|Ready to head off|
|Day one on the river|
|The M&M family|
|Mangapapa campground for the first night|
|Early morning vistas|
|Day 2 on the river|
|2nd night at Mangawhaititi|
|Track into the Bridge to Nowhere|
|Standing on the Bridge to Nowhere|
It took us about 30 mins to walk to it. I found the bridge a sad reminder of the people who had once lived in the area. In 1917 soldiers returning from the First World War were given land in this valley to farm. In 1935 the government of the day decided to build the bridge and make roads to open the area up providing a route for the settlers of the area to reach the river and other towns. But the area proved to be so remote and unfriendly that the government never built any roads.
About 30 families took up the offer of free land and went about clearing the bush, building homes, farming stock, building a school and trying to survive. But the conditions were tough, especially during the winter months. They were isolated and it was difficult for them to get out and for supplies to reach them.
By 1942 most families had walked off the land only 3 families remained and as a result the government decided to no longer provide support to these settlers and closed the settlement down. Now all that remains is some signage with settlers names and the bridge. If you hunt carefully you may find an old brick chimney, or an exoctic tree amongst the natives.
I think it's sad to think of how hard life here in the valley would have been and what a raw deal these hard working families got.
|Bridge to Nowhere amongst regenerating native bush|
|The view from Ngaporo campground|
We were all exhausted and looking forward to cool showers and machine coffees! It was an amazing trip, no one came to grief, Mr M&M and I never fell out, and we had some great company along the way.
Well I've run out of time, and you're all probably exhausted too! lol
Gotta run, back soon,