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 Railway Station
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.
Make sure you fuel up before leaving Blenheim; Hanmer Springs has a Caltex petrol station as well as puncture repair and tyre changing facilities.
4WD with a high and low ratio gearbox preferred.
Ground clearance recommended of 225mm both front and rear of vehicle.
Tyres ‘all terrain’ tyres with a good amount of tread on them are required.
Some SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) are not suitable for this tour, vehicles must have 4WD capability and be able to select different road conditions eg. shingle/gravel.
Please contact us if you are unsure if your vehicle would be suitable.
Vehicles must have a current registration and WOF.
You need to have a good knowledge of your vehicle and have some previous 4X4 off road driving experience.
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.
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.
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
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.
Many thanks to you Chris and all those involved with a wonderful experience. Tom and I had no idea of just how big the Molesworth and associated back country is. The runholders and their relationship with Chris made the trip a memory to behold, understanding their lifestyle and work ethic was like a breath of fresh air miles away from the world outside. The other couple on tour were also great company with the common interest in farming like ourselves. Must also mention the “always extra effort” that Chris put into every aspect of the trip for our benefit thankyou.
Thanks South Island Tours NZ! We were lucky to have recently experienced your 4WD Molesworth trip and how amazing it was. Chris was a fantastic guide to make our trip most memorable . So much was packed into four days with every day different. Spectacular scenery all the way, meeting our very friendly, welcoming hosts and the most delicious food every day made for the best experience.
We are just back from your Tag a long 4WD trip which we enjoyed immensely.
I congratulate you on a well thought out itinerary, every day was different with spectacular scenery.
Chris was an excellent leader, with a mass of local knowledge.
I shall certainly recommend this trip to others!
Ps We have both put on weight with such beautiful food!!
We had a fantastic time and have certainly been telling all our friends what a great time we had. Thank you to Chris our guide, and the farm hosts. The meals were amazing and it was lovely to see the stations and their gardens as well. Thank you especially to Mary & Steve. What a lovely new house we stayed in. Chris was a great leader and enjoyed his knowledge of the area. The scenery in the valleys was incredible. Lance really enjoyed the driving on the harder places. The VERY STEEP bit I wasn’t so keen on. At least I did have my eyes open !! I would highly recommend this trip. We had a great group of people as well.
Chris was a super tour leader ; The hospitality and food at station was wonderful and the 4WD experiences and scenery will stay with us all for a very long time.
It’s up with the best trips Chris and I have done anywhere in the world.,
We all are keen to do another 4WD trip with you next year.