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Bluff is located at the bottom of the South Island, New Zealand, in the province of Southland and is the 'Gateway to Stewart Island'.
State highway 1 starts at Bluff's Stirling Point. Bluff is unique in the fact that it is the oldest European-settled town in New Zealand, added to that it has had a very colorful past, some of which can be found at the local Maritime Museum.
Bluff is dominated by Bluff Hill, an extinct volcanic cone, which provides some shelter from the prevailing westerly winds. There is a world-class walk along the shore through native bush up to this point. The town is named for this bluff, which was known to early whalers as Old Man's Bluff or Old Man Bluff. Across the channel from Bluff is Tiwai Point, home to New Zealand's only aluminum smelter and its wharf.
Bluff is renowned for its oysters, which are reputed to be the best in the world. There is an annual oyster festival and the Bluff Maritime Museum has exhibits which focus on oystering, whaling and shipwrecks.
Stirling Point (the State Highway 1 starts here), panoramic scenes from the viewing platform on top of Bluff Hill, and a world-class walk along the shore through native bush, up to this lookout.
Bluff is 30 km by road from Invercargill.
The New Zealand dollar is used in New Zealand. A few traders do accept foreign currency, particularly in tourist destinations. The conversion from US dollars to NZ dollars is approximate US$1=NZD1.30.
Automatic teller machines (ATMs), locally known as 'the hole in the wall', are available in just about every town.
English, Maori and New Zealand Sign Language are the official languages of New Zealand. English is universal, and is written with Commonwealth ("British") spelling.
The emergency telephone number in New Zealand is 111.
Many public libraries have public Internet access. Generally there is a charge.
On Christmas day, Easter Sunday and Anzac day morning (25th April) all but a few "essential businesses" must be closed.
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