Murchison is a small and relatively quiet town next to the Buller River. Our main reason for stopping here was to experience the Buller Gorge jet boat – after a lot of research it seems to be the best value, longest and possibly most scenic jet boat rides in New Zealand. A long swing bridge over the gorge took us to the launch site where a group of four of us boarded the boat. Our guide/captain described the boat as more of an F1 car on the water, and he wasn’t wrong! Reaching speeds of over 80kph within a few seconds we jetted up and down the river, with a few sharp turns and spins thrown in for good measure. At top speed the boat is able to travel in just four inches of water, so we also glided over some shallow rocks and rapids.
As we drove on towards the east coast, we stopped for a more leisurely evening in Hamner Springs. After checking in at the Alpine Holiday Apartments & Campground and cooking dinner we headed into town to the Spa Pools complex, where we spent a relaxing two hours trying out the various hot pools.