It's a 20- to 30-minute drive from Invercargill.
- 1 Stewart Island Experience. This is a scheduled passenger ferry service from Stewart Island, with 2-4 departures per day depending on the season. They run buses from Invercargill to connect with their ferries (see below). $99 per person each way (half price for children).
The only bus service to Bluff is the Stewart Island Ferry coach transfer shuttle from Invercargill, which can be reserved through the online ferry booking system. By reservation only, $30pp each way (half price for children). Runs two to three times per day, in sync with the ferry departures. You can book it separately from the ferry, so you could use it even if you aren't getting on the boat, but it's unlikely you'll want to spend $30 just to go hang out in Bluff.
Provides pre-arranged pickup from the Invercargill airport and most accommodations in Invercargill. Try to either provide a New Zealand phone number or else show up 15 minutes early at the pickup site: the driver needs to pick people up at several different places, and expects to be able to get in touch with you either by phone or through the desk of your hotel.
Bluff is a small place. Find a place to park along the main street or at the viewpoint at the south end of town and walk.
- 1 Bluff Hill Lookout. Good views can be had from lookoout hill, a short drive or hike up from the main street in town. On a clear day, you can see Stewart Island as well as a couple of other minor islands off the south coast.
- 2 Bluff Maritime Museum, 241 Foreshore Road. M-F 10AM–4:30PM, (summer only: Sa Su 1–5PM). Museum about whaling and oyster fishing, featuring the oyster boat Monica which was in use from 1909-1998. $5.
- 3 Stirling Point. The start (or finish) of SH1 and the Te Araroa walk to Cape Reinga. There is a much photographed sign post and an anchor-chain sculpture (see the other end on Stewart Island).
- 4 Slope Point. Southernmost tip of the island.
Hike the coastal walkway from the parking area and viewpoint at the south end of town around the southern point.
- 1 Four Square, 54 Gore Street (across the street from the Stewart Island ferry terminal parking lot). M-F 7AM–7PM, Sa 8AM–7PM, Su 9AM–7PM. Small supermarket (if you are going to Stewart Island, the Four Square on the island a little bit smaller).
Bluff's famous oysters - if you visit at the right time of year!
- 1 The Lighthouse Art Gallery and Cafe, 30 Gore Street. Cafe and commercial art gallery.
- Stewart Island, most of which is a conservation area, is accessible by ferry. The trip takes an hour and can be very rough if the wind is strong, which it often is. There are many hikes on the island and the chance to see kiwis (the bird, that is) because they can be seen during daylight hours here.
|Routes through Bluff|
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