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Bridge to Nowhere

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Business Type: Must See in Whanganui


The Bridge to Nowhere is a concrete road bridge spanning the Manapurua Stream in the Whanganui National Park that has no roads leading to it....

Address: Oio Road, Retaruke, Manawatu-Wanganui, New Zealand Manawatu, Whanganui


It seems to be enigmatic if not incomprehensible but it’s true. The huge concrete arch bridge soaring 40 metres above the Mangapurua Stream in Whanganui National Park has no roads leading to it. The historic bridge can be reached by a two-day tramp or a mountain bike ride. Alternatively, a jet boat ride or kayak trip on the river is a good option, followed by a 45 minute walk. It’s a bizarre sight languishing in dense native forest like some ancient ruin. You’ll do a double take when you see it.

The Bridge to Nowhere was built in 1936 to provide vehicular access to link the valley’s settlers to the riverboat service on the Whanganui River. After WWI returned soldiers were given land here and 35 holdings were hacked out of the bush and a school was built. But the troopers had more battles to face – floods, economic hardship and poor access drove them off the land. By 1942 only three families were left and a major flood resulted in a complete closure of the Mangapurua Valley. Today the valley is dubbed the ‘Valley of Abandoned Dreams’ and brick chimney stacks, signposts, hydrangea bushes and apple trees are the forlorn and poignant reminders of the pioneer farming community.

More Information: Whanganui



The best way is to take a jet boat from Whakahoro down the historic Whanganui River to the Mangapurua Landing and begin the walk up the Mangapurua Valley from here. At the end of the valley follow the Kaiwhakauka Valley back to Whakahoro.
You can reach the Bridge to Nowhere by jet boating or canoeing the Whanganui River from either Pipiriki or Whakahoro to the Mangapurua Landing. From there, it

Photo Gallery

By  <a href=> naveg </a> on <a href=>Flickr</a>

By naveg on Flickr

  • By   14degrees  on Flickr

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