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Riverton Heritage Harvest Festival

Learn how to live again.

Take time out from that busy schedule to recalibrate yourself with nature’s rhythms at the Riverton Heritage Harvest Festival.

Southland is known internationally for being a region of home organic growers and its reputation as a haven is celebrated throughout a weekend of festivities and energy-centering activities.

Enjoy an absorbing weekend retreat to celebrate Southland’s home harvest where you will be welcomed and wowed with interactive displays, demonstrations, workshops, speakers, music, competitions & activities.

Festival organisers describe it as “so wholesome, you could serve it up on a plate at a country picnic”.

Next event date: TBC 2025
Location: Western Southland
Keen to learn more: sces.org.nz

The festival attracts thousands of people from around the South Island to the charming township nestled around Jacob’s River Estuary. There’s even free camping with a view that money can’t buy.

Graze your way through the days as you sample delicious and heart-warming produce, baking, and mouth-watering heritage recipes. Thirsty? A cider press operates all weekend, so bring along your apples to press or taste the fresh juice.

Make sure you leave room for Friday night’s potluck harvest feast.

Reimagine your backyard with a forest garden tour as you discover, or rediscover, what sustainable living is.

Browse your way through a range of educational and sales stalls which are all harvest and traditional living themed - keeping the romance of heritage alive. The bounty of Southland’s harvest - apples and pears, tomatoes, beans, root vegetables and crops you might never have thought of from the region are the real stars.

Lose yourself in rooms full of fascinating colour-filled heritage displays where fruit, vegetables and other produce are showcased, sold and traded. 

On the Saturday night, come along and kick your heels up for an evening of music, singing, dancing and good company all in celebration of the harvest.

The weekend is sprinkled with the goodness of inspirational workshops. From experts attuned to the environment on subjects ranging from home hobbies to harvesting systems to sustainability tips for families and communities. 

Topics vary from year to year with the likes of foraging, preserves, beekeeping, mushroom cultivation, learning about ecosystems, biodynamics, flax-weaving, heritage tomato growing, fermenting foods and making natural body products a few of the favourites from previous festivals.

The festival was borne out of the formation of the Riverton Organic Group in 1988, which eight years later led to the setting up of the South Coast Environment Society - which operates the South Coast Environment Centre.

Among a plethora of community and planet-friendly projects, the centre has also led the resurgence of heritage fruit varieties in Southland - crops that perfectly suit the particular environments in which they originally thrived.

The festival is a pointer to a more harmonious future - where we are reminded that we should be working in tandem with nature, not against it.

After an action-packed Festival weekend why not head along the Southern Scenic Route and explore the rugged coastline of Western Southland where you find Gemstone Beach and all its semi-precious stones, Bluecliffs Beach where dolphins surf the waves or continue all the way into Fiordland where the majestic wilderness will take your breath away.

Discover More - Southland's Unmissable Events

Explore Southland’s fantastic line-up of unmissable events "You Won't Want To Miss!" . Appreciate reading each event’s tale which is told through the eyes of a storyteller and enjoy a sneak peek highlight which is sure to entice your attendance. 

Discover More - Events In Southland

Looking for events to attend in your community? Events in Southland have you covered. Take a break from your every day and discover a wide variety of events with picture-perfect backdrops all year round!

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