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Buller
Buller River near Berlins.jpg
Buller River near Berlins
NZ-Buller R.png
The Buller River system
Native name Kawatiri
Country New Zealand
Region Tasman, West Coast
Cities Saint Arnaud, Murchison, Westport
Physical characteristics
Main source Southern Alps (Saint Arnaud Range)
Lake Rotoiti, New Zealand
41°48′10″S 172°49′20″E / 41.80278°S 172.82222°E / -41.80278; 172.82222
River mouth Tasman Sea
Karamea Bight, New Zealand
0 m (0 ft)
41°43′45″S 171°35′20″E / 41.72917°S 171.58889°E / -41.72917; 171.58889
Length 177 km (110 mi)
Basin features
Tributaries

The Buller River is a river in the South Island of New Zealand. 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 catchment, many of these extending onto the slopes of the Paparoa Range.

The river is named after Charles Buller, Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (UK) and director of the New Zealand Company, a UK-based company in the early 1800s with a royal charter supporting colonization efforts of New Zealand. The original Māori 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. 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) 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).

Tributaries

Buller River
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, Ohikaiti River, and Ohikanui River.

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.

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