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Rakaia River Bridge

» iSee
»» Travel Trivia
»» Bridges & Tunnels

Business Type: Longest Bridge


North of Rakaia Township is the longest road bridge and the longest rail bridge in New Zealand. Both bridges are approximately 1.75km in length span.

Address: Rakaia, Canterbury, New Zealand Christchurch & Canterbury

Phone: view phone


When the giant fibreglass salmon comes into view on SH1, 57km south of Christchurch, you know you are entering Rakaia, the Chinook salmon capital of New Zealand. Big things are the norm here as the country’s longest road bridge and longest rail bridge stand side-by-side spanning 1750 metres of braided shingle riverbed and floodplain.

The twin Rakaia bridges you see today replaced a road bridge built in 1869 and modified to carry rail traffic in 1873, which caused long delays for impatient motorists who had to wait for trains and herds of sheep to cross.

Further upstream is an historic iron suspension bridge in the Rakaia Gorge between Windwhistle and Mt Hutt. It’s a Bollman Truss bridge, designed by a US railway engineer in 1852. Only one other example of this design remains in the world. It is found in Maryland, USA, so the Rakaia Gorge Bridge has international significance.

More Information: Engineering Heritage


From Christchurch via SH1 - 50min, 60.2km

Photo Gallery

Rakaia River Bridge
  • Rakaia Bridge - 1757 m.
  • Rakaia Bridge
  • Rakaia Bridge
  • Rakaia river.

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