Murchison to Karamea



This time I will bypass Mohikanui and carry on to Karamea, just because. Just because it is as far as you can drive north up the West Coast. Seemingly there is a long and windy hill to get there so hopefully there is a good view from the top!

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Things to do:
– Feel the rush and power as you raft or jet boat through granite canyons in the Buller Gorge

– Visit Maruia Falls, formed as a result of the 1929 earthquake

– Walk New Zealand’s longest swing bridge across the Buller River Gorge

The Buller river adventures are all south of Murchison. Firstly 23 kilometres to the Maruia Falls then on to the Buller swing bridge, zipline (flying fox) and jet boat ride. My decision is whether to do the zip line again or be brave and go on a jet boat here, or elsewhere.

buller jet

The Buller Jet!

It appears to be a 20 minute drive each way and off the main road to the Maruia Falls but looks to be worth a visit.

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Maruia Falls

“Maruia Falls, formed as a result of the 1929 earthquake. Accessed from State Highway 65, 23 kilometres south of Murchison, the Maruia Falls track starts from the car park and descends to the Maruia River bank. From here there is an excellent viewpoint of the falls, which were created following the 1929 earthquake.”

Then on to the Buller Swing Bridge with decisions to make.

This was awesome but do I want t do it again?

I do want to have a look around Inangahua, which is tiny (population 160). It was close to the epicentre of a shallow 7.1 earthquake in 1968.


Inangahua does have food and coffee.

I’m still not 100% decided about going to Karamea and I suspect that when I have finished this blog I will have a better idea. I find that sourcing information and photos, putting it together (which takes 2 or 3 hours per page, sometimes more), gives me better understanding of places of interest and also time constraints. It’s a juggling act 🙂
If I do I will be stopping only for food and photo opportunities.

After Mohikanui (and I am not stopping there) it’s all new! The road from Mokihinui to Karamea is 53.8 km, and in normal conditions will take approximately 48 minutes to drive.


The road over the Karamea Bluff.

I’ve just come across this description: “The road to Karamea is one of the most beautiful drives in the world and affords stunning views of the Tasman coast, river valleys, verdant forest and jagged mountain ranges. The journey takes you along the coast through the charming seaside villages of Granity, Ngakawau and Hector and across the Mohikuniui River before heading into the mountains of the Kahurangi National Park, you’ll pass ancient tree giants, beneath majestic tree ferns and go high over the Karamea Bluff before dropping into the broad alluvial coastal plain at Little Wanganui. You’ll pass happily grazing dairy herds on lush green pasture, the expansive Otumahana Lagoon and over the mighty Karamea River before arriving in the beautiful hamlet of Karamea.”  I suspect I will go, especially for the lagoon, a lagoon always means birds ❤


One of two photos I found of Karamea!

I have found this great website called Virtual New Zealand that videos the route (sped up x5) so I can have an idea what the road will be like.

Accomodation Karamea: Karamea Memorial Domain Camping Ground

Waverley Street, Karamea
Phone: (03) 782 6069
Phone: (03) 782 6652

$18.00 per night, wifi ?

NOTE: Make sure I fill the tank at Westport!