"Old Bluff Cemetery" Bluff Things to Do Tip by Kakapo2

Bluff Things to Do: 21 reviews and 29 photos

The Old Bluff Cemetery sits at a spectacular location at the end of Lagan Street. This is the highest street at the western end of Bluff, parallel to Bluff Hill.

You have splendid panoramic views to the north, west and south – not so to the east because Bluff Hill blocks your view.

The cemetery itself is very interesting, telling the stories from the past about infant deaths, drownings at sea and an influenza epidemic in 1918. The most noticeable internment site is that of Sir Joseph Ward who was prime minister of New Zealand from 1906 to 1912 and 1928 to 1930. (He resigned due to poor health and died later that year.)

I, of course, went to the cemetery to find the grave of Fred and Myrtle Flutey, the late owners of the famous Paua House.

There is a register at the entrance of the cemetery where you can locate specific plots.

You will also see beautifully sculpted angels on the cemetery, as well as ornate iron fences around the graves. Some graves are in bad shape, their cover plates broken, as most of them are rather old and have weathered many storms and probably earthquakes. Many headstones were made of the locally quarried dark norite while white gravel from Awarua Bay sets a striking contrast.

The land was defined as a cemetery in 1863 and designated as such in 1869. The first known burial was that of John Fox Overingham on 3 December 1860, well before the cemetery became a cemetery.

We were told the cemetery as been “full” for a long time and people from Bluff are now buried further west at Greenpoint.


When you drive on the main street – Gore Street which becomes Marine Parade further east – turn uphill into Liffey Street, Boyn Street or Shannon Street. At the respective end of these streets turn right into Lagan Street. You will end up at the carpark in front of the cemetery.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Mar 3, 2012
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