On a recent trip south with my sister, following an inbuilt compass, we pointed our noses towards locations held dear since childhood.
With our 81-year old auntie and one of her friends on board, we headed for the south of the south coast of the South Island.
Riverton was where Mum and Dad sometimes used to buy us fish and chips. After buying the parcel, Dad would pull into a parking spot at the town end of the bridge. Here Mum would rip bits of newspaper off the huge newspaper bundle and hand them out for us to use as plates. Us six kids would then happily tuck into our share of chips and battered fish, the smell of the harbour mingling with the steam and salt. (Note to youngest sister Jill, in case you wondering why only six kids, not seven? As you were just a baby when we moved away from the district, you never participated until maybe later, on return trips).
In more recent years, I've indulged in a couple more fish and chip meals in Riverton. The fish is always super-fresh. Quite possibly, Riverton has the best fish and chips in New Zealand.
This is where the Aparima river joins the sea. Farther out from the point, beyond the bar, you can just detect the surf of the ocean where the fishing boats head out before returning with their catches later on in the day.
Riverton is a fishing village with a sense of pride in its location and in its history. It backs itself as a southern seaside resort. At one stage the locals promoted the town as 'The Riviera of the South' - perhaps taking it a little far. The climate is not really conducive to such a description.
The Maori name for Riverton is Aparima and was a site of a large Maori pa (village).
Local driftwood art.
This would do me!
(to be cont'd) ...