detail.
We are a QSI certified tourism business which means we have passed a robust assessment of all our business procedures and you can be assured you are purchasing a quality safe experience.
Last but not least we hold a license to access Molesworth Station so you are guaranteed travel through the station when it is not open to the general public.
When do the tours start and finish?
Tours depart Blenheim from 8.00am so we recommend spending the night before your tour in Blenheim. Tours return to Blenheim around 5.30pm on the last day of the tour.
What to bring
Your own 4X4 vehicle
Sleeping bags, pillows, towels, spare blanket.
Spare tools, shovel, jack etc.
Folding camp chairs (1 per person in your group)
Pando tyre repair kit to suit your vehicle
Warm clothing and suitable footwear for limited walking
Swimming gear for thermal pools in Hanmer - pool towels will be provided
Personal toilet gear and an extra blanket
Make sure you fuel up before leaving Blenheim; Hanmer Springs has a Caltex petrol station as well as puncture repair and tyre changing facilities.
4x4 Vehicle requirements
A low ratio and high clearance 4WD is necessary. The trip is not suitable for the likes of a Honda CRV, or Subaru Outback, RAV 4 with high ground clearance are fine. All vehicles must have a current registration and WOF. Please contact us if you are unsure if your vehicle would be suitable or not. You need to have a good knowledge of your vehicle and have some previous 4X4 off road driving experience.
Accommodation: 3 nights
Meals: all meals included
Meals: as stated in the tour itinerary
Local experienced 4WD driver guide who will be keeping you up to date along the route via two way radio contact.
The chance to drive on five private farms and stations in the Awatere Valley.
Guaranteed access through Molesworth and Rainbow Stations.
Meet and spend time with local farmers.
A days driving on a high country property with the station owner.
Two night’s stay in authentic high country shearer’s accommodation.
One night’s accommodation at motels in Hanmer Springs.
The use of two way communication radios so you can hear all the great commentary .
Satellite phone and safety gear carried by lead vehicle.