A Walk On The Old Lower Shotover Bridge

The Shotover & Coronet PeakBuy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

I have a history with supermarket’s which means that I am rarely allowed to go in them without supervision. The sum total of my shopping experiences up to this point in my life have led me to form the opinion that life can be tough, being a modern male. It all starts by being expected not to yell at morons who have forgotten how to drive in car parks and insist on holding up traffic for ten hours while they wait for a car to leave a parking space, just because it’s three spaces closer to the shop’s main entrance! Then, we have to remember face masks, reusable shopping bags, shopping lists, manoeuvre shopping trolleys without pretending they’re race cars, workout where the hell they’ve moved the alcohol section too and then be expected to speak politely to checkout operator who will be either overly enthusiastic or won’t say a word. Yes, it’s fair to say that as my age increases each year, my tolerance for Supermarkets diminish. Still, on this occasion, apart from making a few wheelie noises as I was going around the corner of the biscuit aisle and remembering that I had forgotten a list, I survived the Frankton Pak n Save somewhat unharmed. It must have been something to do with the mountain view, if there is a more picturesque location for a Supermarket, I would like to see it. Every time I turned down a new aisle and felt my frustration levels rising, I would happily gaze out the windows to the mountains. Eventually I successfully escaped the Supermarket, and the carpark for that matter with my carefully selected items safely tucked away and headed off to find the Old Lower Shotover Bridge. Tracing my steps back towards Arrowtown for a distance, I turned off the main road until 300 meters down a side road I came across a car park with a sign that read “Carpark for Old Lower Shotover Bridge.” I guessed this must be the place. 

I’m not usually that curious about bridges, however I had driven past this one many times and so I was very intrigued to see it up close. The original Shotover River bridge was built in 1871 so farmers, miners and merchants could access the Wakatipu area however it survived a mere 7 years before it was washed away by flooding in 1878. A new bridge was then erected before the building of the current structure was completed in 1915. This bridge then lasted until 1975 when it was decided that it no longer met requirements and so a new bridge (a forth) was built further downstream. It was the 1915 structure that I was now standing on as following years of neglect it was restored to its former glory in 2003. 

Nowadays, the very fine bridge is enjoyed by walkers, runners and cyclists who take in the sweeping views of The Remarkables to the South, Coronet Peak to the North and the river below. I spent some time looking both up the river and down the river. For a few moments, hypnotized, I watched the river pass below me before walking back to my car. 

The rest of the day I spent wandering beside streams, walking in leaves, strolling through the local museum (which is quite lovely may I added although a tad expensive at $10) and looking at old buildings, I dined at the New Orleans Hotel where I fought with the visiting ‘Vocal Collective’ (whoever they are) for a table and I watched the Highlanders loose to the Blues at Eden Park before walking back to my cottage guided by street lights, in a not altogether straight line. There ending my day as a tourist in Arrowtown.

One thought on “A Walk On The Old Lower Shotover Bridge”

  1. I think this is a great photo and deserves to be on a calendar it is very peaceful and the colours are amazing

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