Come to Murchison for whitewater thrills – rafting, kayaking, canoeing and jet boating. There are fast running rivers in every direction.
Murchison calls itself the ‘whitewater capital’ of the country, because there are rivers everywhere – the Gowan, Mangles, Matiri, Glenroy, Matakitaki, Maruia and the mighty Buller. For anybody into canoeing or kayaking, it’s a dream come true. The rivers vary from Class 2 to 4 whitewater, so they’re not for the faint hearted. Rafting, jet boating, gold panning and fishing are other ways to enjoy the river environment, and for the mountain biking enthusiasts there is an excellent trail called the "Old Ghost Road", which goes all the way from Lyall to the West Coast. Originally a gold rush town, Murchison was almost completely destroyed by a huge earthquake in 1929 – you can find out all about it at the district museum. Functional facts: Approx. population 500, information centre, basic shops, cafés.