Built in 1928 the bridge is a Public Works Department standard design, single-lane, single-span truss road bridge built of Australian hardwood.

The Manganuku Stream Bridge is of great significance as a representative and rare survivor of a typical New Zealand wood truss road bridge.

It is in good condition with high integrity. The bridge has a modified Howe truss span of 24.8 metres and one 9.5 metre land span of rolled steel joists. The deck is 4.7 metres wide. Near the right bank a concrete pier supports the truss and land span.

Farming was established in the Waioeka Gorge with the first ballot for sections in 1906. It was difficult country to farm with access by packhorse only for many years. In 1928 the bridle track was widened to 16 foot and the next five years were spent bridging the more difficult creeks including the Manganuku. The Manganuku Stream area was settled in 1919 and farmed until 1934. It was a popular picnic spot for settlers who used to meet there for New Years Day picnics.

It was an important link on the Gisborne/Ōpōtiki highway as a monument to early New Zealand bridge building. In 1964 it was replaced by a modern concrete bridge and fell into disrepair. A conservation plan was completed in 1991 and conservation work undertaken in 1992 and 2002. The bridge has a Historic Places Trust category two listing.

The setting is lowland forest, mainly tawa, on steep hill country. The bridge spans the Manganuku Stream. It is situated in the Manganuku picnic area and camping ground in the Waioeka Gorge on SH2.

The Manganuku Track starts from here.

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