Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge

Coordinates: 45°00′32″S 168°53′56″E / 45.009°S 168.899°E / -45.009; 168.899
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Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge
Coordinates45°00′32″S 168°53′56″E / 45.009°S 168.899°E / -45.009; 168.899
CrossesKawarau River
Heritage statusCategory I historic place
The new highway bridge over the Kawarau River

The Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge spans the Kawarau River in the Otago region in the South Island of New Zealand. The bridge is mainly used for commercial purposes by the AJ Hackett Bungy Company for bungy jumping - the world's first commercial bungy jumping site. The bridge carries walkers, runners and bikers on the Queenstown Trail over the river.


The bridge is in a Department of Conservation reserve,[1] between the start of the Crown Range Road and Gibbston in the Kawarau Gorge within the Wakatipu Basin. It is 43 metres (141 ft) above the Kawarau River.


The bridge was designed by Harry Higginson.[2] The bridge was completed in late 1880 as a key access route to the Central Otago goldfields. Traffic was moved to a new highway bridge on State Highway 6 in 1963.

The suspension bridge is classified by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust as a Category I historic place.[3] Today, it is a tourist attraction with commercialised ziplines and bungee jumping.[4]


The bridge's many names include the Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge, Kawarau Suspension Bridge, Kawarau bridge, Kawarau Bungy Bridge. The Civil Aviation Authority refers to the bridge as Bungy Bridge, where it is used as a reporting point for general aviation aircraft approaching Queenstown Airport.[5]



  1. ^ "Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge". Engineering New Zealand. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  2. ^ "Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge". www.heritage.org.nz. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  3. ^ Astwood, Karen (29 March 2011). "IPENZ Engineering Heritage Register Report - Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge" (PDF). Engineering New Zealand. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  4. ^ Babirat, Claudia (2 August 2021). "Tohu Whenua: Visiting Otago's treasured heritage landmarks". Stuff. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  5. ^ "In, Out and Around Queenstown" (PDF). Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand. May 2017. p. 16.