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Bluff's Club Hotel makes way for Oyster Festival

The Southland App

28 March 2024, 2:31 AM

Bluff's Club Hotel makes way for Oyster FestivalBluff's Club Hotel will finally be demolished next month (Apr). Photo: Google

Bluff's Club Hotel will be demolished next month (April 2024), after an application to demolish the building finally got the green light in January, giving some certainty to the town's neighbouring Oyster festival scheduled for 25th May.


The landmark building has been the home to southern hospitality for more than a century and a half, with Prime Minister Joseph Ward's mother first setting up a hotel - the Railway Hotel - on the site in 1870.


Over the years successive fires have burnt the hotel, but each time it has been rebuilt. The current hotel, built in 1914, was designed in an Italianate style by architect Frederick Annison.



The buildings current owners, the Bluff Oyster and Food Festival Charitable Trust, had been applying to demolish the building since 2018.


In 2023 the building was notified as a dangerous building, effectively stopping the popular annual oyster festival.


However the building immenent demolition means the 2024 festival is back on track with tickets now on sale on Trade Me



The neighbouring Invercargill City Council (ICC) Bluff Service Centre will be temporarily moved, from its current office at 98 Gore Street, to the Bluff Town Hall ahead of demolition work commencing.


ICC Customer Services Manager Mark Radcliffe said all Council services would be available at the temporary location, as well as some NZ Post and library services, although Kiwibank and Lotto services would not be available.



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