Where’s Bluff?

We took a bus to Invercargill where our host had picked us up to get to Bluff. There are no shuttle services directly to Bluff unless if you intend to go to Stewart Island. We contemplated going to Stewart Island which is known for smoked salmon! We decided not to because of the hefty cost of the ferry to Stewart Island; the bus ticket to Bluff was expensive enough already.

A view off one of the Bluff Hill tracks

Bluff is a hole. It’s known for oysters, but it was not oyster season so no oysters for us. Actually, we learned that all the fresh seafood from Bluff gets shipped to other parts of the country in the wee hour once they are captured. It is hard to buy good seafood in Bluff unless if you have connections with the fisherman. We decided to come to Bluff because our host had mentioned about looking for creative helpers to help setup an information center. We spent most of the time cleaning up the information center to prepare for its reopening in mid-January.


There was not much to explore in Bluff other than Bluff Hill and Stirling Point. Stirling Point has a similar location signpost as in Cape Reinga. I remember asking the question ‘Where’s Bluff?’ when I saw the sign at Cape Reinga. Who would have thought that we would have made it to the opposite end of the country during our 3-month adventure? If we would have known, we should have staged for some interesting photos. I spent my days reading a book about women in China that my host had lent me. It’s been awhile since I have been this engaged with a book. I aggressively read through the stories so I can finish the book before leaving Bluff.

I learned from the carpenter working at the information center that gold mining is still an active industry today. He actually dives for gold mining during the summer. Carpentry is only his part time winter job. I did not realize people still mined for gold nowadays. I suppose he does find something from time to time to make a living.

Not much goes on in Bluff. We kept ourselves entertained with our host’s dog Biddy. She is a needy one. She always want you to rub her bum. If you are petting her body, she would adjust herself so you end up rubbing her butt. As our host said, “Not all women knows what they want, but Biddy does.” Leave it to the dog to set an example, haha.

This is Biddy’s signal for a butt rub

This is our last HelpX engagement in New Zealand. It is interesting to see the differences in the three experiences. Our first HelpX experience was in Nelson where we helped a middle class family on their private farm. We were provided with comfortable accommodations and delicious fresh farm-to-table meals. However, our host was very keen on ensuring that we work as fast as we could (which we did). The second experience was in Greymouth at the bed and breakfast. Financially speaking, this host was the most unstable with a budget hostel where he has to strive to make ends meet. He was the most welcoming and the most concerned with our overall well being. Lastly, our host in Bluff is an artist with a decent loft and the ambitions to promote tourism in Bluff. She is happy to let us do our own things as long as the day’s work is complete. Our HelpX experiences had been interesting to see how people from different walks of life turn out. It was interesting to see the difference in lifestyle of the businessmen, hippie, and artist. Which shall I pursue?


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