Ngai Tahu trails followed the rivers and valleys. The traditional name for the Nevis River is Te Papapuni. Maori trails in the South Island high country provided significant social and economic links with Pakeha.

Its shorter history of remote pastoral stations leaves behind unused, isolated dwellings and buildings. Buildings that reminisce on its more recent Pakeha occupation, benefitting from the Maori connections made - meeting places, dwellings, artefacts of more recent hunting and farming in the valley.