Rainbow Tour

A True High Country Experience

Experience This Once In Your Life Time

Immerse yourself in the New Zealand High Country with a luxury private tour of the Rainbow Station and surrounding Molesworth area. Escape into nature with Molesworth Tours and take in all of the beauty and serenity it has to offer.


Good Foods

Food can change a mood, which is why we take it seriously at Molesworth Tours. We serve only the finest gourmet local ingredients and ensure that each meal is hand crafted to your personal needs. Treat yourself to an unrivalled culinary experience.


Great People

When you book with Molesworth Tours you will receive a knowledgeable, friendly and professional English speaking guide. Our Tours are private luxury experiences. Bring your friends and family and prepare for an experience like no other.


Guaranteed Beauty

New Zealand is a land famous for its scenic beauty. When you book an experience with Molesworth Tours you can relax in the comfort of our luxurious fully air conditioned off-road buses. Sit back and relax as you take in the powerful vistas.

Rainbow Station Gallery

See why this area of New Zealand is world famous for its scenic beauty.

Tour Description

Join Molesworth Tours to explore the southern and western sides of Molesworth Station, St James conservation area, Lake Tennyson, travel over Island Pass, the highest pass in the country at over 1300 metres high and through to Rainbow Station.

Sit back, relax and let one of Molesworth Tours professional tour guides take you on a journey into this remote and stunning part of New Zealand in one of our 4x4 off-road buses which are fully air conditioned and have large windows for fantastic viewing. Throughout the tour you will enjoy a fun and informative commentary from one of our Kiwi guides.

The route is remarkable for the landscape transition from the Clarence River Valley (1000m) featuring wide flowing tussock lands to where vast screes spill from ridge crest to valley floor in a lonely landscape split with fast flowing snow fed streams, ice cold sparkling lakes and Kettle bogs.

St. James conservation area, formerly St. James Station, was one of New Zealand’s largest private high country runs until purchased by the Crown. It is well known for its roving bands of station bred horses that attract wide interest amongst the equine community.

Lake Tennyson is the “jewel in the crown” amongst the lofty peaks of the Spenser Mountain range and a combination of water, forest, high mountains, tussock and scree creates a scenic highlight. The 239 hectare lake is dammed behind glacial moraines. The vegetation is a mosaic of moraine communities including open red tussock land and low shrub land with patches of tall tussock.

The history of glaciations' can be read in the landscape. Terminal and lateral moraines, glacial outwash plains, hanging valleys and waterfalls, cirque basins, tarns and arêtes are all reminders of the region's past ice ages. Passing thru a natural divide in the Southern Alps called ‘Hells Gates’ you enter the Wairau & Rainbow Valleys with their craggy, beech tree covered mountains that sweep down to the boulder strewn fast flowing Wairau River dissecting the St Arnaud and Raglan Mountain Ranges.

Tour Highlights

  • Entertaining and informative commentary from your professional tour guide.
  • 4WD coaches with air conditioning, satellite phone, intercom, large tinted windows & plenty of head room designed for passenger comfort.
  • Professional audited safety plan.
  • Department Of Conservation approved Operator.
  • Time to stretch your legs and take photographs and yes there are toilets available.
  • Accommodation pickup and drop off.

Tour Options

Tour Option One

  • Hanmer Springs into Rainbow station and return to Hanmer Springs
  • Includes Picnic lunch and Morning tea.
  • Departs Hanmer Springs at 8.30am
  • Returns approx 5.00 pm
  • Cost: $240 per person ($275 after October 1st 2023) includes Picnic lunch and refreshments.

Tour Option Two

  • Hanmer Springs All the way through Rainbow Station to St Arnaud
  • Includes Picnic lunch and Morning tea.
  • Departs Hanmer Springs at 8.30am
  • Arrives St Arnaud 4.30 pm
  • Cost: $280 per person ($300 after October 1st 2023) includes Picnic lunch and refreshments.

Tour Details

This tour is run on request as well as set dates, if you have a group that you would like to book on please get in contact with us.

Tours available from October through until mid May with some of the best times to visit Molesworth being the Spring and the Autumn.

Agent and group discounts available

What to Bring

We strongly recommend that you bring a warm waterproof windproof jacket, appropriate shoes for walking around outside, sunhat, sunglasses, sunscreen and a bottle of water.

Group Discounts

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, 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.

If you are ready to book your tour please use the contact form below to contact us with your preferred dates and any special requests. Once we have received your request a member of our reservatiuons team with conatct you shortly to tailor the package to your needs.

Tour Route Flyover

Watch the Google Earth fly through video on your Molesworth Tours Youtube Channel to get a better understanding of the different tour options

Watch The Video

Explore Rainbow Station

Use the maps below to fimilaise yourself with the vast Rainbow Station and surrounding areas.

More High Country Tours

Molesworth Tours offers a range of other luxury high country experiences. If you don't see what you looking for please contact us to arrange a bespoke tour package.