Giveaway: Molesworth—Stories from New Zealand’s Largest High-Country Station

Department of Conservation —  25/11/2013

Thanks for all your comments telling us why you want this fantastic book. The giveaway is now closed and the winner (picked at random) is Cathy Brown.

For the last 15 months, retired DOC stalwart, Harry Broad, has been researching the history of Molesworth Station—New Zealand’s largest farm (now conservation land).

The result is a stunning book, created in association with photographer Rob Suisted and Craig Potton Publishing.

Book cover: Molesworth—Stories from New Zealand’s Largest High-Country Station.

Today, thanks to Craig Potton Publishing, we’ve got a signed copy to give away.

But first, let’s take a closer look at Molesworth…

The mystique of Molesworth

What is it about Molesworth that has seen it retain its fascination for the public over many years?

First, the scale is truly vast (180 000 hectares), being bigger in size than Stewart Island, and stretching almost from Hanmer to the top of the Awatere Valley.

'Like riding through a painting' is how one cyclist described cycling through Molesworth.

‘Like riding through a painting’ is how one cyclist described
cycling through Molesworth

It is largely mountainous country and the overwhelming impression as you travel through it is one of hugely imposing landscapes that dwarf its rivers and dominate the horizons.

The history of Molesworth

Molesworth has a fascinating history. The private lessees walked off the run in 1937, crippled by low wool prices, snowstorms that could decimate sheep flocks, and being overrun by rabbits.

The horses are being walked down the Driving Spur.

The herd comes down the Driving Spur—cattle steam merging with the mist

The Department of Lands and Survey deserves enduring credit for rebuilding the station into ecological and economic health.

They appointed the legendary Bill Chisholm as manager who, along with his wife Rachel, rejuvenated the ruined landscape.

But Bill wasn’t big on public access, and for years the station was off limits.

An early morning start at the Yarra Hut, with stars still in the sky.

Early morning at the Yarra Hut

In 1987 Molesworth Station was finally opened to the public for a limited season—to drive through the main valley of the Acheron.

Eighteen years later, in 2005, Molesworth became public conservation land—managed by the Department of Conservation, in association with Landcorp Farming.

Today, the 8,000 strong cattle herd at Molesworth Station (the biggest herd in the country) is matched by the number of visitors each year—all enjoying the magic and mystique of this iconic high country reserve.

Visit Molesworth

When visiting Molesworth Station be prepared for a land of extremes. This vast landscape contains craggy scree-scarred mountains, wide river valleys and tussock slopes as well as tiny inconspicuous endangered plants. Its weather ranges from scorching summers to freezing snowy winters.

A rafting trip setting out down the Clarence River to the river mouth.

A rafting trip setting out down the Clarence River

Experience Molesworth for yourself during the open access periods, by car, bike, horse or on foot. Learn about the history from interpretation panels, camp outside the Cob Cottage, picnic by the mighty Acheron River or enjoy walks from 10 minutes to several days duration.

Win

If you’d like to win a copy of Molesworth: Stories from New Zealand’s largest high-country station, leave a comment on this post before 12 noon on Wednesday 27 November 2013 telling us why you want the book.

A winner will be selected at random and contacted by email.

Please note: We can only ship to New Zealand addresses.

Molesworth: Stories from New Zealand’s largest high-country station is valued at $69.99 and is available in most good bookstores; in many DOC visitor centres; and online at Craig Potton Publishing.


Learn more about Molesworth on the DOC website

History of Molesworth Station

Visiting Molesworth Station

37 responses to Giveaway: Molesworth—Stories from New Zealand’s Largest High-Country Station

  1. 

    This book looks to be a most informative preparation prior to a trip through Molesworth. It would certainly be an appreciated item on the bookshelf for my family!

  2. 

    I would love to win this beautiful book- the pictures are amazing and its a place I would really like to visit!

  3. 
    Ruth Thielke 27/11/2013 at 8:14 am

    I’d love to win a copy of this for my city raised kids. They love the big outdoors but don’t get to experience it very often.
    We are planning to do a family holiday on a high country farm at some point- far, far away from electronics and city traffic.
    Just quietly, I’d also like the book so I can dream away a quiet afternoon every now and then 🙂

  4. 
    Graeme Boocock 26/11/2013 at 8:34 pm

    I was bought up with a love of the high country and the Molesworth epitomises all that it represents. I would like to have the book as a memory of days spent working and playing in the area!

  5. 
    Sandy Banner 26/11/2013 at 8:28 pm

    We are planning on doing a South Island family trip in February and would love to learn more about Molesworth prior to going. We are also very keen photographers and have heard from several people how amazing the scenery is there. Another very special part of NZ that we are looking forward to experiencing and learning more about.

  6. 
    Cathy Brown 26/11/2013 at 7:31 pm

    Molesworth Station is definitely on my to do list. I work in the tourist industry and volunteer as a Wellington City Ambassador, the book will give me insights into conservation in this area.

  7. 

    My husband had always wanted to travel through the Molesworth, he is now unfortunately too unwell to do so. This book would enable him to have an insight into the history and beauty of the area

  8. 

    I WOULD LIKE TO WIN THIS BOOK BECAUSE I LOVE THIS PLACE I GET AWAY TO THIS MAJESTIC LAND 3 TIMES A YEAR ON THE GOOSE HUNTS AND HAVE HUNTED WITH AND HERD STORIES FROM LIKES OF FRED ROUSE JIM WARD ETC SO IM INTRIGUED TO KNOW THE HISTORY AND LOOK INTO THE SCENIC LAND THAT I HAVE YET TO EXPLORE THE BOOK WOULD HELP WITH MY REPORTS AND SPEECHES I REGULARLY DO ON THIS ICONIC FARM ‘MOLESWORTH’

  9. 

    The book will provide access to a majestic place for someone I know who will never get there again.

  10. 
    Harry Broad 26/11/2013 at 2:55 pm

    I would quite like the book because Pottons have none left in stock and as the author I am completely out of freebies! Harry Broad

  11. 

    I have driven through the Molesworth and thought it was beautiful, would love the book to know the history of the place.

  12. 

    I’d love to win this book too. I was born in the South Island and while I do get back on a regular basis, I haven’t yet had the chance to explore this part of the “Mainland”. It would be great to do so via Rob’s insightful lens and Harry’s understanding of Molesworth history.

  13. 

    I’d like to win the book to get an insight into a part of NZ life and culture that I haven’t experienced myself. Hopefully in future years I can take my daughter to visit Molesworth.

  14. 

    My wife and I are moving to Wellington from North Carolina in January, and this book would be a delight to read on the plane!

  15. 

    I’d be interested to see more of the photgraphy and stories. It reminds me that I need to get around more of NZ more often as well!

  16. 

    Being new to NZ one listens for roadmarks in language. ‘Molesworth’ almost mythical, spoken in hushed tones and a knowing glance.
    An imprisoned parent (albeit willingly) I travel virtually, through these pages maybe… Molesworth.

  17. 
    Duncan Bold 25/11/2013 at 9:12 pm

    A great book for the coffee table that all visiters can admire when visiting and having a beer

  18. 
    Louise Nelson 25/11/2013 at 8:14 pm

    I so would love this book of Molesworth as we have been there and the book will transport me there again through its pages

  19. 

    The photographs look absolutely stunning and encourage a visit Molesworth Station – it’ll happen one day!

  20. 

    I love the Molesworth, I have biked it 5 times and I am just in love with the place. I find the wide open spaces and huge skies simply awesome, simple as, no words are big enough to describe the place.One of the gems of NZ.

  21. 
    Margaret Pickering 25/11/2013 at 4:29 pm

    Beautiful area, and the book looks stunning.

  22. 
    Berwyn Davies 25/11/2013 at 4:27 pm

    I Have just read another interesting history of a DOC care,
    Raoul Island and the Kermadecs., and would like to continue delving in the history of NZ outbacks and the people concerned.

  23. 
    Jason Hawker 25/11/2013 at 4:26 pm

    Being born and breed on a high country station, I would love to read about the history of NZ’s Largest working Station.
    Also like to learn about the history of the rabbits and working life on this large station.

  24. 
    Julia Gordon 25/11/2013 at 4:15 pm

    I would like to win this book, as it’s an area I know little about. We’re planning more exploration of the South Island in the near future, and I’m sure this beautiful book would be inspirational and ensure that the Molesworth would be on the “must visit” list.

  25. 

    I used to live in North Canterbury and loved the high country between us and Marlborough. Never made it to Molesworth so hope I can read about it and look at the stunning photographs in this book 🙂

  26. 

    Having been through the Molesworth Station and adjoinging stations three times, it would be awsome to have a beautiful book on the history of the station. Highly recommend any one who has a 4xdrive vehicle to make the trip though. There is great camping at Lake Tennyson and also the two cob homes. Ideal for cycle trips a swell.

  27. 

    This book is just superb. I’ve just browsed it at the DOC shop and I’d love to have the opportunity to read it in my couch!

  28. 

    I would love to win this as I am hoping to head that way next year

  29. 

    I have spent many hours driving and walking on the Molesworth, it is one of the most interesting place in the South Island with so much history. Also my ancestor owned “The Top House” where the drovers stayed before running their sheep through the Rainbow and Molesworth Stations. I have seen the book in the shop, a stunning coffee table book that anyone would be proud to display.

  30. 
    Robyn McCool 25/11/2013 at 12:55 pm

    Thanks for previewing this amazing book. We are taking the kids camping there this summer and my Dad is also keen to go. I’d love to win the book for Dad 🙂

  31. 

    Beautiful book well suits such a beautiful area. I have had the privelage of visiting.

  32. 

    My Dads cousin, who helped raised him, had his first job on Molesworth as a farmhand. I spent a lot of time visiting their farm as a pre-teen, and I loved hearing his stories – makes me want to visit!
    I was also lucky enough to do a touch-and-go landing on their airstrip as a teenager when doing navigation training with the Air Cadets. The landscape was so incredible!

  33. 

    I am hoping to visit there some time soon so would be great to see what lies in store for me!

  34. 

    I would love to win this book for my aunt, who is a grand adventurer and inspires me no end. She always wanted to live on a high country station, and in her early 60’s did just that! She wrote to a number of stations and gained employment at the beautiful Ryton Station on Lake Coleridge, Canterbury as a cook at the lodge for several months. I spent a week there with her and will always remember and treasure it. She loves Molesworth.

  35. 

    Sounds like very interesting and good work of history and photography!

  36. 

    I would like to win this book because it is a fascinating history of New Zealand high country farming and conservation – and has been beautifully produced.