The Red Bridge – Buy
The next day I headed for Luggate. Another of those small South Island towns that had developed during the Otago Gold Rush of the 1860’s as miners made their way inland in search of alluvial gold, fame and fortune. The day was still with clear blue skies as far as the eye could see while all the surrounding peaks were covered in snow and the ground lay frozen. The lakes of both Wanaka and Hawea looked tranquil, serene and undisturbed as I passed them. Having the road to myself, when added to my surroundings, the drive was calm and relaxing, almost peaceful. In fact, it wasn’t until I was close to Lake Hawea township that I came across other traffic. This annoyed me somewhat. In the short time I had been on the road I had started to consider it my own private highway and now discovering I had to once again share it, I was a little displeased. So, I turned to the radio for comfort.
A short while later I reached my destination of Luggate. I had read that there was a red bridge of some significance in the area which I felt obligated to see. After a short argument with my wifi connection and Google Maps, I located it not far away, spanning the Clutha River. Listed as a local icon, the Luggate Grandview Bridge is on the local council’s historic register. It was opened on October 28, 1915, and has been described as ‘one of the most attractively proportioned steel truss road bridges in the country.’ I stood looking at it for a few moments watching cars and campervans slowly make their way across, secretly hoping that it would suddenly collapse in front of me. Making for a very drymatic and historic photo. However, since I had to drive back across it to get to Luggate, I decided I was thankful it was made of such sturdy construction and that it could collapse at a different time, when it would disrupt my own travel plans. It was around this point in my thinking that I noticed my fingers and toes were growing extremely cold and that I wasn’t much of a bridge enthusiast. So, I headed for my car and pointed it in the direction of Luggate and further on, Cromwell.