The ultimate guide to local walking tracks
The network of walking tracks at Bluff Hill are a nature lover’s delight, with abundant native birdlife and flora, much of which is rare except on island sanctuaries. Coastal tracks offer stunning views over the ocean, and in the winter you may just be lucky enough to spot a rare Southern Right Whale (Tohorā). A viewing platform on the summit of Bluff Hill provides amazing panoramic views.
This walkway begins opposite the Greenpoint Cemetery and is signposted. The approximate walking time [one way] is 15 minutes at a leisurely pace. A well graded walking track and boardwalk follows the shoreline to Greenpoint, providing panoramic views across Bluff Harbour. It is suitable for wheelchairs. At the Greenpoint picnic area, a viewing platform overlooks the ship graveyard and identifies some of Bluff Harbour’s historic landmarks.
All other Bluff walkways are accessible from the Stirling Point Signpost and provide a network of walks around the Bluff Hill area.
The Foveaux Walkway offers many different options. The walk from Stirling Point to Ocean Beach is the longest option taking two hours and offers coastal views, while also taking in private farmland. No dogs are permitted on this track on the farmland beyond the turnstile. Otherwise dogs need to be on a lead as there are ground breeding birds present.
Another option is to start at Stirling Point and walk the track to Lookout Point and the Foveaux Memorial. This is a 50 minute walk and you can then return via the same route to Stirling Point.
Both of these options are relatively easy walking around the coast.
This track takes walkers from Lookout Point on the Foveaux Walkway to the summit of Bluff Hill, through wind torn shrubs. Great sea views across to Rakiura are visible along the way. Allow 45 minutes for this steep uphill track.
Dogs do need to be on leads.
Either begin at Stirling Point or from the Gunpit Road access gateway.
From Stirling Point either follow the Foveaux Walkway to the beginning of the Glory Track [approx 20 minutes] or from Stirling Point take a 10 minute walk up the hill past the Oyster Cove Restaurant & Bar. At the top of the hill gunneries can be viewed, then continue walking from the Gunpit Entrance around to Stirling Point. This round trip takes approx. 50 minutes.
These tracks can all be linked to form several different walks of various lengths.
Ōmāui Walking Track
A loop track through regenerating coastal bush. 1500 metres in length, with a walk time of 30 minutes return. Panoramic views over the Invercargill Estuary and Sandy Point areas. Dogs on a leash please.
All tracks require solid footwear.
Bluff Hill (Motupōhue) provides visitors to the area with spectacular views over Foveaux Strait and the Southland Plains. There are well-established walking track networks, a mountain bike tracks, a car park and interpretation panels. Original native forest, wind-battered coast and scrub-covered hillsides are some of the delights of the area.
While walking is the main recreational pursuit on Bluff Hill, downhill mountain biking is also popular.
Points of interest include the panoramic views and informative panels at the top of Bluff Hill, Stirling Point with its famous sign and historic pilot station, historic wartime sites such as a gun pit, and well-formed walking tracks, offering a range of experiences from easy to challenging. These walking trails, which include Foveaux Walkway, Tōpuni Track, Glory Track, and Millennium Track among others, are jointly managed by the Invercargill City Council’s Parks Division and the Department of Conservation.
Note: Dog access is allowed if the dog is on a leash.
Te Araroa is New Zealand’s Trail – taking in spectacular New Zealand landscapes from beaches to volcanoes to forests to cities.
The 3000km route stretching from Cape Reinga in the north of New Zealand to Bluff in the south was officially opened December 3rd, 2011 by the Governor-General of New Zealand, Sir Jerry Mateparae.
Te Araroa is the greatest New Zealand adventure there is – and should be on every Kiwi’s bucket list.
Full information including information specific to the Bluff part of the trail – teararoa.org.nz