Invercargill Bluff Trail
The Invercargill Bluff Trail opens up a whole new way to experience a special part of the Southland region, featuring fantastic scenery and fascinating stories from our past.
The trail – completed in October 2021 – is a new addition to Southland’s recreational trail network.
It can be either the start or the culmination of the 3000km Te Araroa Trail, stretching the length of the country from Cape Reinga to Bluff.
It gives walkers, runners and cyclists the ability to see a picturesque part of the region from a completely new perspective.
The trail provides an off-road alternative for cyclists and walkers between Invercargill and Bluff, which is approximately 25km long. The final 16km section is sealed as an off-highway shared walking and cycling trail linking Awarua and Bluff.
It is possible to join or leave the trail at Greenpoint, about 3km from the Bluff end of the trail. See the map for the route.
Interactive map with photos
The trail follows the 1860s road and rail corridor along an earlier ara tawhito (traditional travel route). Awarua is associated with coastal Māori occupation, and early Māori and European settlements.
Interpretation panels are planned at six locations along the way to tell the Ngāi Tahu story of a journey and the significant aspects along the way. There will also be wayfinding information and seating, and shelters are being considered.
Highlights along the route include a Shag colony, views of Omaui, Stanleytown, 3 Sisters, islands, wind turbines, the Greenpoint ship graveyard and Motupuhoe/Bluff Hill.
The trail is a joint project between Environment Southland and Invercargill City Council, with significant funding contributions from Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency and Te Araroa Trails Trust. It has also been given financial support from the ILT Foundation and Community Trust South.
Getting cyclists and walkers off the road on the final State Highway 1 link between Invercargill and Bluff was one of the main drivers for the trail, as it’s a busy highway with lots of trucks and traffic.
Given the trail’s proximity to SH1 it may not be suitable for young children and caution is advised.
October 2021 - Awarua to Bluff section of the trail complete
March 2022 - Interpretation panels installed
31 March 2022 - Official opening ceremony held