Stone Bridge

This simple arched stone footbridge is one of the oldest stone bridges in New Zealand: it is thought to be the oldest stone arch bridge in New Zealand and the oldest surviving bridge in New Zealand. It was built at what was then the mouth of the Waihouuru Creek where it entered the Hokianga Harbour, and provided passage across the creek for people moving along the shoreline at Kohukohu.

Its date of construction is believed to be between 1843 and 1851. It is clearly shown in a drawing made by John Jolliffe, surgeon on HMS Pandora, in October 1851. It is not shown on a sketch plan drawn in December 1842.

The stone blocks from which the bridge is constructed are made from Sydney sandstone. They are said to have been brought to the Hokianga as ballast in empty timber export ships returning from Sydney to collect further cargo. The name of the builder of the bridge is not known.

Reclamation of the harbour, in large part a result of the activities of the adjacent former Kohukohu timber mill, which began operations in 1879, means that the bridge is no longer at the harbour's edge, and no longer serves as a through route.

There are more details on the New Zealand Heritage website.