Recommended Sponsor - Buy Original Artwork Directly from the Artist

Source: Department of Conservation

Date:  16 November 2023

The 36-metre suspension bridge across the Mangakino Stream was originally constructed in 1978 by the New Zealand Forest Service.

It’s one of the last of its kind in the Pureora Forest.

The historic bridge has been a key feature of the North Island Heartland Cycle Trail, linking to the iconic Timber Trail to the Waikato River Trails Great Ride.

DOC’s Maniapoto Operations Manager Graham Kimber says the bridge replacement project will begin on Monday 20 November, and will take about six weeks.

“The bridge is something of a symbol for walkers and cyclists who enjoy this part of the country, but it’s due for replacement, and we’re pleased to have commissioned this project to get that work done,” he says.

The new bridge will be 31 metres long from tower to tower – about the same size as the bridge being taken out of service.

The new bridge will be a suspension-style bridge – so a similar design to the existing structure, with cables and wooden slats making up the bulk of the structure.

The “dead man” anchor points for the new bridge are the first phase of the project.

Once the anchor points are constructed, the main cable across the Mangakino Stream will be fitted.

Following the installation of the main cable, the existing old bridge will be removed in pieces.

When finished, cyclists may still need to up-end their bikes to cross the bridge, and Graham urges continued patience and courtesy among those who use the bridge.

While work is underway, DOC strongly encourages cyclists using the trail to take the recommended detour. See Timber Trail for details.

Riders and walkers should also check Timber Trial status for regular updates.

This ride forms part of Tour Aotearoa, a 3000km route through the length of New Zealand. The ride passes a monument marking the geographic centre of the North Island.

It is a popular inclusion on the many bikepacking routes that traverse the area including the Kopiko Aotearoa and the Geyserland Gravel Grind.

The Pureora Forest was the location for extensive logging through the middle of the 20th century – and more recently it has become a haven for native biodiversity and recreation.