March 03, 2015

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The Rainbow Road and Molesworth Station

The Rainbow Road and Molesworth Station provide a fantastic opportunity to cycle tour in the South Island High Country.  The Rainbow road and the Molesworth Station are closed during the winter because of the harsh environment with frequent snow during the winter. Even when traveling in the middle of the summer you need to be prepared for sudden changes in the weather. You also need to carry all of your food for at least six nights if you are cycling and are aiming at seeing it all properly.

The Acheron Road through Molesworth station is open from Labour weekend Saturday to Easter
Monday or the second weekend in April (whichever is the later date).

The Rainbow Road entrance is about 7 kilometers from St Arnaud which is 186 kilometers from Picton.At the start to the Rainbow skifield the road is in good condition but deteriorates as you climb and some sections are very difficult to ride on. Part of the way up there is a private road to cross and there is a fee of $2 to pay.

There are options where you can ride through on a supported tour without panniers.


The Molesworth Station is spread over 180,470 hectares and is larger in area than Stewart Island and is nearly 60 kilometers long and is close to that at its widest point. The farm is owned by the Crown and is managed by the Department of Conservation. It is the single largest farm in New Zealand and is a land of dominating landscapes. 

The following are the accommodation options: 

  1. Cold Water Creek - campsite, water and toilets
  2. Lake Sedgemere Hut - 6 bunk DOC hut, toilet, water in creek, no cooking
  3. Lake Tennyson - 10 campsites, free, Toilet. Idyllic camping by lake if weather is good
  4. Acheron - 20 campsites, $6pp, tenting only,toilet,water.
  5. Molesworth Cob Cottage - 20 campsites, $6pp, tenting only, toilet, water
Link to Ride Images
My New Zealand Two Islands Ride 2015


The Rainbow Road before the skifield


St James Road and Rainbow
The Rainbow Road can be difficult to negotiate

Molesworth Station
In the Molesworth
Cottage Molesworth Station




The Rainbow Road

Lake Tennyson

Cattle Muster Molesworth Station
 


1 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for sharing your itinerary! This will definitely help me plan our trip, but it also makes me feel like I need to extend our trip by about two weeks haha. Also available on Budget accommodation in New Zealand. http://www.urbanz.net.nz/

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