A beautiful sunrise foretold a beautiful day today.
So we ventured out to walk through town. There is one main street, highway 99, with just one block on either side comprising of residential blocks. There are a few very old houses that need restoration and some newer holiday homes. Closer to the river are the commercial businesses along hwy 99. Some buildings are beautifully decorated with murals!
As you approach the river entrance the town spreads out a little more and a bridge crosses the river. More holiday homes are on the south side of the river and spread along the the oceanfront beach. The town is situated between the oceanfront and the estuary of the Pourakino River. Before European settlement the area was home to a large Maori Pa, they were drawn to the area for the abundant food from the sea and the fresh water estuary. The first European settlers were shore based sealers and whalers in the early 1830’s. The town’s heyday was about 1862 with lots of whaling and shipping, importing goods from Australia and other parts of New Zealand to move them on throughout the country. As the river began silting in and ship based whaling prevailed, Riverton’s importance decreased and by the 1880’s the main industries became fishing and farming.
We continued our walk along the river towards the ocean where we got another view of Stewart Island.
Walking along the shell strewn beach we were lucky to see dozens of Oystercatchers along the shore, two of the 3 species found in NZ no less!