field Open

Summer Access

All enquiries please to


Under the terms of our Licence with DOC, Rainbow Sports Club Inc. has authority to grant or permit vehicle access onto our lease area, subject to the over-riding authority of the Licensor (Department of Conservation).


The Club’s policy is that public vehicle access will be limited to only the formed Rainbow access road from the junction with Rainbow Road to the vehicle car parks at the ski field. Vehicles operated by members of the public, other than the exceptions defined below, are specifically prohibited from accessing any other part of the lease area.  Members or groups that apply to us will be considered for access.


This access is a privilege, not a right. The alpine area of Rainbow Ski Field. You must exercise caution on our road and watch for rock fall.


Permits are issued by the Rotoiti/Nelson Lakes Visitor Centre of the Department of Conservation and prior booking is required. Please fill out the form and take it with you. Foot and mountain bike access is permitted all year without a permit.

The following conditions apply to any permits issued:

  1. Access is only for the days listed on the permit.
  2. The key must be returned within 24 hours of permit expiring or key bond will be forfeited.
  3. The permittee must not drive off the formed road or during the hours of darkness.
  4. Access permission does not extend beyond Rainbow road or top carpark or to use of side tracks.
  5. This road is exposed requires experienced 4WD drivers. You must drive carefully and look for rockfall as you go. RSCI accepts no responsibility for the state of the road. The permittee uses the road at their own risk.
  6. No horses, ATVs or motorbikes are permitted access..
  7. The maximum number of vehicles per access permit is limited to four with a maximum period of three days (two nights). The permit doesn’t grant sole access to any RSCI buildings.
  8. The permit must be carried and displayed at all times when using this access.
  9. Taking of any plant on or from a conservation area is an offence.
  10. Light no fires. Please report infringements or offending (people driving off road, taking of plants) to the Rotoiti / Nelson Lakes Visitor Centre.
  11. If a booking is to be cancelled 24 hours notice is required.
  12. Separate permits are required for hunting. There is NO dog access.
  13. You must take full responsibility for all risks in an Alpine environment.
  14. All removal of rubbish and waste of all kinds is the user responsibility.
  15. Any damage to RSCI facilities (of whatever nature), and any damage to DOC property or the environment will incur costs to the user for repair.
  16. The user must nominate a person who is responsible for the group to which access is granted who must have an appropriate safety and risk management plan.


Neither RSCI nor DOC provide a breakdown service.  If the vehicles become stuck or break down contact Alistair Nicholls at Anything Mechanical, ph (03) 5211 110.

Hunting permits

Permits are required to hunt on conservation land. Hunting permits can be obtained online ( or from any DOC office. Dog permits for the southern Mt Richmond Forest Park may be obtained from the Rotoiti/Nelson Lakes Visitor Centre.


Please collect and return the key to:

Department of Conservation P O Box 55 E-mail:

Rotoiti / Nelson Lakes Visitor Centre St Arnaud 7053 Phone (03) 521 1806 (8am-4.30pm)