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 of us.
Riverton is peaceable and quiet, with a lovely rugged shoreline that beckons you to discover. With many killer surf breaks, it’s a well-liked place for individuals 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 I’ve been again many occasions with associates, staying in charming outdated baches or tenting on the seashore. Humorous observe – 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. Strolling 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. However if you happen to 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.
Listed here are a few of my must-do’s if you happen to get the prospect to go to Riverton.
1. Keep on the Finest Waterfront Deck in Riverton
Riverton just isn’t a very large city; roughly 1,600 folks name it residence, so overlook about flashy motels. One of many important 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, the truth is, have the very best waterfront deck in Riverton too. The view is incredible and a stone’s throw away from the seashore. Right here you possibly can bbq with associates exterior whereas retaining an eye fixed out for the native dolphins.
It’s the proper place to flee with a bunch of associates.
2. Go for a stroll or surf in Colac Bay / Ōraka
Simply 10 minutes away from Riverton will deliver you to Colac Bay. Right here is the place many individuals study to surf, me included. With an extended sandy stretch of seashore, it’s the proper place to go for lengthy walks. Should you go to Riverton, you possibly can’t miss out on a seaside stroll on the seashore.
You would possibly even see some uncommon and endangered hector’s dolphins if you happen to’re fortunate.
Colac Bay will get its identify from mispronunciation by European whalers, like in lots of locations round New Zealand. Ōraka was the Māori identify of the world, and its chief was Ko-oraka. Apparently, within the Māori southern dialect, the letter “r” sounded extra like an “l.”
3. Try the Te Hikoi Museum
Being absolutely the historical past nerd, I’m, I attempt to make some extent to go to native museums every time I’m touring. They by no means disappoint and are sometimes filled with fascinating info. The Te Hikoi Museum in Riverton is not any exception.
One of many oldest cities in Southland, Riverton has a wealthy and interesting 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.
4. Seize lunch on the Orepuki Seaside Cafe
As a giant foodie, I’m typically blissful to journey for a great meal. Relying on the place you end up in rural New Zealand, typically the choices are hit or miss. However when in Southland, I’ll exit of my strategy 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 onerous 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 little thing from their farm and gardens, considerably of a rarity as of late. The meals is phenomenal, with the flavors coming via in a manner that doesn’t occur with mass produce.
5. Go fossicking alongside Gemstone Seaside
Should 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 numerous colourful stones alongside the shore, it has washed up semi-precious gems reminiscent of garnet, jasper, quartz, and nephrite.
Although if you happen to converse to locals, they’ll inform you there’s extra sand and loads fewer colourful stones right here than they’re was once.
Rugged and distant, this shoreline is consistently altering. Typically you’ll have Gemstone Seaside all to your self. Wild and exquisite in its personal proper, it’s all of the extra exceptional as a seashore comprised of rainbow stones.
6. Get your thoughts blown throughout a Meals 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 consider I had by no means heard of a meals forest backyard till this 12 months. Should you get the prospect to go to Riverton, positively take a look at their heritage orchards.
Within the coronary heart of Riverton is the South Coast Environment Centre, a neighborhood hub for folks in Southland taking care of the land and pure assets. Right 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 garden, 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’ll be able to go to her residence through the hotter months on a food forest tour.
Southland has lengthy been an agricultural nook of New Zealand, with many heritage fruit bushes planted by European settlers. However as agriculture has turned industrial to dairy, many of those historic orchards get ripped up and destroyed. A few of these 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 Undertaking, 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 dwelling fruit tree museums, bringing these wholesome heritage fruit bushes again into the Southland neighborhood. Now you can stroll and go to them your self. What a boss!
7. Try the charming cove of Cosy Nook
I stumbled throughout the tremendous cute rocky cove of Cosy Nook by full accident – it was a type of “I’m wondering what’s down that highway” journey experiences. As soon as an necessary Māori historic settlement, as of late you’ll seemingly solely discover seagulls and tough waves.
Standing on the wild shores of Cosy Nook right now, it’s onerous to think about lower than 200 years in the past, it was a giant, bustling heart 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.
8. Stroll throughout the Clifden Suspension Bridge
Relying on which path you’re driving to Riverton, 45 minutes away, you’ll seemingly go by the longest suspension bridge in New Zealand. The Clifden Suspension Bridge was an enormous deal when it was inbuilt 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 ever been to Riverton? Do you’ve a chill place you like to get away to? Would you go to Riverton, given an opportunity? Share!
Many because of Nice South for internet hosting me in Southland; I’m all the time retaining it actual – as you may anticipate much less from me!