Arapuni Suspension Bridge
The village of Arapuni is home to a hydro electric power station and dam which were among the first to be built on the Waikato River. Construction began in 1924 and the first power was supplied in 1929. Over the years the powerhouse has been extended; two additional generators were installed in 1934 and two more in 1937 and 1938; with a final two units commissioned in 1945 and 1946. This power station has given faithful service to the region over the years, and deserves it’s title of ‘Old Workhorse of the Waikato’.
The suspension bridge, which is suspended 54 metres above the power station, is 152 metres long and has a slope of eight metres. It was built in 1925 to enable easy access for power station employees. Although not for the faint hearted, those who do venture over the bridge are rewarded with spectacular views of the scenic gorge. The bridge is maintained annually by Mighty River Power and Council is grateful for their support as this bridge is not only a tourist attraction in its own right, but also forms an interesting feature along the Waikato River Trails. Public toilets are located at Arapuni Dam and at the suspension bridge, with bus and car parking available too.