Bridge to Nowhere

The Bridge to Nowhere is now a tourist attraction accessible to walkers, mountain bikers and those using the river. A concrete bridge spanning the Mangapurua stream, a tributary of the Whanganui river, it has no roads leading to or away from it.

Originally a wooden swing bridge was built in 1919 to provide access to the isolated region when land was gifted to pioneering farmers - mostly returned soldiers from World War One. Roads were meant to be built but the area provided unsuitable for farming as the land was too hilly and remote. Slowly the farms reverted to native bush as many of them were left abandoned. By the time the present concrete structure was completed in 1936 many of the farmers had left leaving few settlers who needed to be connected to the riverboat services the bridge made accessible. The valley was given the moniker of “the valley of abandoned dreams”.