Welcome to Murchison Area School

Principal’s Message:

At Murchison Area School we are committed to providing the very best education that we can for our students in a caring environment. Pastoral care at our school is paramount to enabling students to develop academically, physically, socially and personally. We place a high value on the 3 A’s:

Attitude. Application. Achievement.

The school recognises the unique nature of our area in terms of life style, tourism and friendliness. We are able to offer a variety of learning opportunities which cater for the needs of all students from Year 0 to Year 13.

Secondary students have the opportunity to study a wide range of subjects via Distance Learning (including video conferencing). The school also works with the local community to place students in work experience. We are proud of the achievements of our young people. Murchison students can stand tall when they leave our school, knowing that they have been given every opportunity to succeed.

NOTE: Any person in a paid or voluntary role in the school can expect to be police vetted.


About Murchison

Welcome to Murchison, South Island, New Zealand – a place of rest and refreshment! Murchison is situated on the Four Rivers Plain – the place where the Matiri, the Matakitaki, the Mangles and the Buller (Kawatiri) rivers meet. For centuries people have been stopping here on their way through, as a place to stop and refresh themselves.

First were the Maori who came collecting greenstone from the West Coast, who stopped here on their way there and back. Next came the early Europeans – Brunner was the first, then the Chinese gold diggers and then the settlers like George Fairweather Moonlight, and they found a place to pause and recuperate here on the plain.

And now today, with 2 million vehicles passing through here a year, travellers once again use Murchison as a place for rest and refreshment while on their travels. Should you pass through Murchison you will find many good eating places to stop at and the best cappucino between Nelson and Christchurch.
Be part of the on going history of the Four Rivers Plain; rest up and refresh yourself here in Murchison.

As the crossroads of the top of the South Island, Murchison is 1.5 hours from Nelson (128km) and Westport, 2 hours from Blenheim and Greymouth and 4 hours from Christchurch on State Highway 6.

The population of the township is 650 and of the surrounding catchment area, 650 also. The township is at an altitude of 150m above sea level, situated on the Buller river. Dairy farming is the main agricultural activity on the alluvial plains surrounding the town, and in the various tributary valleys. Hill country sheep, beef and deer farming, forestry and gold mining are also important activities, as is the provision of services to the travelling public. Adventure tourism is growing in importance too, with a wide range of outdoor recreational pursuits possible, based on the Buller river and the lakes, mountains and native forests of the nearby Nelson Lakes and Kahurangi National Parks. Trout fishing, kayaking, rafting, pig and deer hunting, caving and tramping are popular local pursuits, commercial ski facilities are 1.5 hours away at the Rainbow Ski Field, and an hours drive takes you to the hot pools at Maruia Springs.

Our climate is characterised by little wind. Summers have hot days but cool nights while in winter mists at night protect the town and surrounding plains from most frosts, but also linger well into the morning. Rainfall is about 1600mm a year and is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year.