The story of the Murrells is one of establishing a viable lifestyle 'on the frontier'. Fiordland represented an environment at times harsh and extreme, remote, certainly in the early years, and challenging to exploit.
Settling on the margins of Fiordland, on the shores of Lake Manapouri, gave the Murrells an opportunity to establish themselves in a variety of enterprises - from farming to tourism, from exploration to public service.
For example there was the 'Home Farm' centred approximately where today there is a plant nursery. A second farm directly across the Lower Waiau River from the guest-house was also leased for a period. Apparently it had an award-winning house on it designed by Eileen Greenep, Stanley Murrell's English-born wife. Unfortunately it was destroyed by fire.
Tourism provided the backbone of the family enterprise for many years, and still today. Centred on the Grand View Guesthouse, descendants of Old Bob still provide accommodation for visitors.
The Grand View Guest House
The current Bob Murrell in a mirror from the bar of the original hotel at Old Bob's Corner
Hunting was an integral part of the family story - a tropy in the Guest House
The family operated the Post Office for a number of years
In addition to providing accommodation, various members of the family also provided assistance to visitors with transport across the lake on the launch SS Takatimu, with hunting, and with exploration.
Murrells figure in the story of the opening up of the Milford Road and Track, and extended their public service to include operating the Manapouri Post Office.
They also provided advice to visiting academics, with several of the sons regarded as experts on the local flora and fauna.