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BUG New Zealand travel guidebook

Destination guides > Pacific Islands > New Zealand > Nelson-Tasman Region > Murchison


Murchison is a former gold mining town on the Buller River. It is an uninteresting town without many attractions in itself, but travellers use it as a base to go jet boating and white water rafting. It is also a good place to go fishing, horse trekking and kayaking. There is a small museum and a few old pubs in town, which have historical significance. There is just one hostel in town, and some backpackers stay here to break up the drive to Westport.

Coming & going

InterCity Coachlines (tel (03) 365 1113) and Southern Link K Bus (tel (03) 358 8355 or 0508 458 835) stop in Murchison en route between Nelson and Greymouth. InterCity stop at Beechwood’s Cafe (32 Waller Street, Murchison) and Southern Link K Bus stops at the Midwest Cafe (67 Fairfax Street, Murchison).

Hostel accommodation

The Lazy Cow

37 Waller Street, Murchison
Tel (03) 523 9451

Sights & activities

Buller Gorge Swingbridge

The Buller Gorge Swingbridge (New Zealand’s longest) and a variety of other activities that include gold panning and river cruises plus more action-packed pursuits like jet boat rides, white water rafting and the high speed Comet Line ride are the highlight of this adventure and heritage park, 14km west of Murchison.

State Highway 6, Upper Buller Gorge, 14km west of Murchison
Tel (03) 523 9809
Website www.bullergorge.co.nz

Jet boating

The Buller Experience Jet zips through the mighty Buller Gorge. Trips depart from the Buller Gorge Swingbridge.

State Highway 6, Upper Buller Gorge
Tel (03) 523 9880
Website www.murchison.co.nz
Price $85

Murchison Museum

The Murchison Museum has varied exhibits on local history including vintage machinery and exhibits on agriculture, gold mining and forestry. The museum’s highlight is the exhibit on the earthquake that shook Murchison in 1929.

60 Fairfax Street, Murchison
Tel (03) 523 9392
Admission by donation
Open 10am-4pm daily

White water rafting

Ultimate Descents operate white water rafting trips among the granite canyons of the Buller Gorge. This 4½ hour trip on the Buller River features grade 3-4 rapids.

51 Fairfax Street, Murchison
Tel (03) 523 9899 or 0800 RIVERS (0800 748377)
Website www.rivers.co.nz
4½ hour trip on Buller River $120

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