The usually sleepy seaside town of Riverton is buzzing, after
860 teenagers and adults arrived on Saturday for Venture
South 2013, a camp for Venturer Scouts of both sexes aged
The scouts are spending five days on expeditions throughout
Otago and Southland before returning to the Riverton
racecourse for another five days of camping, activities and
Planning had been under way for two years by an
Otago-Southland organising committee, Mr McRae, of Dunedin,
Participants flew into Dunedin, Queenstown and Invercargill
airports or took buses from other parts of the country.
Seventy buses and vans had been hired to transport them
during their stay in the South.
The Venturers would cook for themselves during their
expeditions but a caterer would look after them while they
were camping at Riverton, he said.
Two large shower blocks had been hired for use at the
racecourse and on-site activities included
a giant mud pit.
Sports equipment including 60 wetsuits had been purchased and
would be sold after the camp.
Mr McRae said it had been a huge logistical challenge. ''We
are dealing with a lot of people. But the organising
committee has worked very, very hard to make it work and we
are confident it will be a success.''
Venturer camps are held every three years. Mr McRae said many
more Australians than anticipated were attending the Riverton
The Australian contingent arrived in New Zealand before New
Year and set off to tour the country in 10 buses before
arriving in Riverton for the official welcome barbecue on
Saturday. Organisers had worked with tourist operators across
Otago and Southland on the expedition options, he said. They
include tramping, climbing, bushcraft, abseiling, caving,
kayaking, sailing, canoeing, rafting, an outdoor adventure
camp, a farm skills programme at Telford Rural Polytechnic,
cycling the Otago Central Rail Trail, scuba diving,and
Among the most popular expeditions were two Stewart Island
2013: the numbers
460 from Australia
170 leaders and helpers
$130,000+ food bill
$105,000+ infrastructure and transport bill
70 buses and vans required
21 expedition options