Skippers Bridge over Shotover River opened in 1901

Pete's Kiwi Korner


Spectacular suspension bridge over Shotover River near Queenstown opened

29 March 1901

Skippers Bridge, 2003 (Wikimedia)

At 96 m long and 91 m above the river, the Skippers suspension bridge over the Shotover River near Queenstown in Central Otago is one of the highest and most spectacular in New Zealand.

Suspended on 14 wire cables, the single-lane bridge improved access to the Skippers gold-mining settlement, once the largest on the Shotover River. It was opened after three years of construction during which its cost doubled to about £4000 (equivalent to more than $700,000 in 2016). Liberal Minister of Mines James McGowan did the honours, praising his ‘working man’s’ government for building roads and bridges‘for the people’. After the speeches dinner was laid on in Mrs Johnston’s Otago Hotel for ‘40 or 50 gentlemen’. A ball in the evening for the locals rounded off the festivities.

In reality the bridge was…

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