Colac Bay (Oraka in Maori) is a small township, which is 10 minutes from Riverton.
The town hugs the bay with sandy beaches and also has a popular surfing spot known as 'Trees'. The town has a craft shop,beautiful beachfront cafe and restaurant, motel style accomodation, pub, caravan park, community hall and Marae. The town also has a statue of a surfer riding a wave; very popular with tourists. Colac Bay is part of the Riverton Heritage Trail.
Colac Bay Hill, Lake George, Howell's Hill's and the Longwood Range make up the geographic landmarks. In places you can see Centre Island and Stewart Island looking across Foveaux Strait.
More information towards the bottom of the page.
Where to stay in Colac Bay:
- Oraka Seaviews (center the map)
- The Pavilion Accommodation (center the map)
What to do in Colac Bay:
- Port Craig (center the map)
- Templeton Flaxmill Museum (center the map)
- The Pavillion (center the map)
- Tihaka Lookout (center the map)
A few minutes drive towards Tuatapere from Colac Bay is the delightful 'township' of Cosy Nook. 5km of the Southern Scenic Route, on a narrow but sealed road, is the quaintest, most rugged seascape in the district. An absolute must to visit, especially on a wild windy day. A warning though: the road through the houses is too narrow for large campervans, so leave the vehicle at the top of the hill and take the very short walk to thev end of the road.
Named after the Scottish village of Cosy Neuk, this was once the site of the largest Maori village in Coastal Southland.
During hostilities between the Maori tribes of Ngai Tahu and Ngatimamoe in the 1700s, the fortified 'Pa' on Matariki Island (the largest offshore island was a place of refuge
The Pavilion Restaurant on the waterfront has an information centre and the staff are very happy to assist visitors with information of the area. They also operate tours subject to availability of the surrounding area.
There are several theories as to how the area was called Colac. The most common theory is that it was named after a Maori chief called Korako which the English anglicised the name to Colac.The area has been home to the Maori people since at least the thirteenth century. Carbon datings (1270) have been taken from a nearby Argillite site which was used for the making of tools.
The area was rich in seafood, birds from the bush, fern roots , small streams from which eels, lamprey were caught. The beach was an ideal place to launch canoes to go down to the Titi Islands (offshore Stewart Island) and collect the Titi (sooty shearwater)commonly named the mutton bird.
Today at Colac Bay there are two Marae –Te Akau family Marae and Takutai o te Titi Marae. Cemetery- although there are only three headstones the cemetery is full.
A hall which was originally build in 1901 and is one of the largest community halls in the area. The Beach is very suitable for swimming and the east end of bay is very popular with surfers.
At the other end of the beach amongst the rocks at lowtide, it is possible to get yourself a feed of mussels (25 per person) cockles (150 per person) and pauas if you are lucky (10 per person minimum.size 125mm)