Hunting is restricted in Molesworth as it is both a recreation reserve and a working farm, and there is a need to balance the requirements of both. Red deer, chamois, goats and pigs are found on the station.

Hunting block overview


  • Chamois
  • Deer - Red
  • Goats
  • Pigs

Permit requirements

A permit is required to hunt on public conservation land.

This hunting area is covered by a 'restricted area permit' which must be obtained from the DOC office managing the hunting area.

Dog access

No dogs

About this hunting block


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.

Molesworth DRAFT hunting map (PDF, 600K)

Allow up to a week to organise and issue permits.

Apply for Molesworth hunting permits online

Three goose shoot weekends are held each year. Please contact the Renwick Office if you want to attend these hunts. Goose hunting is not available at other times.


Vehicle access is limited to the main formed roads Acheron Road and Tophouse/Wairau Hanmer Springs Road (also known as Rainbow Road).

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 Labour Weekend 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).


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


No dogs permitted.


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.

Conditions of permit

Special conditions for Molesworth

  1. Holding a permit does not guarantee sole use of an area. Multiple hunting parties may be present in one area at any time, as well as recreational users such as trampers.
  2. This permit may be cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances including extreme weather, fire risk, and road conditions.
  3. Vehicle access is only allowed on the Acheron Road during the road open period (Saturday of Labour Weekend until Easter Monday or the second Sunday in April, whichever is the later date). There is no vehicle access on farm tracks or to farm buildings.
  4. Your permit must be carried while in Molesworth Station. If you are leaving a vehicle on the roadside, please leave the permit visible on the dashboard. Vehicles may be left up to 50m from the Acheron Rd. When leaving vehicles, ensure they are not blocking gates or access ways.
  5. Fires are prohibited in the reserve (except for facilities provided in huts).
  6. Camping is not permitted in the Acheron Road corridor.
  7. There is strictly no helicopter use for hunting or other recreational activities on Molesworth Station.

Standard hunting permit conditions

  1. Permits only allow for ground-based non-commercial hunting of deer, pigs, goats, wallabies, chamois or thar within the timeframe specified unless otherwise stated in the 'special conditions'.
  2. Permits do not entitle the holder to enter any area held under lease or where access is restricted by the DOC. For details about land held under lease or restricted areas, contact the nearest DOC office.
  3. Permits do not confer a right of access except by way of defined legal roads or rights of way. Permission to cross any private land must be obtained from the owner.
  4. Permits do not confer the right to take vehicles or dogs onto public conservation land, unless otherwise stated in the special conditions of that permit.
  5. Only centre fire rifles of calibre .222 Remington or larger may be used for hunting, or crossbows and bows that meet the minimum standard specified by DOC. Shotguns, rimfire rifles and .22 hornet are excluded.
  6. Hunters wishing to use a firearm must abide by the conditions of the Arms Act.
  7. No firearm is to be discharged in the vicinity of huts, tracks, campsites, road-ends or any other public place in a manner that endangers property, or endangers, frightens or annoys members of the public. No firearm shall be discharged or loaded within 500m of a Great Walk hut.
  8. Absolutely no spotlighting. Hunting wild animals during the hours of darkness (1/2 hour after sunset to ½ hour before sunrise) is prohibited.
  9. Permits are not transferable and must be produced on demand to any authorised person, and may at any time be cancelled by public notice or by email or letter.
  10. Carcasses, offal, and rubbish must not be left near or in visitor facilities or waterways.
  11. All breach of any of the standard or 'special conditions' renders this permit null and void and may result in prosecution.


The applicant shall indemnify the Department of Conservation and Landcorp Farming against all claims by any person in respect of injury, loss or damage (including fire damage) caused by or arising out of any act of omission of the Applicants, its servants, agents, contractors, clients or invitees, or otherwise caused as a consequence of its use of the reserve or as a result of the conduct of the permit holder.


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