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Auckland Cycle Touring Association



South Island Tour February, 2007

Tuesday, 20th



Today we had a rest day in Invercargill.

It was a beautiful day for resting.  Some rested by cycling to Bluff, others went to Oreti Beach,
some just tiki toured Invercargill and one or two may even have stayed at the camp.

And five of us had morning tea with Peter U who, with Beryl, has just recently moved to Invercargill.



The first thing we noticed was the distinct lack of traffic on the roads.
Here we have a four lane road at 9:30 am.

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Ed tells me this is Bluff's equivalent of the light house at Cape Reinga.

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Photo Ed A









Ed and John B enjoying the sunshine at Bluff Hill.  That's the viewing platform behind them.

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Photo Ed A (did he have a remote?)






Bluff Harbour.

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Photo Ed A








You might have thought the traffic photo at the top was an aberation.
This is Tay St, SH1 from Dunedin, at 11:30 am.

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And this is Dee St, near the centre of town, at 2:45 pm.
Tim certainly found himself a gem when he moved from Waitakere.

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The Presbyterian Church.

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There was a display of woodwork in town.   This is a model of the above church.

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Tim's office is in this fine building.

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Harking back a couple of days, there seems to be a bit of an elephant thing going on down here.

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The Catholic Church.

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We were fortunate to find out that Hammer Hardware had two of Bert Munro's bikes on display.
The streamlined one is the one used in the movie (powered by a Ducati) and the real thing is
the one in the foreground.   They were certainly built for speed rather than comfort!

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There are certainly some grand buildings in Invercargill.

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This one is not a church.  It was Invercargill's water supply.

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The following detail comes from

A major landmark in Invercargill, the water tower was built in 1889 to pressurize the city’s water supply.

This tower, which combines utility with profuse adornment, was built in 1889 to support the city’s first high-pressure water supply tank.

Invercargill’s water tower has been described as an architectural treasure and a prime example of Victorian architecture. For the engineering profession the Invercargill water tower demonstrates their ability to provide a utilitarian structure which is aesthetically pleasing.

High lands or hills are not in abundance in Invercargill, the highest point within the Invercargill Borough in the 1880s was designated as reserve land with consequent protection against development. To complement reserve status, Invercargill’s tower was built in brick with a tank covered by a distinctive cupola, unlike many structures of this type which were constructed of concrete or steel with purely function and not form in mind.

Built originally as the primary means of pressurize the city’s water reticulation system, the tower is still a working part of that system but now in a ‘back up’ role. Pumps now pressurize the reticulation by direct pumping into the mains. However, should the power supply be disrupted and the pumping cease, pressure is provided by the tower. This can occur frequently in winter months as power to the pump station is on interruptible ‘ripple supply’.

Over the years some deterioration in the tower’s appearance has occurred, particularly the removal of the cupola in 1934 and more recently the eroding of brick and plaster work. To preserve the structure against further deterioration and to commemorate its centenary, the original water tower project was ‘revisited’ last year and work done to restore the structure to its former glory.

The restoration project received sponsorship from varied sources and attracted much interest from the community. The building is recognized by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust who have awarded it a “B” classification.

Original Design: William Sharp – consulting engineer
Builders: Matthew & Hugh Mair

Restoration: 1989
Design and supervision: Invercargill City Engineer’s Department
Main contractor: Fletcher Development

Owner: Invercargill District Council












Photos John McK unless otherwise credited.

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