Waitutu viaducts to be restored

Updated at 9:16 pm on 22 February 2014

Four giant timber viaducts built nearly a century ago in the rugged Waitutu Forest in Fiordland National Park are to be restored.

The viaducts, which have Category 1 historic status, were built in the early 1920s as part of a timber tramline to the Port Craig logging and sawmill operation.

The Percy Burn viaduct, before its closure.

The Percy Burn viaduct, before its closure.


The mills were dismantled long ago, and the viaducts are now part of the Hump Ridge Trail along Fiordland's South Coast.

However, the Percy Burn viaduct - the highest timber trestle bridge in the Southern Hemisphere - was closed last May due to decay and corrosion.

Now the Department of Conservation, the Southland District Council and the Port Craig Viaduct Trust have pledged nearly $480,000 to restore all four viaducts.

Conservation Minister Nick Smith says the viaducts are a spectacular feature of the Hump Ridge Track, which generations of New Zealanders and international visitors must continue to be able to enjoy.

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