RIVERTON (Aparima), 12km east of Colac Bay, is one of the country’s oldest settlements. Frequented by whalers as early as the 1790s, the town was formally established in 1836 by another whaler, John Howell – who is also credited with kick-starting New Zealand’s now formidable sheep-farming industry. Strung along a spit between the sea and the Jacob’s River Estuary (actually the mouth of the Aparima and Pourakino rivers), where fishing boats still harbour, Riverton has a blissfully relaxed feel.

Beyond Riverton, SH99 heads into the hinterland of Invercargill, 40km away.

 

 

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