A peaceful place to rest

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    Riverton artist Wayne Hill admires the view of Riverton's back beach from the bench he created.

    A SWEEPING view well worth pondering.

    A bespoke wooden bench has been created by Riverton artist Wayne Hill for walkers to rest, take in the view and reflect.

    Sited about halfway up the hill on the side of the walking track from Howell’s Point Reserve to Tihaka Beach, the bench could easily accommodate at least two people comfortably, with side tables attached, Hill said.

    Facing towards the east, Hill said the bench’s location was to enable visitors, tourist and locals to “check out the dolphins which regularly cruised the waterways, and admire the wonderful sunrise”.

    “There have been a lot of people who have said how much they have enjoyed it,” he said.

    The Southland District Council had contacted him to build the bench.

    The council supplied the timber, and he gave his labour and time.

    “I wasn’t given a brief… just asked to build a seat to replace the one that disappeared.”

    Hill also built the previous seat, a driftwood and corrugated iron lounge seat, which had formerly reclined on the lawn in front of the aged care facility at the east entrance to Riverton.

    Known as The Rainbow Couch, he had transferred it to the same site on the hill in 2018.

    However, other people preferred for it to be in other sites around the lookout, eventually relocated four times, he said.

    “Somebody placed it on the top of the hill to overlook Foveaux Strait, facing south about a year ago.

    “People began asking, did it go’?”

    From there, it disappeared for a time, before being found nestled in an alcove at the base of the cliff nearby, he said.

    “It was a beautiful alcove… it suited the couch.”

    This time, modern timber was used, “because I know it’s not going to fall apart in my lifetime”.

    Asked what inspired him, Hill said he built it because he “loved Riverton”.

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