Clifden Bridge, Waiau River and Caves

Clifden Bridge, Waiau River and Caves

North of Tuatapere is the historic Clifden Bridge. Before this bridge, there was a punt ferry service as the link across the Waiau River, which is a dominating feature of this part of Southland. The bridge gives you a good sense of the state-of-the-art suspension bridge technology at the turn of the 20th Century. The river links Lake Te Anau to Lake Manapouri before running south to exit at Te Waewae Bay.

At the parking area/campsite there is also an interesting panel that describes the effect of the Lake Manapouri hydro scheme on the river, which made it much more sedate, and on the subsequent debate and agreement to ensure sufficient water did continue to flow down the river.

Just to the east of the river on Clifden Road are some caves. Take a torch if you decide to go in – it gets tight quite quickly!

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