The Molesworth Road

507km Geraldine to Seddon

dsc_7802“Oh, I couldn’t do that,” is a common refrain from people when they consider bicycle touring. We always reply that this trip is 90% mental and just 10% physical. A small hill can seem like a mountain if you’re in a bad mood but with the right attitude, and a good supply of trail mix, you can scale peak after peak.

With this in mind, we made sure to put our ‘happy hats’ on as we breezed through the spa town of Hanmer Springs (stopping only to share a 1 litre tub of Hokey Pokey ice cream, the Kiwi favourite) and turned right for the Molesworth Road. In the 1800s, this was true pioneer territory as the explorers of the day searched the land, looking for rich grazing pastures and a shorter route between Christchurch and Nelson. Today it’s the country’s largest working farm and only open to the public for a few months each year.

As we turned right onto the dirt road, we wondered how much had really changed since those early days. We could imagine the men trekking their way up the same path as we pushed our bikes, carrying several days worth of food over the loose gravel, rutted surface and steep grades. Every car covered us in a fine layer of dust as it flew by on the way to Jacks Pass.

Just how much food were we carrying? That’s 1kg of porridge oats, 1kg of trail mix (our own blend of raw nuts, seeds, raisins and dried apricots)Classic autumn cycling, 500g of couscous, 500g of pasta, 300g of pepperoni, 1kg of cheese, 3 boxes of crackers, 2 tins of tuna, 4 onions, 4 tomatoes, 4 carrots, 2 avocados, 1 head of broccoli, 1 iceberg lettuce, 2 kumara, 1 lemon and 8 apples, plus our standard pantry items like spices, garlic, butter, tomato paste, honey, tea, coffee, powdered milk and an extra litre of gas in case we ran out over the 4 days before we’d see any shops again. With all this on board, please note that we did not carry any wine up the mountain – an act of great restraint on our part with all the wonderful New Zealand vintages to choose from!

It took over an hour to cover the 5km to the pass but our reward came on the other side, where we flew downhill on a much better road. We followed the river through the dry mountains to Acheron Cottage, an original lodging house but now a basic campsite for travellers. If we’d arrived in the 1860s, the smell of freshly baked bread would have welcomed us and 25 cents would have bought a bed for the night, dinner and a stable for our horses. The ovens had unfortunately long since stopped baking bread so we tucked into a more modern comfort, Thai curry over noodles.

Just as it was nearly dark, we noticed a few white tails off in the distance. Rabbits. We think they’re cute but farmers would probably side more with Porky Pig and his rifle. Those ‘wascaly wabbits’ were one of the reasons that many farmers went bankrupt trying to making a living off this land over the decades. The rabbits multiplied so quickly and ate so much of the best grass that there simply wasn’t enough left for the farm animals. The Department of Conservation now seem to have rabbit control figured out since today’s farm is profitable and thriving.

dsc_7840After our efforts of the day before, it was past 10am before we got going towards the next camping area at Cob Cottage. There’s just 59km between the two houses and we thought it would be a relatively easy day but we should have thought a little more.

Cob Cottage gets its name from the building material used to make it. Early homesteaders mixed together clay, water, gravel and tussock to make the cob – a sort of rustic concrete – because there were almost no trees to supply wood on the Molesworth Station. No trees means no shade and we felt every ray coming down from the relentlessly hot sun as we worked our way over the gravelly, bumpy road. What we really needed were the wide-brimmed hats worn by the cowboys we saw rounding up cattle and taking them to lower winter pastures.

By the time we reached Wards Pass, the last big hump on the way to Cob Cottage, we were shattered and then dismayed to get over the top with no sight of Cob Cottage. It was still a few kilometres further on and near dusk by the time we rolled through the gates that the rangers use to close the road between 7pm and 7am.

“I’d have come looking for you if you hadn’t showed up,” said Mike the ranger as he collected our camp fees. Out here in the middle of nowhere, it’s a reassuring thought to know someone is keeping an eye out for you. Happily we were suffering from nothing other than exhaustion and a vigorous appetite so while Andrew put up the tent, Friedel whipped up supper and soon we were tucked into our sleeping bags, snoozing in the calm and perfectly quiet Molesworth night.

The next day we hoped to reach the main highway – a full 90km away but surely the asphalt road would return soon enough? We were now off the Molesworth Station and back on public land but the bumpy dirt road and the hills continued and by late in the afternoon we were a meagre 50km along. A kind couple gave us two juicy peaches. We couldn’t have been happier, even if they’d handed us two gold nuggets!

There's still a long way to goWe started to wonder where we’d spend the night after the backpackers we thought existed out here turned out to be closed and the steep embankments leading down to a deep gorge offered little potential for camping. But we’ve never failed to find a place for the night yet and just as we rounded a corner we spotted a little track leading down to a flat field next to a stream, with birds chirping away. We couldn’t have asked for anything more perfect.

It took another full day before we finally emerged from our Molesworth Road experience and made a dash straight for the nearest campground with a hot shower. There’s nothing like 3 days out in the wilds to make you appreciate the beauty of a simple pleasure.


  1. Ian & Dot
    1st April 2009 at 5:05 am #

    Great read. You certainly pick interesting places to travel. We haven’t been there ourselves!
    We’ve just returned from Christchurch after a few days catching up with our daughter. Took the easy way – flew Air NZ
    Hope that we can see you sometime.



  2. Jen T
    2nd April 2009 at 4:00 am #

    Looking forward to catching up with you when you reach our area (North Island). Evie says you all had a great time. Didn’t envy you on this leg of the journey, my bones were sore in sympathy LOL 🙂

    Cheers for now
    Jenny (Jen T from recipezaar)

  3. Becky
    3rd April 2009 at 6:29 pm #

    Reading about your initial climb brought back some memories … we just finished Highway 4 from the East to West coast of Malaysia (well mostly finished, we are 30 km away from the ferry to Georgetown). What a beautiful but killer challenging ride – at one point it was 38 km of uphill with grades over 10% at times … brutal!
    We can also relate to your place to camp concern … last night as a storm was approaching we happened upon a logging camp and ended up setting up in their cafeteria for the night … given that it rained for 8 solid hours, we were happy for the extra shelter.

  4. Jay Guess
    22nd September 2013 at 1:06 am #

    Great read! We hare heading over to NZ in the new year on a tandem with our twins in tow in a chariot trailer. We are hoping you could give us some advice, do you think this track is manageable with a tandem, and a double width trailer? We have no illusions that it will be easy, but are there any real reasons it wouldn’t be possible, track to narrow etc?


    Jay & Katie

  5. invest precious metals
    2nd December 2022 at 6:21 am #

    fake Rolex became a market share of one of the famous brand watches.

  6. for more information
    5th December 2022 at 3:02 am #

    It�s super content, I congratulate you

  7. for more information
    5th December 2022 at 8:12 pm #

    With thanks! I like it.i hate writing essays research proposal for dissertation custom writings review

  8. Pocetna
    9th December 2022 at 1:05 pm #

    osmaniye hava durumu; osmaniye için hava durumu en güncel saatlik, günlük ve aylık tahminler.

  9. Proposal cover page Word
    20th December 2022 at 1:45 am #

    Thank you, I have recently been searching for info about this topic for ages and yours is the best I’ve came upon so far.However, what about the conclusion? Are you positive in regards tothe supply?

  10. Avery Miller
    2nd January 2023 at 9:29 pm #

    white creek apartments rentberry scam ico 30m$ raised joe’s apartment

  11. certified arborist near me
    30th March 2023 at 6:38 pm #

    Major thankies for the blog.Much thanks again. Much obliged.

  12. Bu Long Nam Ha
    8th April 2023 at 1:39 pm #

    I’ve just graduated how to take imodium It is also reassuring that while caesarean section rates increased over the decade, they remain close to the OECD average for developed countries,” he said.

  13. player`s journey
    20th April 2023 at 4:08 am #

    Only deposits created applying Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion.

  14. why is nutrition so important
    23rd April 2023 at 8:30 pm #

    Looking forward to reading more. Great article.

    23rd April 2023 at 11:25 pm #

    times will often affect your placement in google and could damage your quality score if

  16. Daman Games
    24th April 2023 at 1:06 pm #

    Thanks a lot for the post. Much obliged.

  17. Custom Bluetooth speaker
    25th April 2023 at 9:27 am #

    I really liked your article.

  18. llaves coches en madrid
    27th April 2023 at 12:40 pm #

    Youtube will be perfectly OK my honourable. Make it longer and people will watch on YouTube. Many of us who have been learning from you we continue from there. Tessie Blayne Dennie

  19. Career & Global Stories
    27th April 2023 at 9:30 pm #

    free personalshow far is far too in a dating relationship

  20. Emory Howard
    28th April 2023 at 7:23 pm #

    generic chloroquine chloroquine phosphate online

  21. Sua may in tai nha
    3rd May 2023 at 9:39 pm #

    Utterly written subject matter, thanks for selective information.

  22. Advice for Love Problems
    4th May 2023 at 8:44 pm #

    As seen in The Evening Standard, Metro, Daily Express, Cosmopolitan, Yahoo, Health and Wellbeing and many more

  23. Plastic Sheet company
    6th May 2023 at 12:31 pm #

    Hey, thanks for the blog post. Cool.

  24. led backlit lcd
    7th May 2023 at 12:28 pm #

    Thank you ever so for you blog post. Really Cool.

  25. Novo Bar B600
    16th May 2023 at 6:01 pm #

    I really enjoy the article. Really Cool.

  26. Reformas urbanas barcelona
    17th May 2023 at 3:13 am #

    I was shocked to see 1-2 people I never expected ??Loading…

  27. agencia modelos raquel revuelta
    25th May 2023 at 1:37 pm #

    generic ivermectin for humans ivermectin brand

  28. Pisos renovados reformas barcelona
    29th May 2023 at 10:51 pm #

    ivermectin interactions ivermectin 1 cream generic ivermectin lice

  29. Pisos renovados reformas madrid
    31st May 2023 at 10:41 pm #

    tinder date , how to use tinderwhat is tinder

  30. ARQQ news
    7th June 2023 at 11:21 am #

    Watching how gsa search ranker SER has improved over the years actually tends to make me trust in this software’s developers.

  31. Köp körkort online
    10th June 2023 at 12:59 am #

    troubles and we recommend leaving gaming sessions with your

  32. Rosalie Parker
    10th June 2023 at 12:45 pm #

    This actually answered my own problem, thank an individual!

  33. invest in indices
    19th June 2023 at 1:56 pm #

    So stunning! I love the dried florals and those cute white branches tucked in the napkin rings. Always such a treat to see your creations. xo Anna-Diane Vergil Cohbath

  34. stock quotes
    20th June 2023 at 12:19 pm #

    our times stolen by those tik tok free followers hack

  35. alquiler furgonetas en Valencia
    24th June 2023 at 12:03 am #

    I am constantly invstigating online for tips that can facilitate me. Thank you!

  36. Oral Jelly P-Force
    24th June 2023 at 8:37 pm #

    Im thankful for the post. Cool.

  37. Canada Immigration
    29th June 2023 at 8:05 pm #

    Major thankies for the article. Much obliged.

  38. round connector
    1st July 2023 at 2:13 pm #

    Thanks a lot for the blog. Much obliged.

  39. Jade Macdonald
    5th July 2023 at 7:02 pm #

    Seriously a good deal of fantastic facts!argumentative essay writer writing papers professional cover letter writing service

  40. Christopher Grant
    8th July 2023 at 2:45 am #

    ed pills otc best way to treat ed – ed treatment reviewnatural ed remedies

  41. Demi Murphy
    8th July 2023 at 7:24 am #

    Manganese resembles iron in its chemical and also physical residential properties, however it is harder and extra fragile. Manganese is potentially one of the most adaptable aspect that can be included in copper alloys.

  42. Mycroft Charlton
    9th July 2023 at 7:31 am #

    Is anyone here in a position to recommend Bodies and Playsuits? Cheers xx

  43. Douyin audience targeting
    9th July 2023 at 8:00 am #

    I appreciate you sharing this article. Much obliged.

  44. Best Cheap Wireless Earbuds with ANC
    10th July 2023 at 1:33 pm #

    Heya this is a good submit. I’ll electronic mail this kind of in order to my own close friends. My partner and i stumbled on this while looking upon google I will be certain to come back. thanks for revealing.

    10th July 2023 at 7:08 pm #

    Cómo incrustar el tipo de letra en macintosh

  46. haidie connectors
    10th July 2023 at 10:01 pm #

    Really appreciate you sharing this article. Keep writing.

  47. 夸佛体育
    13th July 2023 at 11:09 pm #

    I really liked your article. Really Cool.

  48. pagan
    16th July 2023 at 7:04 pm #

    Again, this will normally be within two hours or by the finish of thesubsequent day.

  49. epsilon binaural beats
    19th July 2023 at 6:08 pm #

    argument essay argumentative essay essay writing software

  50. birla niyaara worli floor plan
    1st August 2023 at 3:16 pm #

    Thank you ever so for you blog.Much thanks again. Really Great.

  51. raising an AI
    4th August 2023 at 12:03 am #

    Expect the Cowboys to continue feeding Elliott as they cruise to the win.

  52. peak asset investments limited
    14th August 2023 at 12:26 pm #

    Stay in central London affordable bed & breakfast blog living alone

  53. His Secret Obsession Book
    22nd August 2023 at 8:15 am #

    Really enjoyed this article, how can I make is so that I get an email sent to me whenever you make a fresh update?

  54. Glucofort Review
    24th August 2023 at 11:19 pm #

    Individuals of all the avenues of life absolutely love Rolex.

  55. look at this
    25th August 2023 at 3:15 pm #

    I love reading an article that will make people think. Also, thanks for allowing for me to comment.

  56. Dor123
    30th August 2023 at 8:36 pm #

    Thank a person so much for enabling me personally know what My partner and i didn’t know. I anticipate working with you.

  57. Wholesale T Shirt Supplier Portugal
    31st August 2023 at 11:37 am #

    It’s impressive that you are getting ideasfrom this article as well as from our dialogue madehere.

  58. 作业代写靠谱吗
    9th September 2023 at 9:12 pm #

    I think this is a real great blog. Great.

  59. Franklin West
    13th September 2023 at 2:25 pm #

    Cephalexin Behavioral Side Effects Children

  60. vitamin b12 tablets
    15th September 2023 at 12:54 pm #

    Really enjoyed this blog.Much thanks again. Really Great.

  61. Deep Freezer Repair mysore
    23rd September 2023 at 9:39 pm #

    Hey, thanks for the blog. Fantastic.

  62. klinikk i Lillestrøm
    28th September 2023 at 5:54 pm #

    Thanks a lot for the blog post. Want more.

  63. 吃瓜爆料
    3rd October 2023 at 5:57 am #

    Thanks a lot for the blog post. Will read on…

  64. porn
    11th October 2023 at 4:30 am #

    I love looking through a post that will make men and women think. Also, thank you for permitting me to comment.

  65. Situs Terpercaya
    12th October 2023 at 12:06 pm #

    online ed medications best ed pills that work – ed medicines

  66. Destroyed Jeans Wholesaler in Bangladesh
    25th October 2023 at 7:37 pm #

    hydroxychloroquine covid 19 chloroquine phosphate brand name

  67. Concrete block machine
    6th November 2023 at 3:49 pm #

    Thank you ever so for you blog. Really Cool.

  68. spine model
    8th November 2023 at 4:26 pm #

    Im obliged for the blog. Much obliged.

  69. MP3 Downloader
    19th November 2023 at 1:10 pm #

    I think this is a real great blog. Cool.

  70. ku
    10th December 2023 at 1:25 am #

    I really enjoy the blog.Much thanks again. Really Great.

    13th December 2023 at 3:11 pm #

    Really appreciate you sharing this post.

  72. Códigos Lucrativos
    15th December 2023 at 8:48 am #

    You reserve the proper to entry and change your own data,aswell as the ideal to request its deletion within the limitations permitted by regulation.Free Fire Account Free 2021 Garena Accounts And PasswordFree Fire Account Free

  73. Future Choice Hospitality
    16th December 2023 at 4:41 pm #

    Thanks-a-mundo for the blog.

  74. Jeffreykig
    18th December 2023 at 3:43 pm #

    I gave a try payment the primary adjust, and I’m amazed! They tasted smashing and provided a sense of calmness and relaxation. My lay stress melted away, and I slept better too. These gummies are a game-changer an eye to me, and I highly put forward them to anyone seeking appropriate worry alleviation and improved sleep.

  75. hanoi best tailor
    21st December 2023 at 3:25 pm #

    Hey dude, what kind of wordpress theme are you using? i want it to use on my blog too ”   

  76. Alpha Tonic Review
    21st December 2023 at 5:22 pm #

    This was an awesome piece of content. I really liked it. I’ll be back to view some more. Thanks .

    24th December 2023 at 1:31 pm #

    Im obliged for the blog. Really Cool.

  78. Códigos Lucrativos
    24th December 2023 at 8:22 pm #

    how long does it take for cbd oil to leave the body

  79. t-boost
    28th December 2023 at 1:17 pm #

    plaquenil hydroxychloroquine quinine vs chloroquine

  80. free undress ai app
    29th December 2023 at 5:40 pm #

    I think this is a real great blog.Much thanks again. Cool.

  81. satta result matka
    3rd January 2024 at 4:09 pm #

    Im obliged for the blog.Much thanks again. Cool.

  82. Kelvin Kaemingk
    3rd January 2024 at 9:42 pm #

    Kelvin Kaemingk has over two decades of helping people make smarter decisions regarding their mortgage and money decisions. He began his career in financial planning and migrated into the mortgage space in 2002. He is passionate and committed to helping people throughout their lives, make the best financial decisions for themselves and their families. As a father of three, and now Papa K (grandpa) to one, a team builder and recruiter, Kelvin thrives on helping others realize their potential, often referenced as “Everyone’s biggest fan”. Kelvin Kaemingk is the Area Manager for loanDepot and Co-Host of the Real Estate Chalk Talk radio program based in the Minneapolis – St. Paul area. Kelvin Kaemingk, NMLS 251124 | Branch NMLS 1139048

  83. A1 srb E
    30th January 2024 at 11:51 am #

    The concept of wireless charging has become more widespread in recent years. Some phone repairs can be completed within a few hours, offering quick turnaround times. Share your personal takeaways for a unique perspective. #Telefoni

  84. chiet khau 1688
    1st February 2024 at 12:27 am #

    over the counter ed pills – male ed pills online ed medications

  85. QuietumPlus
    7th February 2024 at 7:54 pm #

    online indian pharmacies: meds from india meds from india

  86. Van Paros airport
    10th February 2024 at 10:21 am #

    plaquenil over the counter chloroquine phosphate

  87. SRB k find
    12th February 2024 at 8:07 pm #

    #Oglasi Skupo Radost pronalaženja skrivenog dragulja na buvljoj pijaci je bez premca. Srbija pruža visokokvalitetno obrazovanje u različitim oblastima.

  88. Best Pest Control Services in Ahmedabad
    15th February 2024 at 2:46 pm #

    Enjoyed every bit of your article. Great.

  89. Puravive reviews
    17th February 2024 at 1:05 am #

    ventolin pills – ventolin 90 ventolin generic

  90. SRB k jeftino
    19th February 2024 at 11:49 am #

    #Antikviteti Jeftino
    Bravar je profesionalac koji može da reši bilo koji problem sa vratima i prozorima. Svaki kolekcionar donosi svoju jedinstvenu perspektivu u hobi sakupljanja. Srpsku poeziju odlikuju duboke emocije i liričnost.

  91. outingtribe
    28th February 2024 at 7:21 pm #

    I really enjoy the blog. Great.

  92. Aizen Power
    29th February 2024 at 3:11 am #

    Will come back again. I just now added your blog to my favorites.

  93. ai girlfriend chat
    2nd March 2024 at 1:06 pm #

    I appreciate you sharing this article. Fantastic.

    7th March 2024 at 2:10 pm #

    Hey, thanks for the blog.Much thanks again.

  95. WilliamFed
    22nd March 2024 at 2:04 pm #

    Советуем посетить сайт

    Также не забудьте добавить сайт в закладки:

  96. Interior Designers
    24th March 2024 at 4:51 pm #

    Hey, thanks for the blog.Much thanks again. Really Cool.

  97. job loan
    30th March 2024 at 11:34 am #

  98. dirty talk ai
    12th April 2024 at 12:17 pm #

    Thanks for the blog. Great.

  99. Bulgariya Pa
    19th April 2024 at 10:46 am #

    I swear, women’s opinions on social networks have more layers than an onion. You try to peel them back, and suddenly, you’re in a debate about the proper way to fold socks.

    Ne se spirai da rasti? Everything you do is part of your journey.

  100. Bulgariya Pa
    23rd April 2024 at 7:12 am #

    You ever notice how women defend their opinions on social media like they’re defending the last piece of chocolate cake? It’s like, “I don’t care if it’s irrational, it’s mine!”

    Liubovta e kliuch kum shchastieto? Keep your optimism alive.

  101. sex ai
    26th April 2024 at 9:44 am #

    I believe everybody went like Ones New website, reason being things like this site without doubt has a article on quality. I loved read A New content. go on To remain a useful article, I will avail Once more by One additional time. Bless you.

  102. Face swap ai
    30th April 2024 at 11:26 am #

    Enjoyed every bit of your blog post. Will read on…

  103. cheap vape deals
    1st May 2024 at 3:17 pm #

    Really appreciate you sharing this blog.Much thanks again. Cool.

  104. 留学换汇
    7th May 2024 at 12:39 am #

    Enjoyed every bit of your blog. Want more.

  105. Oglasi MK mus
    12th May 2024 at 1:46 pm #

    Makedonskata kujna e mešavina od vlijanija od različni kulturi i tradicii koi se reflektiraat vo nejzinite jadenja

    „Komentarite da imaat miris, nekoi od niv bi bile navistina mirizlivi!

  106. human or not
    12th May 2024 at 6:52 pm #

    Im thankful for the blog.Much thanks again. Will read on…

  107. Puravive
    14th May 2024 at 12:48 am #

    You have a good blog and I liked this post. I will be looking forward to your future posts. Keep up the good work.

  108. Macedonia kt
    16th May 2024 at 7:55 am #

    Samo hrabri pomiču granice.

    The “Post an Ad” button is like a magic wand for anyone with stuff to sell and dreams to chase.

Leave a comment