Mystery of the moving bridge

Department of Conservation —  24/04/2013

Cornelia Vervoorn from DOC’s Franz Josef/Waiau Area Office shares photos from the recent repair of a bridge damaged by flood on the West Coast.

After a flood you can sometimes find DOC bridges washed miles from their original positions. What is more unusual is to find them in the same place but rotated 90 degrees.

The bridge on Lake Ellery Track that was damaged by flood.

The bridge appears to have made a 90 degree turn

We think that is what happened with the heavy rain a wee while back. The river backed up as the lake level rose slowly, gently lifting the bridge and turning it, rather than destroying it as normally happens!

This bridge is located on the Lake Ellery Track, south of Haast. The water level during the flooding was at head height for a person standing on the track.

DOC rangers fix the bridge on the Lake Ellery Track.

DOC rangers get to work fixing the bridge

The flood lifted the bridge and the concrete block it was attached to! The mystery of the moving bridge reminded some people of the magical moving staircases in the fictional world of Harry Potter.

The magical moving staircase in Harry Potter.

The mystery of the moving bridge was not as magical as some thought.

DOC rangers Cheryl and John have fixed it now and are pretty pleased about it as you’ll see!


DOC rangers Cheryl and John after fixing the bridge.

3 responses to Mystery of the moving bridge

    Terry Maloney 24/04/2013 at 3:17 pm

    Hi. Good to see you/it back ‘on track’. I have to say though, we DO miss those 3 (and sometimes 2) wire crossings 🙁 They used to be the highlight of some of our tramps in Fiordland years ago 😀 I always got a big kiss and a hug when my wife had got safely across a flooded creak 😉

      Terry Maloney 24/04/2013 at 3:18 pm

      Ooops ! I meant a flooded creek ! Creak is us when we tramp now 🙁


    Awesome! Good work Cheryl and John, great piccies xx