Deep in Whanganui National Park, is a bridge that some visit, but few have crossed. Beautiful in its decay, and almost eerily quiet. Except perhaps for native birdsong and the soft splash of water carving its course below.
Our Bridge to Nowhere tour departs from Taumarunui at the top of the Whanganui River. Passing through rolling King Country farmland, we’ll head downstream and back in time, to an age of steamboats, pioneers and Māori villages. Our jet boat’s destination? The Mangaparua landing.
We disembark from the jet boat at the Mangaparua landing and take an easy 3km (40-minute) walk through native bush to the abandoned ‘Bridge to Nowhere’. Here we’ll relax and revel in the isolation while hearing the history of this melancholy monument. We can take a walk to the lookout to capture its lonely grandeur in photos before the return walk back to the boat.
We always stay alert for the chance to spy some New Zealand native birds – with tui, keruru (native pigeon), and the occasional shy Whio (blue duck) making appearances.
We return by jet boat, along the way stopping to enjoy the delectable picnic prepared by our team that morning. You'll be seeing the Whanganui River from a whole new direction as we return to Cherry Grove in Taumarunui where it’s, ‘so long, till next time’.