Nelson Tasman


  • Whitewater rafting, jetboating, kayaking
  • The Old Ghost Road
  • Swing bridge and Comet Line


  • by car:

    1hr 30min from Westport

  • by car:

    1hr 40min from Nelson

Come to Murchison for whitewater thrills – rafting, kayaking, canoeing and jet boating. There are fast running rivers in every direction.

Nelson Tasman
Rafting near Murchison, Nelson Tasman

Murchison is known as 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 with the region offering some of the best all-grades options in New Zealand.

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. Or for the land enthusiasts, there is an excellent mountain biking trail called the "Old Ghost Road", which goes all the way from Lyall to the West Coast, and a number of scenic and historical walks to choose from.

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.

One thing’s for sure - a visit to Murchison certainly won’t be short of adventure and adrenaline. Top it all off with a ride on the Cometline and a walk along New Zealand’s longest swing bridge.

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