There are a handful of places in the world where you can find a natural gas flame, none in a natural ancient forest setting such as this one, near Murchison. It's been quietly glowing since the 1920s, when oil prospectors smelled natural gas seeping from the ground and put a match to it. Merve and Shirley Bigden have sole access rights, across a private deer farm then through Department of Conservation forest to the flame. The four-hour tour involves a short, scenic drive
up the Mangles River valley, a talk about oil drilling history, a one-hour backcountry walk (you might get wet feet) through farmland and forest to the flame, where you'll be treated to pancakes and tea, cooked up on the natural fire. You're likely to see farmed deer and lots of native birds. Tour groups are restricted to eight.