Oasis in the middle of nowhere.
On a very tiring trip from Nelson stopped in at the Owen River Tavern and Motels to have a Christmas meal with a friend. Host was fantastic, very friendly. Wide range of food on the menu at a reasonable price and recommend the Chinese. Fantastic. A+ to anyone wanting a traditional Chinese meal....
Johnsons Creek Track, 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.
Kahikatea Walk, 20 min
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.
Kawatiri Historic Walk, 40 min
Located at Kawatiri Junction at the intersection of State Highway 6 and 63, only 16 kilometres east from Owen River. This easy walk follows a short section of the line of the former railway track that ran from Nelson towards Murchison. The walk commences from a car park with information panels detailing the rich history of the area. After some 200 metres the track crosses an old rail bridge before passing through a train tunnel built in 1923. The track returns via beech forest above the Hope River closing the loop at the entrance to the tunnel.
Lake Matiri Track
This full day walk takes you on a tramping track to tranquil Lake Matiri. Access is via the Matiri Valley road approximately 6 km north of Murchison.
Lake Rotoroa Braeburn Walk, 2 hr return
From Braeburn Road, follow this well-graded track through forest rich in bird life to a picturesque waterfall. See the kotukutuku, the world’s largest tree fuschia, unique to New Zealand.
Lake Rotoroa Flower Brothers Walk, 15 min return
From Lake Rotoroa car park, this track passes through a stand of kahikatea and around the lake outlet emerging on the road near Lake Rotoroa Lodge.
Lake Rotoroa Short Loop Track, 25 min return
Starting at the lakeside picnic area, this walk follows the lake shore before leading through a diverse stand of forest, returning to the start point via the Porika 4WD road and the campsite.
Lyell Walkway, 1 hr 30 min
This 3 km walkway leads you past the remaining features of the once booming township of Lyell - the cemetery, stamping battery and gold mining sites. There are information panels on-site and a campground nearby.
Maruia Falls Track, 10 min return
Accessed from State Highway 65, 23 kilometres 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, 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 station by the Six Mile Creek Bridge. The track zigzags 50 metres 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.
Skyline Walk, 1 hr 30 min return
This 3 km track is located 1 km west of Murchison, at the junction of State Highway 6 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.