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Published on Feb 14, 2013
On December 3 1960, a brand new man-made island harbour opened in Bluff. The harbour took eight years to construct. In 1952 a major expansion of port facilities began when it was decided to reclaim an area of shallow sandbanks and build what is now the Island Harbour. Further reclamation continued until 1982, when the No. 8 berth was completed. Facilities on the Island Harbour include grain silos, extensive cool stores, a loader for wood chips and other bulk cargoes, tallow storage facilities, and New Zealand's largest ship-lift. The eastern side of the harbour is dominated by the giant Tīwai Point aluminium smelter, opened in 1971, which produces a quarter of a million tonnes of aluminium each year. Today, the port of Bluff is operated by South Port New Zealand Ltd and has an annual cargo throughput of around 2.6 million tonnes. Imports include alumina and other raw materials for the smelter, petroleum products, fertilizer, and paper pulp. Major export products include aluminium, meat, wool, tallow, forest products, fish, and grain. Bluff harbour is also the terminus for the twice-daily catamaran ferry to Stewart Island, 60 km south across Foveaux Strait. It is the main gateway for NZ ships heading down to the Antarctic. The harbour is also home to the Foveaux Strait oyster fleet. The Bluff Maritime Museum is located in New Zealand's southern-most port of Bluff. The museum is situated on Foreshore Road and contains an extensive collection of Bluff's maritime heritage. Additional caption information from NZ History: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/page/bluf... For updates on our On This Day series and news from Archives New Zealand, follow us on Twitter twitter.com/ArchivesNZ Material from Archives New Zealand