Tauranga Stream Suspension Bridge Loop Walk

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The Tauranga Stream Suspension Bridge Walk is an easy 5.8k walk that will take you 2 hours to complete or 3 hours if you read the sign. The track takes you over 2 shallow creek crossing. The Tauranga Harp Suspension Bridge is on the main road from Whakatane, Opoitki to Gisborne in the Waioeka Gorge. The land was settled from 1906. The last family walked off the land in 1927.

Quick Facts

•  Location: North Island NZ
•  Distance: 5.80 km
•  Time needed: 2 Hours
•  Difficulty: Easy
•  Wheelchair Access: No
•  Route: Round Trip
•  Elevation: 110m
•  Wet Feet: Yes
•  Toilets: No
•  Dogs: No
•  Mobile Coverage: No
•  Last Updated: November, 2019

  • Track Highlights

    The Harp Suspension Bridge and the Waioeka River would be the main highlight. There is nothing left of the 1906 settlers farms to see.

  • Track Quality

    You will be walking on a benched track cut out of the bush by settlers in 1906, the walk is easy but over grown, long pants are a must. There are two creek crossings, one is next to the Tauranga Stream suspension bridge and one at the top end of the valley.

  • Hazards

    The main hazard are the two creek crossings if you decide to try the loop walk. The creeks will be too dangerous to cross in flood. So just stay on the bench track and return the same way. After you walk over the Suspension Bridge, walk down to the low track first to check out the height of the river crossing. It can be cold and wet in the Tauranga Stream valley.

  • Transport


  • Water

    Only out of the Tauranga Stream

  • Driving Instructions

    Driving from Opotiki to Gisborne, you need to take a break, the car park is on your right along side the Waioeka River. Approximately 28 Ks from Opotiki.

  • Shops or Restaurants nearby

    Opotiki is the last town for shopping before Gisborne. There is a small dairy at Matawai.

  • Area & Track History

    The government opened up the Tauranga Valley in 1906 to three families, the Beaufoys, Hamiltons and the Lamberts. The land was too steep, no sunlight and to wet, so by 1927 all the families had walked off their land. In 1970 the valley was incorporated in to the Waioeka Gorge Scenic Reserve. As for the Harp Suspension Bridge, they were built from 1880 to 1930, now there are only two left in NZ. The bridge is 57m long and built out of Australian hard wood.

  • Best Things To Do near this walk

  • Map location of Tauranga Stream Suspension Bridge Loop Walk

    Map of walk

The start of the walk

The start to the track is at the bottom end of the car park, look for the sign. A 5 minute walk down the old road to the bridge, 10m past the bridge, is the high and low track turn off. Walk down to the low track first to check out the height of the river crossing. If it is too dangerous to cross, double back on the high track.

The loop

Now you are walking on land that was cleared in 1906. The poor old legs get a good scratching on this section of track, because most of the flat ground is over grown with blackberry and ferns. You will walk between the remains of the old fence line. Then drop down to the first small creek crossing. No problems just step across. This section of bush is just rubbishy second growth. I walked 10 Mt off the track and dropped down onto the crystal clear creek, I did not see any trout, but they are in the main river. 20 minutes from the turnaround is this great camp spot across the creek. Flat and open for the morning sun, short walk for water and wood. Look at the size of these markers; no wonder I could see them so far off. There is another creek to hop over just 30m away. If the creek is in flood, double back. The crossing at the other end will be twice the depth and to dangerous.

State forest access track

Once across, walk (10m) out to the corner of the creek. There is this great deep clear pool, just the spot for a swim or just sit down and have a hot cup of coffee. You can’t miss the start of the second leg of this joinery. A short 10m walk into the bush and you turn right on to the State Forest access track. If this track was only cleaned up, it would be an excellent walk back to the car. The three foot track out is a breeze, it’s like walking down the main street of Auckland, but there is no easy access down to the creek to look for trout, it was too steep. This is the tricky part, crossing the creek. Make your way out to the point on the other side of the creek and walk around the corner. Yes the track is just around the corner. Then it is a short 5 minute back to the bridge.

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