Taramakau Bridge

Posted on September 28, 2018

At Kauri Park, we are the lucky guys, (and girls), who get to supply plants for projects in some of the most picturesque locations in the world.

There is something wild, beautiful and untouched by the natural beauty of the South Island West Coast and we treat it as a privilege so be involved with the Taramakau Bridge planting on State Highway 6 south of Greymouth. Kauri Park was working with Daniel McDonald from Fulton Hogan, Christchurch, and the project was a success for both of us.

In terms of project location, the West Coast is considered remote from a logistical perspective. The only access is through alpine passes and with the disruption and closure of the Kaikoura highway during this project made the Tamarakau Bridge just that little more remote for us. All this added to the challenge of supplying a seamless project.

Daniel McDonald comments:

In July this year we were pleased to wrap up one of the largest projects that Fulton Hogan Landscape has been involved in. The Taramakau bridge construction project was brought together and beautified with over 25 thousand native trees and shrubs, all supplied by Kauri park nursery. With a project of this size and tight time lines it was not only important to us to partner with a company that has the infrastructure and capabilities to produce large quantities of premium product, but also has the follow up customer services that we require.

The execution and delivery of all the required plants for the Taramakau bridge project was near flawless. The plants were delivered on site to the project by Kauri Park on the West Coast of the South Island, on time and in great condition. 

The Taramakau Bridge is 130 years old and was the last of the shared rail with road bridges on New Zealand’s state highway network. The bridge has a history and a character attached that will be remembered by many including a Christchurch rugby club who in their wisdom while touring the West Coast, decided to take the bridge gates home with them on top of the bus.

The first line opened in the region in 1867 with the Taramakau River crossed by a cage suspended from a wire.

Taramakau road/rail bridge opening.

In the early years of the line, timber was the dominant traffic. As the forests were felled, they were not replaced, and agriculture grew in importance, with agricultural lime and fertiliser railed in and livestock railed out. The combined road/rail bridge is known as the “longest xylophone in the world” due to the rattling its planks made.

The new bridge is open and is an engineering and a logistical success for the civil contractors. The large structural beams had to be freighted across the Southern Alps via “Arthurs Pass” on trucks.


Kauri Park are once again pleased to be part of this magnificent project with Fulton Hogan and take great responsibility to make sure these plantings are a seamless part for the contractors.