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The Idealog guide to New Zealand's best bridges

Where would we be without bridges? Stranded between two points, gazing forlornly across a vast expanse, presumably. But while we can all appreciate their functionality, they’re also increasingly beautiful. Here are some of Idealog’s favourites.

Bridge of Remembrance

Christchurch

This bridge isn’t exactly “new” – it was first unveiled in 1924. But it was re-opened in 2016, following five years of reconstruction after the Christchurch earthquakes. 

*****

Waikato River Arch Bridge

Waikato

The East Taupo Arterial route takes traffic away from the city centre and also features this 150m stunner that spans the Mighty Waikato.  

*****

Te Rewa Rewa Bridge

Taranaki

A 69-metre-long pedestrian and cycleway bridge across the Waiwhakaiho River at New Plymouth, this beautiful bridge was built in alignment with the sacred Mount Taranaki. It offers some pretty breathtaking views and has become a popular landmark. 

*****

Te Whitinga

Auckland

The Hendon Footbridge, also known as Te Whitinga, links Auckland’s Alan Wood Reserve with Kukuwai Park. The 300-metre bridge is part of the much-hyped Waterview Connection tunnel, is created from three arcs and is sloped seven degrees.

*****

Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge

Otago

Arguably New Zealand’s most profitable bridge, the Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge was built in 1880 and is best known as the world’s first commercial Bungy Jumping site.

*****

Turanganui Bridge

Gisborne

Looking kind of like the edge of a flying saucer, this bridge, which is in the planning stages and will consist of steel cantilever and mono piles, was a finalist in the infrastructure category in this year’s World Architecture Festival. 

*****

Te Wero Bridge

Auckland

Also known as the Wynyard Crossing, this pedestrian drawbridge is one of the most famous in the City of Sails. Opened in 2011 as one of the key construction projects for the Rugby World Cup, it is now used by thousands of commuters and tourists every day as one of the main connections between the Wynyard Quarter and the rest of the Auckland Waterfront. It was built for a cost of about $3.7 million. 

*****

Hillcrest Road Bridge

Auckland

The Hillcrest Road bridge was constructed as part of  the Northern Gateway Toll Road, which opened in late 2008. It is one of only two bridges that cross this new-ish section of State Highway One. Its curved design recalls a 1960s version of futurism. George Jetson is undoubtedly a fan. 

*****

Te Ara iWhiti

Auckland

Te Ara i Whiti – or the LightPath, as it’s more commonly known – is an innovative cycleway joining two parts of Auckland city previously separated by motorways. A collaboration between Monk Mackenzie Architects, LandLAB, NZTA (which owns the motorway infrastructure), Auckland Transport (which manages the Auckland cycle network) and the Auckland Council, the pink path has quickly become one of the Super City’s most iconic structures. 

*****

Te Matau ā Pohe

Whangarei

Whangarei's second harbour bridge, Te Matau ā Pohe, is a 265 metre long thing of beauty, replete with beautiful lighting and a captivating design feature that either looks like (depending who you ask) a fish hook, a whalebone or the front of a waka. Like Te Wero, it is a bascule bridge and has a 25m-wide lifting section that allows vessels taller than 7.5m to transit. 

*****

Point Resolution Bridge

Auckland

A finalist in the 2014 International Architecture Awards, this footbridge linking Tamaki Drive and the Parnell Baths in Auckland is a sweeping combination of curved steel, concrete and glass. It is decorated with iwi patterns by artist Henriata Nicholas, which were etched into the concrete and then coated with a protective pigmented arctic white stain. 

*****

Jon Bridges

Definitely one of our favourites. 

*****

UPDATE: We forgot one. 

 

Taumanu Reserve Bridge

Auckland

Winner of a World Architecture News Transport Award in 2016Taumanu Reserve Bridge restores a connection to the re-imagined coastal landscape of Onehunga after motorway development in the 1970s severed the local populace from the sea. Functional, beautiful and original, the artwork on the bridge's interior timber panelling was commissioned with guidance from the project's Maori advisors and was carved by machine, while in counterpoint anodized aluminium shells adorn the gateway upstands

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