The Natural Flames Experience

New Zealand's newest "Hot" spot is open to the general public - a naturally occurring gas seep, continually burning in the forest near Murchison!

Two deer hunters finding natural gas bubbling out of a marsh, inspired a local farmer in 1926 to drill for oil in the Mangles valley near Murchison. Later the hydro-carbon search was continued up local valleys but although nothing was found in commercial quantities, the original gas found by the bush men is still alight.
Locals have been BBQ-ing in the forest for years but general access has been restricted until now.
Permission has recently been granted for small groups to be taken to see the remains of these wells. They then are guided through the bush on an mossy, one hour walk (each way) to the flames where pancakes are cooked and eaten with local bush honey and a cup of billy tea.
The half-day tour includes a drive across a privately owned farm where not only deer, but cattle, sheep and even emu can be encountered!
The rough track starts at the other end of the farm and winds it's way over tree roots and across streams going ever deeper into the bush before one stumbles onto the 'visual contradiction' of flames burning happily alongside mosses and ferns - which are only inches away!
Naturally occurring flames are only seen in a very few places in the world - and very rarely in a forest. A most intriguing site / sight!

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