Adventure Riding NZ

New Zealand's Adventure Riding community, free GPS track downloads, forums, and more!


You must be registered and logged in to see this page.

Use the Register - Sign in box on the right hand side to access all the great content on the Adventure Riding NZ website, it's free and fast to do.


Home Forums TRACKS & GPS South Island tracks map Acheron Road / Molesworth Station

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 45 total)
  • Author
  • #1207
    • Town/City: Tauranga
    • Bike: Suzuki DR650 ADV, BMW R100GS
    • Rank: Round the World Adventure Globetrotter

    The Acheron Road through Molesworth Station is now open for the summer 2013/2014 riding season.

    The open access period is from 7:00 am Saturday 26 October 2013 (Labour Weekend) until 7:00 pm Easter Monday 21 April 2014.

    During the open access period, the road may be closed suddenly because of fire risk, extreme weather, road conditions or farm activities.


    • Bike: 2102 Husaberg FE570 Rally Australia Bike, 2007 BMW 650 x-Challenge, 2009 Buell XP Ulysses Police Duty (1 of 137)
    • Rank: 800cc Rider

    Just rode this and edwards pass last week, late November 2013. Road condition is good, graded well, and there is one suprise river crossing/ford that comes up quick and is hidden by a small bump – I hit it at 80kph and got pretty wet! Luckily it was only about 2ft deep, but potential to ruin your day if u don’t expect it going really fast. As for Edwards Pass, its simply amazing. I also rode up to Amuri Ski Field via Branch Creek. Off limits but u can use the St James Cycleway to get your bike to some cool places and to dirt tracks!

    • Town/City: Tauranga
    • Bike: Suzuki DR650 ADV, BMW R100GS
    • Rank: Round the World Adventure Globetrotter

    FYI folks


    Molesworth Road to close early due to fire danger
    Clare Moore, DOC Partnerships Ranger
    Phone +64 3 572 9100

    Trish Grant, DOC Nelson/Marlborough Communications Advisor
    Phone +64 3 546 3146

    Date: 28 January 2015
    Due to extreme fire danger, the Acheron Road through Molesworth Station will be closed to vehicles from 7 pm Wednesday 4 February 2014.

    DOC, which manages Molesworth, will be monitoring the fire risk in the station. If it reduces sufficiently the road may re-open during the current open season, which ends on 12 April.

    DOC Renwick Partnerships Ranger Clare Moore said early closure of the road was necessary to protect the station’s working farm and outstanding natural and historic features from fire.

    “Movement of people and vehicles through the station increases the risk of a fire starting and fire could cause serious damage to the station’s cattle farm, its rare native plants and animals and its historic buildings.

    “We regret the disappointment the early closure of the road causes to anyone who’d planned to make the trip through the station and now won’t be able to.”

    To find out if the road is closed or open in the weeks up until the road closes for the season on 12 April, people can call the DOC Renwick Office on +64 3 572 9100 or check with visitor centres in the region.

    • Bike: 2014 BMW G650GS
    • Rank: 400cc Rider

    Now that is a shame as I am due to leave Auckland on the 4th February and was planning on doing the Molesworth trip. Hopefully the forecast rain might make reopening the road possible.

    • Rank: 50cc Rider

    My wife and I did the Molesworth a couple of weeks ago. I was on a South Island tour with my ST 1300 a rather unsuitable bike for the Molesworth so I hired a BMWF650GS Single from Andrea Ladbrook and her husband at Kiwi Motorcycle Rentals 4 McLean Drive Leithfield Amberley. They have a great selection of KLR’s, DR650’s etc and a few BMW’s. Extremly helpful – picked my wife up from Chch while I left my bike and gear with them. The 650 had panniers and I used a Wolfman tail bag off the 1300 as well.
    Day 1 Rode to Hamner stayed at YHA had a nice dinner couldn’t be bothered with the pools. Lovely ride to Hamner really pretty only a couple of hours but nice
    Day 2 Rode the road. Breakfast at 0730 at a pub in Hamner. Please be advised the signage for the start of the road is a bit hard to see at speed so suggest stopping and actually reading the signs otherwise you will wind-up not on “Jacks Pass Road” but on ” Jacks Pass Track” a 4WD that rapidly becomes impassable and stops 2 km in! Alternatively you can tiki-tour on the next road nearby that leads into the hills to Hamner Horse Tours – so do look carefully at the road signs!
    The first 100 km is fun but the second is tiresome. Sadly run out of room! Sayonara!

    • Town/City: Tauranga
    • Bike: Suzuki DR650 ADV, BMW R100GS
    • Rank: Round the World Adventure Globetrotter

    Following the recent Kaikoura earthquakes the Molesworth / Archeron Road is closed while assessments are made.

    You can find updates on this page on the doc website: http://www.doc.govt.nz/news/issues/kaikoura-earthquake/

    The Acheron Road through Molesworth Station is currently closed until further notice as damage to the road is still to be assessed.

    • Town/City: Tauranga
    • Bike: Suzuki DR650 ADV, BMW R100GS
    • Rank: Round the World Adventure Globetrotter

    I hope no-one takes any serious notice of this.

    Alternative South Island road ‘imagined’ as drones survey slips

    Building a new inland highway to connect the upper South Island to Christchurch is “not out of the question” but could cost about $4 billion, a Wellington mapping company believes.

    Critchlow Limited founder Steve Critchlow said the company, which employs 25 staff, had modelled what might be involved in upgrading the Molesworth Station track into a new route, for its own curiosity.

    “We are promoting the fact we have got a really detailed map of the New Zealand transport system.”

    The road through Molesworth Station could provide a permanent alternative to the quake-hit SH1, but it wouldn’t be a quick fix.

    The route would require 180 kilometres of new state highway but the price tag was just a “rule of thumb” based on construction costs in the United States, he said.

    New Zealand’s wider high-tech mapping industry has been buzzing since the Kaikoura earthquake, which struck just two days before its annual awards.
    Whatever the solution, the road to recovery will be long and/or bumpy.
    Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helico

    Whatever the solution, the road to recovery will be long and/or bumpy.

    Drones have been sent to survey slips, satellites assigned to provide extra aerial imagery and internet and hazard maps have been thrust into the limelight as the public and policy makers attempt to digest the consequences of the natural disaster.

    “The challenge is everyone is running around doing things they think are useful but coordination is always the problem,” Critchlow said. “Some small councils have got one person who is responsible for emergency management.”

    Prime Minister John Key last week cast doubt on whether damage to State Highway 1 would ever be repaired.

    Steve Critchlow said one of the issues would be the environmental consequences of dumping millions of tonnes of rock from slips into the ocean, “although if the road wasn’t there it would have fallen into the ocean anyway”.

    “The question for the Government is whether you want access down the coast, or inland, and how long it would take compared with clearing the rubble from the existing road.

    “Look how long Transmission Gully is taking and it is not a very long road. It does beg the question of why you wouldn’t just run a ferry to Lyttelton.”

    The Transport Agency has been contacted for comment.

    Upgrading the Molesworth Station route would cut 112km off the existing undamaged route between Blenheim and Christchurch, which runs via Lewis Pass, and would only be 33km longer than a restored coastal route, Critchlow said.

    The maximum gradient on the Molesworth route reaches 1:10 on the south bound descent into Hanmer Springs, but that is not as steep as Transmission Gully, he said.

    Another drawback is the road climbs to about 1100 metres.

    That would put it on a par with the alpine Desert Road which crosses North Island’s Central Plateau and which can be blocked by snowfalls.

    The public road from Seddon that runs into Molesworth is “pretty rough”, but could be sorted out, Critchlow said.

    “Then there is the section through Molesworth itself which is not too bad, runs along the river and is beautiful. And then there is the bit down to Hanmer before you are back on the state highway network.”

    NZ Tech chief executive Graeme Muller said spatial technology had played a large role in the rapid response to the earthquake.

    – Wellington company Thundermaps has seen record traffic to its global database of more than 6 million dangerous locations since the quake.

    – Eagle Technology, the New Zealand Defence Force and Land Information New Zealand arranged for satellite company Digital Globe to acquire imagery over the affected transport routes.

    – Christchurch surveyors Eliot Sinclair used drones to survey and produce 3D models of landslides near Rotherham and a slip near Waiau for the Hurunui District Council. Wellington company Aurecon plans to use drones to generate 3D models of slips for Canterbury Civil Defence. Christchurch firm Fox and Associates was also contracted to use drones to survey the main Rotherham slip.

    Unpassable: Blenheim – Kaikoura – Christchurch (SH1): 312km
    Unbuilt: Blenheim – Molesworth – Hanmer – Christchurch: 345km
    Unpleasantly long: Blenheim – Wairau Valley – Lewis Pass – Christchurch: 457km

    • Town/City: Tauranga
    • Bike: Suzuki DR650 ADV, BMW R100GS
    • Rank: Round the World Adventure Globetrotter

    Molesworth Recreation Reserve

    Molesworth Recreation Reserve will re-open on Friday 9 December following earthquake damage repairs.

    Acheron Road

    Acheron Road will only be open from the Hamner end through to Molesworth Cob campground. There is no access through Awatere Valley Road until further notice and vehicles will have to return through Hanmer.
    Heavy machinery is still operating on the Acheron Road and visitors should expect delays and follow all safety instructions.

    • Town/City: Wellington
    • Bike: BMW R80 G/S, R100GS & M72 Sidecar, Gilera Runner ST200
    • Rank: 1200cc Rider

    Just to give a sense of scale here is an article on the Awatere Valley slips

    • Town/City: Tauranga
    • Bike: Suzuki DR650 ADV, BMW R100GS
    • Rank: Round the World Adventure Globetrotter

    From stuff.co.nz

    A new road is planned once a major slip is cleared on one of Marlborough’s main rural routes.

    The Awatere Valley Road has been closed to traffic since the 7.8-magnitude Kaikoura earthquake caused a massive slip on November 14.

    Farming families in the valley have had their farming operations disrupted waiting for the slip to be cleared by contractors.

    The unsealed back country road is a popular summer route for motorists travelling through the Molesworth Station to Hanmer.

    Since the earthquake, motorists have only been able to travel from Hanmer to Molesworth and return by the same route.

    Marlborough Roads manager Frank Porter said contractors had been making good progress working over the Christmas and New Year period.

    The Awatere Valley slip was complex and high risk with geotechnical challenges and worker safety was a high priority, Porter said.

    “We have been using remotely operated diggers, and have an earthmoving machine on the other side of the slip.

    The massive slip on the Awatere Valley road.

    “Once the slip is cleared there is a further issue with extensive cracking on the road around 4 kilometres from the slip site.”

    Porter said the road segment was unsafe for vehicles and a new road would need to be built.

    Because of the complex nature of the project it was not possible to give a date for when the road would be open to the public.

    “It is still likely to be a number of weeks away,” he said.

    It is estimated 3000 cubic metres of material, enough to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool, needs to be cleared from the slip to reopen the road.

    Camden Station co-owner Kelly Pitts said the continued road closure was “frustrating” and a “bit inconvenient” because heavy vehicles that needed to take stock and wool to markets were not able to access the road.

    “We’ve walked 120 dry ewes around the top of the slip on foot to the Jordan Station and to get them trucked out but it was long process.”

    Pitts, who farmed the two properties with husband Hugo, said diesel and fertiliser still needed to be trucked in.

    “It looks like if a new road is built we may not see any trucks for another month.”

    Groceries and mail deliveries had not been affected, she said.

    “It will be nice when the slip is cleared and we can get back to normal.”

    Awapiri Station owner Eric Smith, who farm borders Camden on the other side of the slip, said it was costly to keep stock on the farm when they were ready to be sold.

    “Some farmers are missing out on schedule prices at the sales.

    “Apart from that we are not panicking.

    “We’ve finished tailing, and now we are onto repairing fencing damage from the earthquake which hasn’t been to major, just a matter of putting waratahs back in place.

    Department of Conservation Renwick senior ranger recreation and historic James Gilmour said motorists travelling from Hanmer to the Molesworth needed to ensure they had a full tank of fuel to complete the approximately 200-kilometre return journey.

    Gilmour said traffic numbers to the station have been steady during the holiday period.

    • Town/City: Tauranga
    • Bike: Suzuki DR650 ADV, BMW R100GS
    • Rank: Round the World Adventure Globetrotter

    The Awatere Valley reopens again tomorrow 23/01/2017 after the earthquakes late last year.


    Robert Lonergan
    • Rank: 80cc Rider

    I was thinking of doing the Molesworth before it closed Easter Monday, is anyone able to describe the condition of the Awatere Valley Road, which I understand is now reopened? Looking at 2 up on a f800 GS. Also tyre recommendations for Moleswoth at that time of year, if it’s free draining gravel was thinking of TKC70s, but are there muddy sections? Cheers

    • Town/City: Richmond
    • Rank: 1000cc Rider

    Road is excellent hard base with light gravel coat.

    Robert Lonergan
    • Rank: 80cc Rider

    Thanks, does that go for both the Awatere Valley Road and the Molewworth itself? I thought Awatere Valley Road was a bit of a mess, but maybe that’s all fixed now. Cheers

    Andrew Thomson
    • Bike: Super Tenere, Concours 14, WR250R, RMX450Z
    • Rank: 1000cc Rider

    The roads is in great condition. Absolutely fantastic ride and no issues whatsoever on my loaded down whale a few weeks ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 45 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.