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State Highway 6: Nelson, through mountain passes to Westport


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Quirky original junk is someone's treasure shop Murchison Quirky original junk is someone's treasure shop Murchison

Murchison’s story and the Buller River and its tributaries are inextricably entwined.  The Buller is 177 km in length originating in the Nelson Lakes National Park.  The Buller meets the sea at Westport.  Near Murchison the Buller River becomes a force to be reckoned with.  The Matakitaki, Mangles and Matiri Rivers flow into the Buller forming a major confluence. Flowing through narrow granite gorges the river boils and roars its way past Murchison.

Murchison is part of the Nelson Regional District yet you are in an area where it is wild meets the west coast.  The South Island west coast ethos is alive and well in Murchison. Gold prospecting, the ability to forge a living in a sparsely populated mountainous area and the scenery all contribute to the beginnings of your West Coast, South Island journey.  You have opened the door to the West Coast with Murchison as an excellent introduction to a way of life governed by its mining legacy and the current relative isolation due to the Southern Alps.

Buller Canyon Jet Ride @Buller Canyon Jet Reservations


  • Buller River jet boating, rafting and walks
  • Six mile electrical plant exploration
  • Johnson Creek walk
  • Walks and tramps
  • Fly fishing
  • Murchison settlement, quirky West Coast where wild meets west

 Adrenaline-pumping highlights

  • Buller swing bridge
  • White water rafting
  • Water water jet boating
  • Caving in Kahurangi National Park

Nelson to Murchison Route Map

State Highway 6 from Nelson to Murchison passing Brightwater, Wakefield, Murchison

185 km 2 ¾ hours

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