Bluff Hill, Southland

When we were in Bluff on 14 August 2018, we drove to the carpark on Bluff Hill and walked up the spiral path to the top of the lookout area. The spiral path is brilliant! The views are fabulous from up here and you go round and round enjoying the changing scenery as you go. There are good interpretation panels along the way too. The last two photos look down on the aluminium smelter at Tiwai Point.

Bluff Hill Lookout

Bluff, Southland, New Zealand. All photos taken by Nigel 14 August 2018


Text by Liz, Photos by Nigel; Exploring Colour (2018)

17 thoughts on “Bluff Hill, Southland

Add yours

  1. I wondered what the big factory was when we went there…now I know…aluminium. It is something of an eyesore I feel but I guess these things are needed to go somewhere. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Tracy, I’ve just looked through some info online. My understanding is that the primary reasons for siting the smelter here are: electricity from Manapouri Power Station, deep sea port at Bluff for receiving alumina and for despatch of product, and proximity of city services and infrastructure at Invercargill. I’ve found no reference to reclaimed land and I believe this is a natural spit. “Awarua-Waituna Wetland is a large Ramsar (internationally recognised) wetland site of 20,000 ha.” I’ve found references to saltmarsh and peatland. The 2000 ha of land around the smelter is managed by our Department of Conservation and the smelter leases Tiwai Peninsula from DOC. This info I’ve gleaned mostly from and


        1. Oh I enjoy your questions so much! Because of doing that bit of research I found that the public can get a permit and access to a key to get through the locked gates that lead into the wealth of flora and fauna at Tiwai Point. I love being asked genuine questions!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I like such spiral ways! You can look in every direction and always have a wonderful sight! What an amazing weather … the blue sky is very nice and ful of spring!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a fabulous view, Liz, and how neat that the spiral gives you a 360 degree look as you go up. Interesting that such a thing was built and how it now seems to fit into the landscape. Did the lookout have a security function originally?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This from The Cyclopedia of New Zealand (published 1905): “The Bluff Hill rises to 800 feet above the sea level, and on the top there is a signal station where watch is kept from sunrise to sunset.”

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I think the security was primarily centred around the ships coming in to ensure they didn’t come to grief. One advantage of Bluff Harbour however is that unlike most NZ ports, it doesn’t have a sand bar at the entrance to the harbour.

          Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: