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Balclutha is a town in Otago, it lies towards the end of the Clutha River on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. It is about halfway between Dunedin and Invercargill on the Main South Line railway, State Highway 1 and the Southern Scenic Route. Balclutha has a population of 3918 (2013 census), and is the largest town in South Otago.The Clutha District Council is based in Balclutha.The major service center for the fertile farming region around the lower reaches of the Clutha River, it is also the nearest large town to the Catlins, a scenic region of native forest, wildlife, and rugged coastline.OriginsKnown locally as "Clutha", Balclutha's name - and that of the river on which it stands - reflects the Scottish origin of the town's settlement. The name comes from Scottish Gaelic and would be spelt Baile Cluaidh in that language; this translates into English as "Town on the Clyde".James McNeil from Bonn Hill, Dumbartonshire, Scotland, who is regarded as the town's founding father, arrived in 1853 - via Port Chalmers, NZ in 1849. His farm was on the site of the present town, where he and the Provincial Government established a ferry service across the Clutha in 1857; as a result the town was initially called Clutha Ferry.Add Balclutha and other destinations in New Zealand to your travel plans using our New Zealand itinerary builder.
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