Molesworth Station hunting

Updated: 13 February 2105:

  • Due to extreme fire danger, the Acheron Road through Molesworth Station is closed to vehicles until further notice. Foot access is still permitted to hunting areas.

Hunting permits

You can apply for Molesworth hunting permits online or contact the DOC office.

General information

Molesworth Station is the largest farm in New Zealand. It is administered by the Department of Conservation and leased to Landcorp Farming Ltd.

Hunting is restricted as Molesworth is both a recreation reserve and a working farm, and there is a need to balance the requirements of both.

Red deer, chamois, goats, pigs, and Canada geese are found on the station.

Gate to Molesworth Station. Photo: Kevin McGrath.
Gate to Molesworth Station

Permit information

Permits for hunting deer, chamois, goats and pigs will only be issued for a specific period (up to a week) and for a specified area.  Different areas are available at different times of the year, depending on farm requirements and stock locations.

2015 Roar

DOC is trialling an exclusive block system for the 2015 roar. This will run from Wednesday 18 March to Tuesday 28 April with the available periods being:

Period 1: Wednesday 18 March to Tuesday 24 March
Period 2: Wednesday 25 March to Tuesday 31 March
Period 3: Wednesday 1 April to Tuesday 7 April
Period 4: Wednesday 8 April to Tuesday 14 April
Period 5: Wednesday 15 April to Tuesday 21 April
Period 6: Wednesday 22 April to Tuesday 28 April

The booking system is first in first served. Only 1 block may be booked by each party during this period.  Maps of each block are being developed.

Map of Molesworth Station

Allow up to a week to organise and issue permits.

Apply for Molesworth hunting permits online

Three goose shoot weekends are held each year. They are organised by the New Zealand Game Bird Hunters Association. Contact them through their website if you want to attend these hunts. Goose hunting is not available at other times.


Vehicle access is limited to the main formed roads.

Helicopters are not permitted at all.

There are three main road access points:

Via Jacks Pass Road from Hanmer Springs

This road is open all year round, weather conditions permitting. This gives access to the southern end of the station, and north through to Lake Sedgemere. The road can be impassable because of snow during the winter months.

Rainbow Road

Rainbow Road goes through Rainbow Station and Molesworth Station, from near St Arnaud (turn off SH63) to Hanmer. This is a 4WD toll road, open Boxing Day to Easter Monday. Rainbow Road and Upper Wairau Valley

The road can be closed at any times due to weather conditions. Check Lone Star Farms website for up to date information about the road conditions.

For access outside the open season, contact the farm manager on  +64 3 521 1838 after 6:30 pm.

Molesworth Acheron Road

This links the Acheron to the top of the Awatere Valley Road. The road is open from late December to Easter Monday OR the last Sunday in April (whichever is the latest). Limited access is available by arrangement at other times (farming and weather conditions permitting). Molesworth Acheron Road

Other access

  • Limited access to Eastern Zone across Clarence River.
  • Rafters/kayakers travelling down the Clarence sometimes hunt the Eastern Zone.
  • Tramping over Severn Saddle from the top of the Leatham Valley into the Northern Zone (Severn Valley).

Map information

NZTopo50 maps: BS24, BS25, BT24, BT25, BT26.


No dogs are permitted on Molesworth Station.

Hut information

Additional information

There are no WARO activities allowed in this area.

For further mapping and access information refer to Walking Access Aotearoa or DOC maps.


Wairau / Renwick Office
Phone:      +64 3 572 9100
Full office details

Find out more



Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:
1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies