Set on the rich alluvial flats north of the junction of the Waiohine and Ruamahanga Rivers, Carterton is a pleasant country town known for its daffodils and paua shell factory with its live paua aquarium. The nearby rivers and Tararua Forest Park offer fishing, swimming, picnic spots and walking tracks. The town was named after a Wellington builder called Charles Carter who was responsible for the construction of Black Bridge over the Waiohine River.