Walk to Maruia Falls, enjoy views over Murchison on the Skyline Walk or choose another short walk in the Murchison area.

Track overview

Walking and tramping

40 m - 2 hr Easiest: Short walk

Dog access

No dogs

About this track


Kahikatea Walk

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.

Skyline Walk

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.

Maruia Falls.
Maruia Falls
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.

Getting there

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.

Drinking water

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.


Rotoiti / Nelson Lakes Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 521 1806
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   View Road
St Arnaud
Postal Address:   PO Box 55
St Arnaud 7053
Whakatū / Nelson Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 546 9339
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   Millers Acre/Taha o te Awa
79 Trafalgar Street
Nelson 7010
Postal Address:   Private Bag 5
Nelson 7042
Back to top