The Bluff area, while itself not settled by Māori, was one of the earliest areas of New Zealand where a European presence became established. The first ship known to have entered the harbour was the Perseverance in 1813, in search of flax trading possibilities, with the first European settlers arriving in 1823/1824. This is the foundation for the claim that this makes Bluff the oldest permanent European settlement in the country. However the missionary settlement at Kerikeri was both earlier and larger and the town is now larger than that of Bluff. The town was officially called Campbelltown in 1856, became a borough in 1878, and was renamed Bluff in 1917.
This post is part of the Water World Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Nature Footsteps Waters meme