Time: 20 min loop
An easy loop track abutting the Murchison camping ground at the eastern end of town. The Kahikatea Reserve features many fine specimens of kahikatea and matai trees and a lush ferny understorey.
Time: 1 hr 30 min return
This 3 km track is located 1 km west of Murchison, at the junction of SH6 and Matakitaki West Bank Road. The track zigzags uphill to the skyline. The biggest river that can be seen from here is the Buller which eventually flows into a gorge - perhaps the most scenic gorge in New Zealand.
Johnsons Creek Track
Time: 2 hr return
Access to this track is up the Matakitaki West Bank Road, located 1 km west of Murchison. After a short stretch of tar-sealed road continue along the gravel road for 6 km. A sign and a small parking area are on your left with the start of the track to the right.
The track follows a creek then gradually climbs to the toe of a big slip. This slip was formed in the 1929 Murchison earthquake and is the feature piece of the walk. The track terminates in the middle of the old slip amongst the struggling vegetation, leaving the visitor with a good idea of the magnitude of the shake. Return to the carpark the way you came.
Image: Ian Armstrong | Creative Commons
Maruia Falls Track
Time: 10 min return
Warning: Do not climb over the barrier above the falls – it is for your safety. Lives have been lost.
Accessed from SH65, 23 km south of Murchison, the Maruia Falls track starts from the carpark and descends to the Maruia River bank. From here there is an excellent viewpoint of the falls, which were created following the 1929 earthquake. Return to the carpark the way you came.
Six Mile Walk
Time: 1 hr 30 min return
This walkway is situated 10 km south of Murchison on the Matakitaki Road. It starts and finishes at the old Six Mile hydro power staton by the Six Mile Creek Bridge. The track zigzags 50 m uphill beside the old penstock to the intake and water storage reservoir. From here the track initially follows the water race before continuing in the forest on a higher terrace. The track then leads to a viewing platform above the old weir which diverts some of the Six Mile Creek down the water race.
On the return there is the option of a loop track which descends from the upper terrace to follow along the water race, before rejoining the main track.
Murchison is centrally located in the upper South Island on SH6, 2 hours south of Nelson, 3 hours west of Picton, 1.5 hours east of Westport and 4 hours northwest of Christchurch.
A number of companies offer bus services to Murchison from Nelson, Blenheim, West Coast and Christchurch.
Know before you go
The presence of biting sandflies can detract from your experience in Murchison, especially during the summer months. The problem can be easily remedied by coating exposed skin with a good quality insect repellent.
Wasps can be a nuisance, particularly from December until April. Carry antihistamine if you are allergic to their stings.
The purity of drinking water cannot be taken for granted. We recommend you boil, filter or treat your water. Avoid taking water from areas surrounded by farmland or where waterfowl are present in large numbers.