When Bernie and I discussed living on the road, one of our aims was to limit travel to less than two hours between each destination so that we had time to take a good look around the area at each place. Initial thoughts of an area could very well change after spending time exploring and finding out more about it.
Maybe there’s a town that you tend to simply always drive through? Or perhaps at the most, you stop for a brief break as you’re passing through. For us, Murchison was that town. It’s about an hour and a half from our hometown, Nelson. We rarely stopped there and if we did it was only for coffee or diesel.
Until recently, my idea of Murchison was of a small rural town that serviced a farming community and little else. Then after the Kaikoura route was closed due to the 2016 earthquake, Murchison became a hive of activity. Because of the considerable increase in traffic flow, this little town now has to meet thousands of travellers’ needs.
To stick to our plan and limit travelling between stopovers to under two hours, Murchison was our first port of call. Friends who had stayed at the NZMCA park, recommended it. And we’re pleased they did. It’s a great place to stay. It’s spacious, with an easy-to-access dump station and is only a two-minute walk from the supermarket.
Our overnight stay ended up being a six-day stopover. That taught us lesson one – don’t judge a town until you’ve spent some time there. Murchison started off as a gold-mining town, but later this little slice of paradise transformed into a farming community and it’s now a mecca for thrill seekers. It pays to do a little research before staying in an area because you never know what you might discover. We found many stunning walks and unearthed some interesting history.
(Since visiting Murchison, I’ve developed an interest in historical buildings. Not only do I uncover pieces of fascinating history, but these dated buildings also add another dimension to my photography passion.)
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