The majestic Buller River entering the Buller Gorge below Murchison. © Blues and Views

Buller Gorge: swing into action in the deep, meandering canyon

Gorge is right! She just goes down, down, down to that mighty Buller River, as it sets off on its long journey southwest.

And as you come to a U-bend on State Highway 6 (OK, there are more than a few on this twisty, turning, earthquake-surviving stretch of tarmac) you’ll see a typical gravelly stop, and signage for the Buller Gorge swing bridge. You can walk it and gaze at the churning river below. But the thrills are to be had zip-lining it, flying fox style.

Swift, startling and very safe, this is a cool ride like none you’ve known, and is a great way to blow the travelling cobwebs out of your hair.

You can tandem-line if you have a special person you’d like to split the thrills with, or you can ‘Supaman’ it, which involves launching into the air, harness-style, no seat required. With your undies on the outside of your cargo pants, of course.

If that’s not enough for you, you crazy adventurer, you, jet boat the river (dang those sheer rock walls are getting mighty clooooossssssssseeeeeeee  . . .), white-water raft through its crazy surging waters, or just take it easy on some of the short walks in the bush either end of the bridge.

Cross however you like; the walk across New Zealand’s longest swing bridge is still an experience if all that rope and pulley stuff seems a bit much.

You can clamber up, on the other side of the bridge, to the White Creek Faultline, too, epicentre of the staggering and deadly 1929 earthquake, before retreating to the quiet, stable calm of your chosen travelling vehicle.

All in a day’s work on the Coast, for sure.


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