Buller River

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Buller (Kawatiri)
Buller River near Berlins.jpg
Buller River near Berlins
Name origin: named for Charles Buller
Country New Zealand
Region Tasman, West Coast
 - left Travers, Gowan, Mangles, Matakitaki, Maruia, Inangahua, Blackwater, Ohikanui
 - right Hope, Owen, Matiri
Cities Saint Arnaud, Murchison, Westport
Landmark Buller Gorge
Source Southern Alps (Saint Arnaud Range)
 - location Lake Rotoiti, New Zealand
 - coordinates 41°48′10″S 172°49′20″E / 41.80278°S 172.82222°E / -41.80278; 172.82222
Mouth Tasman Sea
 - location Karamea Bight, New Zealand
 - elevation 0 m (0 ft)
 - coordinates 41°43′45″S 171°35′20″E / 41.72917°S 171.58889°E / -41.72917; 171.58889Coordinates: 41°43′45″S 171°35′20″E / 41.72917°S 171.58889°E / -41.72917; 171.58889
Length 177 km (110 mi)
 - average 429 m3/s (15,150 cu ft/s)
NZ-Buller R.png
The Buller River system
Wikimedia Commons: Buller River

The Buller River is in the South Island of New Zealand.[1] One of the country's longest rivers, it flows for 170 kilometres (110 mi) from Lake Rotoiti through the Buller Gorge and into the Tasman Sea near the town of Westport. As Rotoiti itself is fed by the Travers River it can be claimed that the Buller's source is at the headwaters of the Travers, on the northern slopes of Mount Travers in the Saint Arnaud Range. The Paparoa Range separates the Buller River from the Grey River. A number of flora and fauna are found in the Buller watershed, many of these extending onto the slopes of the Paparoa Range.

The Maori name for the Buller, Kawatiri, is rarely used.

The Buller River upstream from Murchison along with the Mangles River are popular for whitewater kayaking and recreational fishing.[2] State Highway 6 follows the river for much of its length.

This river has an annual mean flow of 429 cubic metres per second (15,100 cu ft/s)[citation needed] and boasts the highest flood flow of any New Zealand river which is over 14,000 cubic metres per second (490,000 cu ft/s)[citation needed].


The Buller River

The Buller has several major tributaries. These include (in order from Lake Rotoiti) the Gowan River, the Matakitaki River, the Maruia River, and the Inangahua River. Other smaller tributaries include the Hope, Owen, Mangles, Matiri, Blackwater, and Ohikanui Rivers.

In July 2001 the Buller Water Conservation Order came into force, listing the waters of the Buller River and tributaries that are to be retained in their natural state or protected because of the outstanding characteristics, features and values of the waters.[3]

The river is named after Charles Buller, Member of Parliament and director of the New Zealand Company.

Line notes[edit]

  1. ^ Encyclopedia of New Zealand (1966)
  2. ^ Marion Hobbs. 2001
  3. ^ Water conservation orders