Bluff is located near the southern tip of New Zealand’s South Island.

“Bluff Harbour, or Awarua, the Port of Invercargill…though small in the navigable part, is a safe and convenient one for a limited number of vessels. It was formerly a large whaling-station…”

“Campbelltown, on the northern side of the Bluff, is the port of Invercargill, and has large stores for grain and frozen meat, which are shipped in great quantities. the population of the town by census 2nd April, 1911, was 1,780.”

“At Campbelltown…a capacious wharf extends, nearly parallel with the shore…”


“Invercargill is a well-laid-out town, with wide streets, and liberal reserves in the town belts for recreation purposes. The streets are well lighted, paved, and maintained. Artesian water is pumpled to the top of a handsome brick tower-which, by the way, is a very conspicuous landmark–and stored there in a tank, from which most of the houses within the town boundaries are supplied. The estimated population, including suburbs, in January 1912, was 14,490.”

“…the short [railway] line to the Port of Bluff carries a very heavy traffic–the main produce of the district–for export. There are rope and twine, carriage, and implement factories, flour-mills, sawmills, fellmongeries, brick and pottery works, iron-foundaries, and various other industries. The Government Buildings are on a scale not often seen in a town of the same size. A clock and chimes of New Zealand make have been placed in the central tower. Although Bluff in the principal port, Invercargill is provided with a lesser harbour for smaller vessels, in the New River Estuary, where there is a jetty…”

“During the year 1911, five sailing vessels…and 433 steamers…cleared from the port.”

“Exports.–Frozen mutton, beef, wool, hides, tallow, grain, timber, sheep and rabbit skins, preserved fish, oysters, rabbits, flax, cheese, preserved meats, milk, and live-stock.”

“Campbelltown is connected with Invercargill by rail, and thence with Dunedin and ports to the northward. It is the first and last port of call of the Union Steamship Company’s vessels from and to Melbourne, and by them has steam communication with all New Zealand ports. It is connected by telegraph with all parts, and with Invercargill and Dunedin by telephone.”

From Bluff Harbour to Hobart there is a distance of 931 nautical miles, the greater part of the voyage spent on a course of N 77° W.

From Bluff Harbour to Melbourne there is a distance of 1211 nautical miles, with a greater part of the voyage spent on a course of between N 63° W and N 70° W.

From Bluff Harbour to the nearest other port on the eastern side of the South Island, Port Chalmers, there is a distance of 140.2 nautical miles.


The SS Wimmera made 99 visits to Bluff between December 1904 and February 1917, the majority between January 1905 and February 1908 and November 1914 to February 1917.

A table showing the years and months in which the SS Wimmera called at Bluff, New Zealand
Table: The years and months in which the SS Wimmera called at Bluff, New Zealand

© Ralph L. Sanderson 2004-2021