Station road opens early

CATHIE BELL
Last updated 11:25 24/10/2013
tdn cow gal
SUE O'DOWD

Cycling through South Marlborough's Molesworth Station provides a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with New Zealand's largest farm.

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The road through Molesworth Station will be open from this weekend, the Department of Conservation says.

Molesworth Station is the largest high country station in the country, classified as a recreation reserve owned by the Crown and operated as a farm by Landcorp.

DOC partnership manager Dave Hayes said the Acheron Rd through the station would be open from Labour Day weekend through to Easter.

Previously, it opened in December.

"We know the public has wanted more time to be able to explore this majestic place," Mr Hayes said. "The trick has been balancing the desires of the public with the need to run a viable farming operation.

"Landcorp has had to dramatically alter their farming operations to allow for the extended road open period, and we are grateful for the effort they have put into making this work."

The Acheron Rd will be open from 7am-7pm from October 26 to April 21.

The 207-kilometre journey between Blenheim to Hanmer Springs follows the Awatere River, crosses Wards Pass to follow the Acheron River to its confluence with the Clarence River.

The Acheron Rd may be closed due to weather conditions or for safety reasons, so its status can be checked 24 hours a day by contacting DOC Marlborough District Office on (03) 572 9100.

The road is unsealed and suitable for two wheel drive cars.

Vehicles towing trailers, caravans, buses or vehicles over seven metres are not permitted unless under exceptional circumstances and with special permission.

The Molesworth management plan, available on the DOC website (www.doc.govt.nz) outlines how the balance is struck between protecting natural, historical and cultural heritage, fostering recreation and maintaining a viable farming operation.

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- The Marlborough Express

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