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The Bluff/Motupōhue, Southland

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October 2023 Issue

The Bluff / Motupōhue tracks are the southernmost in Te Waipounamu. They make for a beautiful two-hour walk with a variety of steep hill track and easy flat coastal walkway. By Carolyn Jones

This trail can be enjoyed in several ways. The Foveaux Walkway is an easy, well-maintained coastal track that is wheelchair, small child or pram friendly, for a relaxed 50min stroll to Lookout Point and back. 

However, for a more challenging trip with the reward of impressive views, start out on the Tōpuni Track and head uphill. 

The track is an undulating trail through native bush and light forest, up to The Bluff lookout. The gradient alternates between fairly steep and mild and the bush is beautiful – home to plenty of well-fed tūī, who are so accustomed to people that they sit almost within reach and serenade walkers with song.

Just over halfway up, at around the 160m contour, the track leaves the bush and follows a slight downhill ridge before climbing again to The Bluff’s summit (265m), where there is a lookout. Cars can also access the summit. 

The views encompass Rakiura / Stewart Island, Tīwai Point aluminium smelter and Invercargill.

The next part of the trail starts on the southern side of the summit and goes down the Millennium Track to Lookout Point. This gentle relaxing descent through coastal tussock offers constant sea views. Lookout Point is worth the short climb to feel like a true explorer surveying the sea, before heading back to civilisation. 

The Foveaux Walkway is an easy coastal walk from Lookout Point with sea views on one side, and some bush on the other. It’s popular, so you are likely to meet a number of other walkers.

Total Ascent
Through Bluff township to Stirling Point car park

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