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46°35'34" S 168°19'58" N

Bluff is a town and seaport in the Southland region. It is the southern-most town in New Zealand (excluding Oban in Stewart Island).

The Bluff area was one of the earliest areas of New Zealand where a European presence became established. The first ship known to have entered the harbour was the Perseverance in 1813, in search of flax trading possibilities, with the first European settlers arriving in 1823-1824.

Bluff is dominated by Bluff Hill / Motupohue, standing at 265 m (870 ft), which provides some shelter from the prevailing westerly winds. There is a world-class walk along the shore through native bush up to this point. The town is named for this bluff, which was known to early whalers as Old Man’s Bluff or Old Man Bluff.

Bluff is 30 km (20 mi) by road from Invercargill and a twice-daily catamaran ferry connects the mainland to Stewart Island/Rakiura, 60 km south across Foveaux Strait. Bluff is the main gateway for NZ ships heading down to the Antarctic. The harbour is also home to the fleet of Foveaux Strait oyster. Bluff oysters are renowned for their succulence and flavour, and are considered a delicacy nationwide, with Bluff holding an annual oyster festival.

Arrival Port
South Port NZ – The Port of Bluff

Max LOA – 225 metres
Beam – 34 metres
Max draught – 9.7 metres, up to 10.0 metres at high water spring tides

Distance to the city

Distance to Bluff – 1.6km
Distance to Invercargill – 27.3km

Bluff is an hour’s ferry ride or a 12 min helicopter ride from Stewart Island.

Gateway to
Stewart Island, Invercargill, Catlins, Southland region

Taxi service
Blue Star Taxis, +64 3 217 7777

Public Bus Service
Bus Smart Invercargill, +64 3 211 1777

ATM machines/ Banks
Kiwi Bank, 94-98 Gore Street, Bluff, +64 3 212 6800.

Shopping Hours
Usually from 9am to 5pm

Nearest Internet Café
Bluff Lodge & Guest House, 120 Gore Street, +64 3 212 7106

Post Office
Bluff Service Centre, 98 Gore Street, +64 3 212 8704

Summer: From 61F (16°C) to 73F (23°C)
Winter: 46F (8°C) to 54F (12°C)
Average rainfall of 1112mm and average sunshine of 1580 hours.

Visitor Information
Bluff Service Centre, 98 Gore Street, +64 3 212 8704

What is Bluff known for?
Bluff is best known for the famous ‘Bluff oyster’, celebrated at an annual food festival in the town. Principal industries include commercial fishing (crayfish, salmon and blue cod from the waters of Foveaux Strait), oyster dredging, and marine engineering.

Attractions & Activities

  • Bluff Maritime Museum
  • Bluff Hill (Motupohe) with panoramic views of Southland, Foveaux Strait & Stewart Island
  • Stirling Point international signpost
  • Island harbour tours
  • Greenpoint Domain walk with a viewing platform overlooking the ship graveyard and a number of other walks – Foveaux Walkway, Glory Track, Millennium Track, Topuni Track and Bluff Heritage Trail

Environment Southland
Contact: Kevin O’Sullivan, Maritime Manager

Venture Southland
Contact: Rex Capil, Group Manager Community Development & Events

Venture Southland
Contact: Bobbi Brown, GM Tourism, Events and Community

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