Molesworth Station - Blenheim to Hanmer Springs

from 1-4 days (1 day through the station itself)

If you like big landscapes including mountains, river valleys and a sense of history then Molesworth Station is the perfect place for you - somewhere that you gives you that feeling of being very small on this vast planet.

Although Molesworth Station is a massive 181,000 hectares (New Zealand's largest farm) the path across it is a mere 59 kilometers itself and can be (and must be) ridden in a day.  Acheron Road is only open from the 28th December to 5th April every year from 7am to 7pm - so you need to time your ride. There is a DOC camping ground at either end but no camping is allowed elsewhere en-route.  At the northern end is the original Molesworth Cob Cottage (cob being a mixture of clay, animal dung and tussock) built in 1866 by John Murphy and a DOC Camping ground, while at the south end is Acheron Accommodation House (also made of cob) and the other DOC campsite.  There are toilets and water at the campsites.

The gravel road across Molesworth Station is not technical but it is a long day in the saddle.  The road is infamously corrugated and the loose metal can be tyre swallowing deep in some parts. But there is no doubt that the ride is worth it! The scenery is spectacular and one gets this incredible feeling of smallness in such a vast open space.

After 9 kilometers there is a big climb over Wards Pass (1,145 meters above sea level) from which on descent you are immediately engulfed by the huge Isolated Flat awash with white gentian flows, tussock and blue borage (a flower that attracts bees which are cultivated for their delicate honey).

Acheron Accommodation House is finally reached at the confluence of the Acheron and Clarence Rivers.  Constructed in 1862 by Ned James it is the oldest building on the property and features a tussock thatched roof with beech rafters which are visible from the inside.

Many riders will make a complete cycle tour from Blenheim to Hanmer Spring (or vice versa - but probably best to finish in Hanmer Springs and soak away the dirt in the Hot Springs). The total journey is 207 Kilometers via the Acheron Road and through Molesworth Station. It is probably best to take this trip over four days camping somewhere along route near the Lee River, then at the DOC Molesworth Cob Cottage and the Acheron Accommodation House campsite, before the final short 20km day into Hanmer Springs. It is possible to make it from Blenheim to Molesworth in one day but it would be a tough day as you carry three to four days food and enough water to reach the Cob Cottage. That first day starts with a big climb over Taylors Pass and another large 220 meter ascent over Upcot Saddle later in the day but this is more than compensated for the splendid ride through the Awatere Valley which is vineyards for as far as the eye can see - stop for a wine tasting at your own peril. The plus side is the cruise into Hanmer Springs either down Jollies Pass Road or Jacks Pass Road (the later being easier the former being more fun).

Follow State Highway 1 (SH1) south out of Blenheim, turning right into the Awatere Valley just north of Seddon and the Awatere Vallery Bridge. A sign here will indicate whether the Acheron Road is open (apart from being closed between May and December it may also from time to time be closed due to weather, fire risk or farming requirements).

For those that get to Hamner and have not ahd enough then instead of turning left at Jacks or Jollies Pass into Hanmer Springs, turn right for the 112 kilometer Hanmer - Rainbow Road to St Arnaud.

Village Lake Apartments
Village Lake Apartments is Hanmer Springs newest Premiere Luxury Apartment complex comprising of 9 x 2 Bedroom Luxury Apartments and 4 x 3 Bedroom Luxury Suites.
The Fairways at Ocean Ridge
The Fairways at Ocean Ridge offers Luxury apartment style accommodation for those wanting to indulge in some home comforts and rest the weary muscles after a good ride. Our 1 and 2 bedroom ensuite apartments or ensuite studios provides perfect accommodation options to suit all levels of budget.
Heritage Hanmer Springs
A beautifully restored historic building set in landscaped grounds, Heritage Hanmer Springs offers the best of comfort and facilities in a range of spacious rooms for couples and self-contained 3-bedroom villas for families or groups.
Select Braemar Lodge and Spa
Escape, Embrace, Experience
Select Braemar Lodge and Spa is a 5 star property nestled in the hills overlooking the Hanmer Springs valley.
Settlers Motel
Soak up the luxury in the heart of the village
SETTLERS MOTEL is a luxury motel carefully designed for your comfort and privacy. With relaxing decor and quality fittings and furnishings, you can be assured of a totally rejuvenating holiday, short break or romantic weekend away in superb accommodation which has that special touch.
Hanmer Springs Forest Camp
Hanmer Springs Forest Camp is a great venue for school camps, group accommodation, conferences and family holidays. There are a range of cabins, self contained units, self catering kitchens and a fully accessible lodge. We also offer a spacious campground, family cabins and self-contained motel style units.
Jack in the Green Backpackers
Le Gite is a comfortable, cosy and warm place to relax and regain your energy after a long, hard day of the bike!
Phone Number: 03 315 5111
Hanmer View Bed and Breakfast and Holiday Apartments
Purpose built to ensure our guests enjoy a quite, relaxing stay in warm, spacious luxury rooms.
Hanmer View B&B and Holiday Apartments - enjoying stunning panoramic views of the Hanmer Springs village, Hanmer Basin and mountains.
Phone Number: 03 3157947
Cheltenham House
Phone Number: 03 315 7545
Hanmer Springs Scenic Views Motel
Built of natural Stone and timbers, Hanmer Springs Scenic Views Motels offers to its guests modern spacious clean units.
Phone Number: 03 315 7419
Bella Vista Motel Hanmer Springs
Belle Vista Motels in Hanmer Springs is the ultimate self catering luxury motel accommodation for cyclists in Hanmer. Stay in our of our 18 studios or one bedroom units - some even with spa baths - in spacious surrounds with alpine views!
Phone Number: 0800 235 528
Hanmer Holiday Homes
Hanmer Holiday Homes has been operating since 2001 and offers the largest range of holiday home accommodation in Hanmer Springs. Our homes range from economic to extravagant and will suit all your accommodation needs.
Phone Number: 033157336
Drifters Inn
Quality Accommodation in Hanmer Springs
Drifter's Inn offers the comfort and personal service of an alpine lodge along with all the convenience of motel accommodation. Centrally located in the heart of the picturesque village of Hanmer Springs, just 80 metres from New Zealand's finest thermal spa and hot springs, Drifters Inn is the ideal place...
Phone Number: 033157554
Donegal House
We know your stay at Donegal House will become a memory recalled with delight many times over.
Phone Number: 03 319 5083
Chalets Motel
Safe bike storage available!
Relax and enjoy your own private, quiet Chalet, with breathtaking views from inside and out. Each Chalet has its own carpark with space for mountainbikes on your covered patio. You also have an option to house your bikes in a lockup garage if you wish.
Phone Number: 0800 315 709
Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa
The natural place to unwind – a world class spa experience set in a unique alpine environment just 90 minutes drive from Christchurch.
Phone Number: 03 315 0000

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