Bridge to Nowhere

Image: DOC


Walk to an abandoned bridge in the heart of the Whanganui National Park.

Track overview

3 km return via same track

Walking and tramping

1 hr 30 min return Easy: Walking track

Dog access

Dogs with a DOC permit only. Contact the relevant DOC office to obtain a permit.

About this track


From the Mangapurua Landing on the Whanganui River, follow the Mangapurua Stream to an abandoned bridge.

Getting there

There are two ways to access the bridge site, either by a gentle 40 minute walk from the Mangapurua Landing on the Whanganui River (boat transport required up the river) or by the Mangapurua Track, accessible from either Whakahoro or Ruatiti road end.

History and culture

This large concrete bridge is an icon within the Whanganui National Park and a major visitor destination.

The bridge was constructed in the mid-1930s to provide road access to the lower and middle valley farms known as the Mangapurua Valley Soldiers Settlement.

By the time it was completed these areas of the Mangapurua Valley were deserted, the bridge rarely used and the construction of the road to the Whanganui River abandoned.

The 'Bridge to Nowhere' is the largest and most intact structure relating to the former Mangapurua Valley Soldiers Settlement and has an Historic Places Trust Category I listing. 

Know before you go

Safety information

  • Fires - fires are not permitted in the Mangapurua Valley
  • Weather conditions – track users are urged to observe the weather conditions and seek advice as wet, slippery conditions may be experienced at times, particularly during winter and early spring.
  • Communications - this area is remote with no cell phone coverage.  It is recommended that you carry an emergency alert device (e.g. PLB/Spot tracker).
  • Bluffs - there are multiple bluffs on this track. Care should be taken while passing these bluffs and watch out for falling rocks.
  • Multi-use track - Bridge to Nowhere Track is shared by trampers, mountain bikers and hunters. Care should be taken on downhill sections. All users need to look out for and be considerate of others.
  • Water - during dry periods, extra water should be carried as shelters and streams may be dry or stagnant. Treat or boil all water before drinking.
  • Wasps: Wasps are a known hazard and are particularly common from January until May. Carry antihistamine if you are allergic to their stings.

Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip.


Whanganui Office
Phone:   +64 6 349 2100
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   34-36 Taupo Quay
Whanganui 4500
Postal Address:   Private Bag 3016
Whanganui 4540
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