Fairfield lies in rolling hill country between Abbotsford and the Taieri Plains, close to the slopes of Saddle Hill and Scroggs Hill. The name Fairfield was originally given as a descriptive name by early European settler William Martin to his farm property, located close to where the town now stands.
Until 2000, Fairfield was situated on State Highway 1, but the construction of a ten kilometre stretch of the Dunedin Southern Motorway (the southernmost motorway in the world) between Caversham and Mosgiel at that time created the Fairfield bypass. Fairfield has a (2001) population of 2010.
The local primary school is Fairfield School.
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