Molesworth and Beyond 2019
28 April - 2 May 2019Download PDF Itinerary
Join us on one of our most popular tours. We do however stress that this is a back country adventure so expect to experience nature at its most raw. A level of basic fitness, together with a flexible attitude, is strongly recommended.
Please note that due to the type of roads and terrain we cover on this tour, the itinerary may need to be changed due to weather events and road closures. We have several great alternatives if changes are necessary.
Sunday 28 April - Travelling to Blenheim
A leisurely start from all destinations today as we are transferred to Wellington and meet at the ferry terminal for an afternoon sailing across Cook Strait to Picton.Upon reaching Picton we make the short transfer to our beautiful Blenheim accommodation to settle in before dining together this evening.
Monday 29 April - Molesworth Station Safari Tour
This morning we board the specially designed four-wheel drive coaches, owned by local guide/owner-operator, Rick Stirling, for our Molesworth Station tour.Our journey today takes us up the Awatere Valley and allows us the chance to travel right through New Zealand’s largest high country property. Dramatic country unfolds before us, as we explore the ever changing terrain, and learn its history through a full and informative commentary. Morning tea at one of the stations will provide a chance to talk with the family on this unique side visit. Then, as we travel through Molesworth, we will hear tales of shepherds and stockmen, and stop to absorb the beauty of this unequalled landscape, enjoying a picnic lunch (included) by a century old cob building, with a backdrop of towering snow-capped mountains. Our journey ends today in the tranquil village of Hanmer Springs, our base for the next two nights. We dine in tonight.
Tuesday 30 April - Rainbow Station Safari Tour
Joined once again by our guide Rick Stirling and his special vehicles......our tour today to the remote privately owned Rainbow Station is a tour of contrasts: from craggy beech covered mountains to flowing tussock lands, from snow fed streams to crystal mountain tarns. Departing from Hanmer Springs we climb over Jacks Pass to the Clarence River valley and on up past St James Station to Lake Tennyson for a cuppa. We then travel through the Molesworth/Tarndale lakes country before entering the rugged Rainbow Station. Plenty of time to explore and take a stroll to view the native flora and fauna in this true wilderness area and one can only "experience" it as words are difficult to describe the absolute beauty, grandeur and mystique of this alpine delight. Once again, we find a sheltered spot to enjoy a picnic lunch (included). Returning to Hanmer Springs, schedule permitting, with time to enjoy a soak in the local hot pools (own cost), or simply to rest and relax before dining in.
Wednesday 01 May - Lewis Pass, Maruia Stock Saddle and Braeburn Track
This morning we rejoin our tour coach with local guide/operator, Rick Stirling joining us as we journey through the Lewis Pass, stopping for a cuppa at the St James Walkway carpark with an opportunity to visit a typical alpine tarn.Travelling a little further by tour coach, we rejoin Rick’s special vehicles to traverse the breath-taking Matakitaki/Maruia Stock Saddle track before descending into Murchison for a welcome comfort stop and picnic lunch (included). Here there is an opportunity for the treasure hunters of a little retail therapy. Following lunch, we negotiate the Braeburn/Rotoroa track, an old gold mining supply track used back in the 1860s. Enroute we visit both Nelson lakes, Rotoroa and Rotoiti, before emerging at the Alpine Resort Village of St Arnaud to reflect on an amazing journey through time and history seen by few. There is time to relax before dining in house tonight.
Thursday 02 May - Travelling Home
Departing St Arnaud this morning we follow the Wairau River, stopping at Wairau Valley to visit the delightful Leighvander Cottage, a lavender inspired garden, with commercial lavender production.Here we enjoy light refreshments of lavender muffins and tea, before continuing down the vineyard lined valley to Blenheim and on to Picton. We have time for lunch (own expense) prior to departure on our afternoon sailing to Wellington. Here we farewell fellow travellers and are transferred to our respective home towns.
The cost of the tour includes
- Accommodation (twin share)
- All dinners, 2 course or buffet
- All breakfasts
- Cook Strait ferry transfers
- All coach travel
- 3 Guided Safari day tours inclusive of lunches, morning teas, and refreshments.
- Molesworth Station
- Rainbow Station or alternative if weather and track conditions preclude
- Maruia Stock Saddle and Braeburn Track
- Morning tea and tour - Leighvander Garden