New Zealand has many things to offer for the adrenaline junkie. South Island in particular has some pretty spectacular attractions for those that want to test just how brave they really are.
Percy Burn viaduct located in the far south of the South Island brings history and
good ole kiwi ingenuity to the forefront of one rather impressive bridge, one of the largest wooden bridges in the world.
Logging native timber was a large-scale business going back 100 years. To enable loggers to cross the many rivers, viaducts were built. Percy Burn Viaduct was 1 of 4 viaducts designed to haul logs along an overhead cableway to cross the river.
New Zealand’s most modern and largest tramway for logging snaked through 25km of bush. In 1928, the Marlborough Timber Company built a gantry at the end of the wharf, loading ships moored in the bay.
Due to competition, raising debt, sparse native bush and falling prices, the mill closed and fell into disrepair. Now the mill and other viaducts have been restored and become part of the Hump Ridge tourist trail.
In May 2013, Percy Burn Viaduct was closed due to safety concerns because of the rather rickety nature of the bridge.
New Zealanders didn’t want to give up. The 125-meter length and 36 meters high ravine had to be brought back to its glory days.
Now there are several tourism companies that offer adventure packages that cross the viaduct.
The Historic Percy Burn + Jet Boat package offers a range of options. Including several overnight stays in Percy Burn hut, and an exhilarating 35km jet boat upriver ride, crossing over Lake Hauroko.
If staying overnight isn’t your thing, you can still explore the wonder of this area. Tramping over hills, past valleys, ascending mountainous peaks on the 4-5 hour trek, over the mostly wooden framed bridge, testing your limits. Being able to full appreciate the creativity and gumption of those that created it.
Like this content? You might like to check out my NZ travel e-book Journey in Little Paradise for more travel ideas, or just to learn a bit more about the Land of the Long White Cloud.