Murchison, St Arnaud & Nelson Lakes National Park

Did we mention mountains and rivers? We have those in abundance too.

Just over an hour’s drive south from Nelson and you will arrive at the village of St Arnaud, the gateway to walks and rides that take you through alpine landscapes, lakes, tarns, beech forests and valleys. You can also enjoy the popular Rainbow Ski Field and from just after Christmas through to Easter (subject to weather and road conditions) you can also drive through the privately-owned Rainbow Station to Hanmer Springs.

Nelson Lakes National Park is just as beautiful as Abel Tasman National Park and Kahurangi National Park in its own way. Nelson Lakes takes its name from its more than 16 lakes, including the Blue Lake (which contains the clearest natural freshwater in the world).

Murchison provides thrill seekers with spectacular whitewater activities such as jetboating and rafting (it’s been named as one of the top 10 whitewater destinations in the world) and is your access point for world-famous fly fishing destinations (we’ll leave it to the local expert guides at the Murchison i-SITE to tell you exactly where these are!).

You can also walk across New Zealand’s longest swing bridge high above the Buller River Gorge and stay in luxury or more modest accommodation. A local project to eradicate the introduced wasp population is successfully restoring local birdlife and biodiversity and making walking, kayaking and boating in this stunning natural landscape even more enchanting.


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Tips from locals for Murchison, St Arnaud & Nelson Lakes NP

Get above the bushline

There are many great tramps in the Nelson Lakes National Park. One of my favourites is the walk from the Lake Rotoiti car park to Bushline Hut. It's an easy one to three hour walk that gets you quickly up above the bushline, where you can access many other tracks and play in the snow in winter.


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