(Murchison to Frog Flat Junction)
The Maruia Saddle route (the old main road from Murchison to Springs Junction) twists its way up the narrow Matakitaki Valley, with dense beech forest crowding the road on each side. At Horse Terrace the bridge over the Matakitaki River gives a spectacular view back down the steep-sided gorge. From the bush-crowned saddle the road drops sharply to Frog Flat Junction.
The historic Matakitaki Valley was home, late in the 19th century, to the famous ‚Lost Tribe‘ of hill¬billy gold-diggers, who were said to have hair on their teeth. Traces of gold workings can be found along the way, particularly at Horse Terrace.
Maruia Saddle Road
HOW TO GET THERE
Turn south to follow the Matakitaki Valley sign at the
Hampden Hotel, Murchison.
MAPS: L30 (Reefton), M29 (Murchison). M30 (Matakitaki)
N > S. Start at M29 539338
Gravel road with fords. Maruia Saddle can be closed by washouts and slips after heavy rain. Do not attempt during heavy rain as the fords over the saddle could be running.
Source: 4WD South Island Volume 1 (Ken Sibly & Mark Wilson