Local Events

There are several tours available to increase your permaculture and local experience on your trip south…

Sat 30 & Sun 31 Mar: Heritage Harvest Festival

Sun 31- Mon 1 or Sun 7 – 8 Apr: Longwood LOOP 

Mon 1 – Wed 3 Apr:  Self Guided Tours see Local Area page

Sun 7  – Tues 9 Apr: Coastal Otago Permaculture Tour

…see below for further details.

Come early to Riverton and experience the annual Heritage Harvest Festival is held on the weekend of the 30th & 31st March 2019, at the Aparima College hall in Riverton from 10am – 4pm both days. … Interactive displays, workshops, competitions & activities celebrating Southland’s home harvest. Bring along your best or most interesting fruit & vegetables for the display or just come to look & learn. There are also opportunities for you to have a stall, run a workshop  or be a speaker at the festival.

For more information: Email,nz  or follow Riverton Environment Centre on facebook

Longwood Loop : Sun 31- 1 or Sun 7-8 Apr

– Re-localising for Rural Rejuvenation & Resilience – 

 – Western Southland Leading the Way –

Re-localising will bring rejuvenation and resilience to our small country towns. We will be leading the way in reducing our Carbon Footprint and inspiring other rural communities to do the same.

Robyn Guyton will share her vision of Western Southland communities flourishing once again. In the near future we will have an electric passenger and transport vehicle system connecting 25 small rural communities of between 50 and 1,500 residents.

Food growers and producers, crafts people and cottage industries will have access to the low cost transport loop. Their market will grow to 6,000 plus people without having to leave their township.

It will be great to reconnect and find ways to meet many of our needs locally. E.g. how many dozen eggs do we need? Sourced from all round the loop!

What can you offer?                What do you need?                   Join the Loop!

Once we have re-localised we will be more resilient to any natural or man-made disaster as we will be meeting most of our basic needs locally. Let’s not wait until the need unexpectedly arises…let’s do it now…because we can!   Natural food, locally grown, and other local resources is the way to go…Once we have re-localised

After the Heritage Harvest Festival and the Hui we are offering a guided tour of this very scenic loop around the Longwood Mountain Range.

An hour after each event finishes, we will be carpooling for a guided coastal tour through to Tuatapere, stopping briefly at Colac Bay, Cosy Nook and Orepuki.  In Tuatapere you can stay the night at the Last Light Lodge and relax in their lovely restaurant and cabins or camp sites; or choose other accommodation; motel, hotel etc.  Go online and book your own selection.

There will also be a DAY TOUR option starting at 8.30 each Monday 1 April and 8 April for the coastal tour above and arriving for the second phase below:

At 10 am we will have a tour of Last light Lodges amazing garden and orchards with Craig, who grows most of the food for his restaurant, which is very impressive. From there circle back to Riverton  around the Loop with a guided visit to Clifton, Monowai, Orawia, Ohai, Nightcaps, Waireo, Otautau, Fairfax and Thornbury on the way. Arriving back at Riverton 3pm. (Or you can leave the group at Tuatapere and head west for Te Anau)

We will have a blackboard to co-ordinate the car pools at both the Festival and the Hui. There are shops in most towns so you can bring your own snacks and lunch, or buy it as we go. The only cost would be your own petrol or $10 towards petrol if you are riding in someone else’s car. A Koha towards the Longwood Resilience Loop project would be appreciated.

You will be amazed how cheap land is around this loop relative to the rest of NZ, how good the growing conditions are, in-spite of being so far south, we are warmer than you would imagine. We will have the latest Real Estate listings with us, so if you are tempted to join us in the future you will have the information you need.

We will add more information to the Hui website over the next few weeks about each of these towns.

You can also connect with ‘The Loop’ or get more information through:      Facebook The Longwood Loop  Email:                    Phone:  03 2348717   Post:  The Longwood Loop, 154 Palmerston St, Riverton, 9822

 A community project of the South Coast Environment Society  

           COASTAL OTAGO PERMACULTURE TOUR            Sun 7th – Tue 9th April

Coastal Otago is a dynamic environment, geographically, climatically and socially location. You will experience diverse and creative responses to this at ten projects ranging from Dunedin’s tiniest intensely packed food forest to rural mixed forestry and tree crops. Highlights include: Staying at Bird Lodge in the Coastal Forest of Tautuku Bay in the Catlins. Powhiri onto Dunedin City’s Arai te UruMarae and presentations on Maori history of the area, land-use patterns and the impact of climate change. extensive native restoration planting winding through suburbia. Otago Polytechnic’s ‘Living Campus’. A self-reliant & low-cost appropriate tech homestead. An intensive chicken and perennials powered quarter acre home garden. Habitate Heritage Fruits Nursery & Waitati Open Orchard’s guerrilla fruit verges.


Sunday  7th April 

Mid afternoon depart Riverton, Stay at Forest & Bird Lodge, Lenz Reserve, Tautuku. Introductory Evening

Monday 8th April:

Lenz Reserve wilderness walk, Catlins …. Travel Catlins to Dunedin

Powhiri onto Arai te Uru marae, Kaikorai Valley (where we will stay the night). Picnic lunch on marae or at Shetland St Community Gardens next door

Kaikorai Valley Riparian walkway – kilometres of intensive native planting wending through the suburb. On-site Guide: Hendrich Koch

Otago Polytechnic ‘Living Campus’ a campus-wide permaculture-designed edible landscape.  On-site Guides: Michelle Cox & Kim Thomas 

George St Orchard  – an awesome inner city food forest & nursery. On-site Guide: Rory Harding

Evening:  ‘Environment Otago’ – presentations on Maori history of the area, its flora and fauna, land-use patterns and the impact of climate change.

Tuesday 9th April

Travel North from Dunedin to Karitane

Treecrops & Mixed Forestry farm.   On-site Guides: Andy & Sue Barrat

Self-Reliant & Appropriate Tech Homestead – group split into two for space-time efficiency and different themes:  biological systems & technology systems. On-site Guides:  Jennie Upton & Murray Grimwood

Habitate Nursery and Market Garden – focus of linear food forest, large scale crop rotation and using biological resources.   On-site Guide:  Jason Ross

Walk through Waitati & see Waitati Open Orchard Plantings

Waitati household property – focus on perennials & chicken system. On-site Guide:  Jason Ross & Kate Fitzharris

Travel to Dunedin city, where tour formally completes and people responsible for their own accommodation and further travel.

Recommended accommodation:  Manor House Backpacker   Ph. 03-477-0484

Evening: Dinner together at great restaurant, for those who want to celebrate our adventure together (to be booked based on numbers).


$289 pp = Traveling in hired Minivan

$212 pp = Taking own vehicle or traveling in another’s vehicle

Cost includes:  Travel (if going in our hired mini-van); Accommodation; Food; Presenters; All on-site guides (who are the permaculture designers and developers of the area/ property they are touring us around).

Get 10% off if you are a PiNZ Member – $260 & $190

This is a perfect way to get back to Dunedin where you can connect to flights home. Or travel as a collective north in a permaculture convoy!

Booking through PiNZ here

Jason Ross – Coast Otago Permaculture Tour Guide

Jason and family enjoy a quarter acre of perennial vegetables, fruits and chickens beside a tidal inlet near Dunedin. Jason started Habitate edible habitats to aid food resilience in Otago by providing organic heritage fruit trees, landscape / permaculture design and installation services, and local publications.Jason-Spring

“I have explored some of the key temperate climate areas of the world looking at organic and permaculture gardens and farms though Wwoofing. I am now working to bring the possibilities of abundance and beauty to my home bio-region. I enjoy engaging our creative potential to produce quality food at our doorsteps”.

So through his extensive work in horticulture, Jason has become ‘an expert’ in temperate climate plant guilds, and has selected properties for this tour which exemplify permaculture in his province.

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