It is raining in Bluff. I am sitting in the camp kitchen looking out over the entrance to Bluff Harbor and drinking a beer. The constant wind here is making me question my clothing choices for this hike.
I woke up this morning in Invercargill in a house turned hostel. It was very comfortable with only six people staying. The price of 32NZD seems reasonable for a shared room.
It is also located very close to the museum which is where you can purchase a hut pass.
Invercargill also has a Macpac store and across the street is an adventure outfitter.
Note: Bluff ATM’s do not work with every foreign bank. If you are using a debt card not issued by a New Zealand bank you may want to get cash in Invergill.
Last step is to send a package to Queenstown which is about 300km north on the Te Araroa. Poste Restante is similar to General Delivery in the United States. The main difference is that they charge to hold a package. You can find the instructions, rates, and post office addresses at the link below.
With my shopping and errands done it’s time to make a sign and try to find a ride down to Bluff.
It only takes about twenty minutes to find someone heading to Bluff but I am a scruffy looking nerf herder so you may have better luck. The ride is only about 30 minutes.
The first thing you see coming in to Bluff is the smoke stack for the aluminum smelter that is located across Bluff harbor on Tiwai Point.
The town sits on rocky shores that are reminiscent of Maine. The Harbor is active, hosting huge tankers as well as smaller fish and oyster boats. Bluff is also the main access point for Stewart Island with a ferry traveling to the island three times a day or more.
The gentleman who gave me a ride is kind enough give me a quick tour of the town.
Services include a hostel, a couple of hotels and at least one bed and breakfast. There is a four square market, a post office / kiwi bank and several cafes and restaurants. There is also a campsite with showers and laundry and a kitchen.
The campsite has bushes and buildings that act as a wind break. The camp also has free unlimited wifi!