Marine Services

Marine Services

South Port provides pilotage, towage, berthage and full marine services to international and coastal vessels including the southern fishing fleet.

The Island Harbour is only accessible via South Port’s dedicated causeway which is manned 24hrs by security personnel; this provides vessels in port with a high standard of security. South Port also complies with the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS) requirements under the Maritime Security Act.

The port offers a deep water channel entry and berthage; please take into consideration the following limitations:

Maximum Draught and Vessel Sizes

Maximum draught is 9.7m at ordinary high water and up to 10.0m at high water spring tides. Low water maximum draught varies from 7.0m up to 8.0m at neap tides. Maximum vessel length is 225m and 34m beam. Vessels of greater length may be permitted entry by arrangement; this is subject to the type of vessel.

Approaches and Entrance Channel

Approaches and channel boundaries to the port are well delineated by leading lines, buoys and beacons all with appropriate day marks and lighting. The approaches are in two channels, a south channel with a minimum depth 12.5m at mean low water spring tides and a north channel with a minimum depth of 7.2m at mean low water spring tides. The entrance channel has a length of 800m and maximum width of 107m.


The Port of Bluff is a tidal port and major shipping movements occur at slack water. Tidal flow in the entrance channel varies from 2.0 to 2.6m/sec (4-5 knots) with ordinary tides and peaks at 3.6m/sec (7 knots) on high spring tides. Click the below link to view South Port’s complimentary tide timetable for 2019.

South Port Tide Timetable 2021

Port & Harbour Marine Safety Code

South Port supports the New Zealand Port and Harbour Marine Safety Code, this code provides national best practice guidance to port operators to manage the safety of marine activities in their ports and harbours.

Learn more about marine services: