Returning to the southern seaside in Riverton

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I’ve a lot nostalgia for Riverton. Tucked away in Southland alongside the southern coast of the South Island, Riverton has lengthy been the beloved seaside getaway for Wanaka people. 

Riverton is peaceable and quiet, with an exquisite rugged shoreline that beckons you to discover. With many killer surf breaks, it’s a preferred place for many who love the outside and being by the ocean. I first visited Riverton within the winter of 2014 on my first solo highway journey. I’ve been again many instances with pals, staying in charming outdated baches or tenting on the seaside. Funny be aware – a bach (kiwi vacation home) is named a crib down in Southland.

Colac Bay, close by is the place I had my very first surf lesson. Walking the Humpridge monitor close by in the summertime of 2018 blew my thoughts. Riverton isn’t as brashy or daring as different tourism cities on the South Island. But in case you dig beneath the floor, even a bit of bit, you’ll get a style of the magic right here. It’s a unusual, distinctive place.

Here are a few of my must-do’s in case you get the possibility to go to Riverton.

visit riverton

visit riverton

1. Stay on the Best Waterfront Deck in Riverton

Riverton shouldn’t be a very massive city; roughly 1,600 individuals name it house, so neglect about flashy accommodations. One of the principle causes it’s so beloved is due to its understated attraction. It’s chill and stress-free, nothing fancy; you get what you get. 

The final time I used to be in Riverton, I stayed within the coolest home known as Best Waterfront Deck in Riverton. I can fortunately report that it does, actually, have the very best waterfront deck in Riverton too. The view is unbelievable and a stone’s throw away from the seaside. Here you possibly can bbq with pals exterior whereas holding a watch out for the native dolphins. 

It’s the proper place to flee with a bunch of pals. 

visit riverton

visit riverton

2. Go for a stroll or surf in Colac Bay / Ōraka

Just 10 minutes away from Riverton will carry you to Colac Bay. Here is the place many individuals study to surf, me included. With a protracted sandy stretch of seaside, it’s the proper place to go for lengthy walks. If you go to Riverton, you possibly can’t miss out on a seaside stroll on the seaside.

You would possibly even see some uncommon and endangered hector’s dolphins in case you’re fortunate. 

Colac Bay will get its title from mispronunciation by European whalers, like in lots of locations round New Zealand. Ōraka was the Māori title of the world, and its chief was Ko-oraka. Apparently, within the Māori southern dialect, the letter “r” sounded extra like an “l.”

visit riverton

3. Check out the Te Hikoi Museum

Being absolutely the historical past nerd, I’m, I attempt to make some extent to go to native museums each time I’m touring. They by no means disappoint and are sometimes filled with fascinating data. The Te Hikoi Museum in Riverton isn’t any exception. 

One of the oldest cities in Southland, Riverton has a wealthy and engaging historical past. The museum digs deep into native Māori historical past main into the historical past of whaling and European settlements right here. It’s fascinating. 

visit riverton

visit riverton

4. Grab lunch on the Orepuki Beach Cafe

As an enormous foodie, I’m usually glad to journey for a great meal. Depending on the place you end up in rural New Zealand, usually the choices are hit or miss. But when in Southland, I’ll exit of my solution to get to the Orepuki Beach Cafe, simply 20 minutes from Riverton.

Overlooking Te Waewae Bay, Orepuki was as soon as a gold mining settlement of hundreds of individuals. It’s laborious to think about now.

A pleasant farm-to-table restaurant hidden in a historic home simply exterior of Orepuki, homeowners Penny and Brian supply every thing from their farm and gardens, considerably of a rarity as of late. The meals is outstanding, with the flavors coming by way of in a approach that doesn’t occur with mass produce. 

visit riverton

visit riverton

visit riverton

5. Go fossicking alongside Gemstone Beach

If you go to Riverton, you possibly can’t miss testing one of many coolest seashores in New Zealand – Gemstone Beach. And till final summer season, I had by no means been there earlier than. Named for the various colourful stones alongside the shore, it has washed up semi-precious gems comparable to garnet, jasper, quartz, and nephrite.

Though in case you communicate to locals, they’ll inform you there’s extra sand and quite a bit fewer colourful stones right here than they’re was.

Rugged and distant, this shoreline is continually altering. Often you’ll have Gemstone Beach all to your self. Wild and exquisite in its personal proper, it’s all of the extra outstanding as a seaside comprised of rainbow stones.

visit riverton

visit riverton

6. Get your thoughts blown throughout a Food Forest Tour

The previous few years have opened my eyes to how unbelievable and underrated the meals tradition right here is in New Zealand. And I can’t imagine I had by no means heard of a meals forest backyard till this yr. If you get the possibility to go to Riverton, undoubtedly try their heritage orchards.

In the center of Riverton is the South Coast Environment Centre, a group hub for individuals in Southland taking care of the land and pure sources. Here I met the unbelievable Robyn Guyton, a real pioneer on the earth of permaculture in Southland. Twenty-seven years in the past, she started turning her land right into a forest backyard, precisely what it appears like. Plant some fruit bushes (there’s a system), and finally, it turns into its personal edible self-sustaining ecosystem requiring little upkeep. 

Now her forest backyard has over 480 productive bushes and shrubs, bringing again native birds. There are almost 100 heritage apple bushes and dozens of different fruit bushes and herbs. You can go to her house throughout the hotter months on a meals forest tour.

visit riverton

Southland has lengthy been an agricultural nook of New Zealand, with many heritage fruit bushes planted by European settlers. But as agriculture has turned industrial to dairy, many of those historic orchards get ripped up and destroyed. Some of those bushes at the moment are the one remnants of their varietals surviving, as their counterparts have disappeared abroad.

Robyn can be the brains behind the unbelievable Heritage Orchard Project, which works to protect these heritage fruit bushes.

Over a decade in the past, she started cataloging these bushes to protect them, finally resulting in the creation of the heritage orchard parks round Southland. These open orchards are like residing fruit tree museums, bringing these wholesome heritage fruit bushes again into the Southland group. You can now stroll and go to them your self. What a boss!

visit riverton

visit riverton

visit riverton

7. Check out the charming cove of Cosy Nook

I stumbled throughout the tremendous cute rocky cove of Cosy Nook by full accident – it was a kind of “I wonder what’s down that road” journey experiences. Once an necessary Māori historic settlement, as of late you’ll probably solely discover seagulls and tough waves.   

Standing on the wild shores of Cosy Nook at this time, it’s laborious to think about lower than 200 years in the past, it was an enormous, bustling middle of commerce between Māori and Europeans. 

Captain George Thomson, the Bluff harbourmaster, was the primary European settler right here, although Māori occupied it for for much longer. He named it after his homeland Scottish village, Cozy Neuk.

visit riverton

visit riverton

visit riverton

8. Stroll throughout the Clifden Suspension Bridge

Depending on which path you’re driving to Riverton, 45 minutes away, you’ll probably cross by the longest suspension bridge in New Zealand. The Clifden Suspension Bridge was an enormous deal when it was in-built 1899, opening up a distant a part of Southland. 

It’s an ideal spot to cease for a picnic or a stretch of the legs on a drive between Te Anau and Riverton. 

Have you been to Riverton? Do you may have a chill place you like to get away to? Would you go to Riverton, given an opportunity? Share! 

visit riverton

visit riverton

Many due to Great South for internet hosting me in Southland; I’m at all times holding it actual – as you possibly can count on much less from me!



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