Molesworth Heritage Tours

The opportunity to tour this New Zealand Icon is not to be missed. Molesworth is a very special place as it is a reserve and working cattle station and it combines farming, conservation and recreation in one vast area. At 180,476 hectares (approx. 500,000 Acres) it is New Zealand's largest farm of spectacular high country that has seen success and failure. It has outstanding natural features, a rich history and a stunning and dramatic landscape.

Molesworth is a place of extremes in altitude, temperature, weather, animals and people.

Visit century old cob Homesteads, Historic sites and live the history that made this high country farm famous world wide with New Zealand's leading High Country Tour Specialist with over 30 years experience. Rick Stirling's Original Molesworth Tours invite you to join us on these unique High Country adventures and to explore our "backyard" with the professionals.

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Over the many years of operating trips into Molesworth we have met some truly amazing people with an avid interest in the future of this high country farm and it is great to report to them that the place is in good hands going by the effort put in by the current DOC & Landcorp management team.

Book now for the Spring, Summer & Autumn Heritage Tours 2014/2015.

See you soon.  Please check back to this site for updates or e-mail us for more info. tours@molesworth.co.nz or  rickstirling@xtra.co.nz

 

 Molesworth Heritage Day Tours;  Option 1= Departs Hanmer Springs at 8.00am and returns approx 4 pm. Travel into the Clarence Valley and pass through the locked gate to access the Acheron Valley. Visit the 150 year old Acheron Cob Homestead for a cuppa and then follow the Acheron river north, passing grazing cattle and the numerous bird life making the most of the daylight hours in this amazing and unequalled landscape of mixed flora and fauna. The native flowers are a real treat thru this area. Into the Awatere Valley and onto the famous Molesworth Homestead area nestled under the Kaikoura's where it makes the ideal stop for a picnic lunch and refreshments at the Old Molesworth Cottage. Then into the Saxton, Muller and Tarndale country with its ever changing vista of growth, colour and climate before descending down the historic and rugged Jollies Pass to Hanmer Springs and time to reflect on an unique journey back in time over NZ's LARGEST FARM.  

Cost; $235 per person includes lunch and refreshments. Tours available from October thru until the end of May with some of the best times to visit Molesworth being the Spring and the Autumn.

Courtesy pick-up and return service from Hanmer Springs. We have a secure vehicle and campervan overnight parking area available in Hanmer Springs (no charge). Other areas available by arrangement.

Option 2;  Departs Hanmer Springs 7.30am. Returns approx. 6.30 pm. (450 km) As above, but from the Molesworth Homestead we continue on down the Awatere Valley, crossing over to the Wairau Valley and into the rugged Rainbow Valley. Thru the narrow fiscue of Hells Gate high in the Southern Alps, past Tarndale and down to Lake Tennyson dwarfed by the Spenser Mountains. The native plants are an absolute delight in this area and you will have time to view and photograph these wonderful specimens along with our rare native lizards. Descending on down past the historic St.James Station and back to Hanmer Springs to reflect on an amazing journey thru time and history seen by few. 

Cost = Ex Hanmer $385.00 per person includes lunch and refreshments.

Option 3; (207km) Departs 8.00 am. Arrives Blenheim/Picton approx. 5 pm. As per Option 1 but after lunch at Molesworth we will continue on down the diverse Awatere valley passing many well known High country farms that are producing some of the finest Merino wool as used by the Mihi & Icebreaker labels. Many of these farms have impressive history and historic homesteads on them and we will visit one of these for a cuppa and a chat with owners . This part of the journey is a scenic delight with the colourful and swift Awatere River snaking its way down to the East Coast and the high narrow country road wending its way through idyllic rural life scenes, stock, narrow gorges, rough country and the incredible early pioneer history all explained to you by your experienced and friendly driver/guide. The Inland Kaikoura mountain range is the backdrop to our journey as we wend our way down to the vineyard clad river terraces that are growing our world famous Sauvignon Blanc in the fertile alluvial soils of one of New Zealand's largest wine growing regions. A short haul thru the old historic Taylors Pass will take us onto Blenheim and journeys end. Arrival at your Blenheim/Picton motel/hotel accommodation late afternoon.

This tour can be done in reverse with departure ex Picton/Blenheim to Hanmer Springs if required.

Cost = Ex Hanmer $255.00 per person includes lunch and refreshments. Ex Picton/Blenheim $265.00

A spectacular return journey can be arranged on the Coastal Pacific Train.

Short on time, then try our special budget Molesworth Express Tour  (180 km); this is a great insight into Molesworth, its history and outposts, the old and the new. Originally settled by the French in 1860, Molesworth/St Helens was plagued by rabbits, erosion and severe winters, which led to final abandonment to the crown in 1949.
This is a 5 hour "No Frills" special excursion into the Molesworth - St. James hinterland. Operates on demand all year round.
Cost; $198 per person.  Includes refreshments only. (Minimum number 4 pax)
 
Inquire about our generous "Group Specials" and we will even arrange suitable accommodation for you.
We can transport up to 80 people in our fleet of comfortable 4WD Coaches with full head room and air conditioning, satellite phone, intercom, large tinted windows designed for maximum passenger comfort, (not minivans). Pick-up Departure points and Transfers can be arranged from other centres i.e. Picton, Blenheim, Nelson, Kaikoura or Christchurch. Ideal for Coach operators who can meet us and transfer their clients into the 4WD 'Coaches at one end of Molesworth and then meet us later in the day at the other end destination. $POA

It was a privilege to get into that area and to be introduced to it in the way that you do it. You are the ideal person to show it to people. It was not only a safe and comfortable trip, but your knowledge and enthusiasm came across in such a pleasant and relaxed manner. We'd love to go again

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TWO (or three) DAY HERITAGE SAFARI TOURS;

These tours can be taken either from Blenheim/Picton or Hanmer Springs. (Approx 450 km) Just reverse the Day 1 itinerary with Day 2 or 3  to suit your desired departure point.

Day 1; Tour over Taylors Pass (the original stock track) to the Awatere Valley and on up to Molesworth passing numerous famous high country runs on the way. We will call into one of these farms for morning tea. This part of the journey is a scenic delight with the colourful and swift Awatere river snaking its way down to the East Coast and the high narrow country road wending its way up through idyllic rural life scenes, stock, narrow gorges, rough country and the incredible early pioneer history all explained to you by your experienced and friendly driver/guide. After a picnic lunch we will travel thru the Molesworth to the Acheron River and down to the famous old Acheron house for a break. Crossing over the Clarence River and on into the Clarence Valley and we finally descend down the historic Jollies Pass stock track into the tranquil Alpine Village of Hanmer Springs.

A rest day can be included if required at either Hanmer Springs or cruising/fishing on the Marlborough Sounds. This option gives you a pleasurable three day journey

Day 2 (or 3);  Depart from Hanmer Springs in the morning climbing over Jacks Pass to the Clarence River valley and on up past St. James to Lake Tennyson for a cuppa and then onto the Molesworth/Tarndale lakes country before entering into the rugged Rainbow Station. Plenty of time to explore and take a stroll to view the native flora and fauna in this true wilderness area and one can only "experience" it as words are difficult to describe the absolute beauty, grandeur and mystique of this Alpine delight. By traversing the Southern Alps to the Wairau Valley thru Hells Gates we travel on to Lake Rotoiti for a Picnic lunch.

After lunch we travel down the Wairau Plains with its farms, lifestyle blocks and horticulture and to your over night accommodation at either Blenheim or Picton.

Costs from $750.00 pp for the 2 days travel and includes Accommodation, Picnic lunches, refreshments (tea, coffee, juice) pace notes, and maps. Prices subject to numbers. There are good opportunities for a stroll, photo stops and those necessary toilet stops on the journey.

Thank you seems totally inadequate for such a wonderful tour, through awe-inspiring landscape of unbelievable beauty. The commentary was so informative, great food, the driving excellent and you had a great rapport with all of us oldies. 

 

Features Include

  • The original Acheron Accommodation House  (150 years old )

  • Explore old cob house's built on Molesworth & Rainbow in the 1860's.

  • See native Flora and Fauna and Wildlife in it's natural habitat.

  • Spectacular rugged scenery which changes with the seasons.

  • Quality food and refreshments provided.

  • Entertaining informative and professional tour guide and New Zealand's leading High Country Tour Specialist with over 30 years experience of operating these tours  (Accident free record).

  • Full commentary with complementary Tour pace notes and maps.

  • Luxury 4WD coaches with full head room and air conditioning, satellite phone, intercom, large tinted windows designed for maximum passenger comfort.

  • Time to stretch your legs and take photographs, talk with the locals and yes there are Toilets available.

  • Trips may be subject to weather, track conditions or minimum numbers. Cancellation service if weather conditions are unsuitable 

Suggestions on what to bring on our tours; comfortable clothes & footwear, light windbreaker, sunhat, sunglasses, water bottle and a smile. Donít forget the camera! We supply picnic lunch, coffee and tea, and Molesworth tour notes. There will be the chance to take short strolls if you want to and yes we have plenty of toilet stops.

it was because of the numerous commendations we had received of your excellent running commentary that we decided to take the trip with you Rick.

Inquire about our generous "Group Specials" and we will even arrange suitable accommodation for you.
We can transport up to 80 people in our fleet of comfortable 4WD Coaches with full head room and air conditioning, satellite phone, intercom, large tinted windows designed for maximum passenger comfort, (not minivans). Pick-up Departure points and Transfers can be arranged from other centres i.e. Picton, Blenheim, Nelson, Kaikoura or Christchurch. Ideal for Coach operators who can meet us and transfer their clients into the 4WD 'Coaches at one end of Molesworth and then meet us later in the day at the other end destination. $POA
 
Courtesy pick-up and return service from departure area. We have a secure vehicle and overnight campervan parking area available in Hanmer Springs (no charge and self contained units are welcome to stay.
 
Contact us and discuss a suitable tour for your intended visit to Molesworth. We are flexible.

Bookings are essential and can be made Direct or through your Travel Agent, Information Centre or host. Phone 03 3157401

Idea! for that special gift for family or friends purchase a Gift Voucher

             Please send us an   e-mail   if you have any questions

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