Molesworth: Stories from New Zealand’s largest high country station has beaten stiff competition from the likes of The Luminaries, to win the Nielsen Booksellers’ Choice at the New Zealand Post Book Awards.
Photographer, Rob Suisted, at the New Zealand Post Book Awards
Molesworth tells the stories of those who have contributed to this spectacular and iconic reserve, and explains the importance of recreation and conservation in the running of a modern high-country farm.
Molesworth Station (New Zealand’s largest farm)
The book was written by DOC’s honorary writer in residence, Harry Broad, with photographs by Rob Suisted.
“What we have attempted with the book is to do justice to all those who have made Molesworth and its mystique into such an iconic landscape.” ~ Harry Broad.
Molesworth: An iconic landscape
It has been said that the Booksellers Choice Award is the best one to win as it is a reflection of consumer awareness, from the people who buy and sell books, not just the view of the judges for any one year.
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
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 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.
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.
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
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.
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.