Authentic life size displays, adventurous characters and engaging stories reveal how early Maori and Europeans adapted to survive on nature's edge.
Thirty kilometres from Invercargill, the seaside town of Riverton (Aparima) is one of the most popular towns in Western Southland and is a great stop on the Southern Scenic Route. The township is nestled at the western end of Oreti Beach, set in a picturesque location that spans Jacob’s River Estuary. The fondly named “Riviera of the South” is a fantastic place for a family holiday or a real New Zealand “crib” (seaside bach) experience.
Riverton's surrounding beaches and estuary are natural playgrounds. Taramea Bay is particularly popular as it provides safe, easy swimming, while Mitchell's Bay is great for surfing. Dolphins regularly swim into the bays and up Riverton's Aparima River, providing plenty of photo fodder for visitors and locals alike and awe-inspiring close encounters for lucky swimmers.
Nearly 200 years old, Riverton (Aparima) is the oldest Pākehā settlement in Southland and one of the earliest European settlements in New Zealand. The excellent Te Hikoi Southern Journey Heritage Museum provides engaging insights into the unique and dramatic history of Māori and European settlement in the area. As well as the museum, the small main streets of Riverton are dotted with local artists' studios and a plethora of cafes, vintage shops, and local goods stores.