The concrete Bridge to Nowhere can be found deep in the middle of lush native forest in Whanganui National Park, a remnant of a bygone era.

Deep in the Whanganui National Park, this concrete road bridge is a surprising sight. There is no road either side, and no signs of construction or civilisation.

But the Bridge to Nowhere is so unique it's now a drawcard in its own right, and you'll be rewarded if you have the curiosity to hike or cycle to this picturesque spot, with its own place in Aotearoa's history.

The remote Mangapurua Valley was opened up in 1919 to provide farms for soldiers returning from World War I.

A wooden swing bridge for horses provided access to the valley, and after years of agitation from the local community, a more robust concrete road bridge was constructed in 1936.

However it was used for only six years. The Mangapurua Valley Soldiers Settlement walked off their land in 1942 after decades of battling hardship caused by the valley's poor soils. The forest grew back, obliterating all signs of habitation - except for the bridge.

Today, you can find the Bridge to Nowhere by catching a jet boat from either Pipiriki or Whakahoro. From Mangapurua Landing on the Whanganui River it's an easy 40 minute walk one-way, through beautiful native forest. The bridge offers great views of the steep forest valley and the riverbed below.

This area is part of the Whanganui National Park, and the Bridge to Nowhere is a feature of the popular two-day hike along the Mangapurua Track(opens in new window) which starts at Whakahoro.

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