Otepuni Gardens, Invercargill

  • Footbridge.
    Copyright: Invercargill City Council. Date: 23/10/2008.
  • Footbridge.
    Copyright: Invercargill City Council. Date: 23/10/2008.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Able to Visit
List Number 2464 Date Entered 24th November 1983


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes part of the land described as Lot 18 DP 308320 (CT 722402; NZ Gazette, 2004, p. 2382), Southland Land District, and the footbridge thereon. Refer to the extent map tabled at the Rārangi Kōrero Committee meeting on 26 July 2018.

City/District Council

Invercargill City


Southland Region

Legal description

Lot 18 DP 308320 (CT 722402; NZ Gazette, 2004, p. 2382), Southland Land District


Traversing the stream in Invercargill’s Otepuni Gardens, this concrete footbridge has historical significance.

The first general legislation providing for the establishment and administration of public reserves was the Public Reserves Act 1854. On 25 January 1882, what is now known as the Town Belt was transferred to the Borough of Invercargill, held in trust ‘for purposes connected with the improvement and benefit of the city and to be used for the purpose of public pleasure’.

Invercargill City Council’s Town Belt Management Plan notes that in the early years the Otepuni Gardens were simply known as the “Town Gardens” and the stream was referred to as the “Puni”, or occasionally misspelt “Puny”. The Otepuni Gardens comprise the four blocks bounded by Clyde Street to the west and Ness Street to the east. The current bridge is located in Block II (also known as Block No.2).

Bridging the stream was an early concern. The earliest bridge in Block 2 was built in 1868, and taken down in 1891 after flood damage. Invercargill Borough Council accounts indicate that a bridge was erected in Block 2 in 1909. Whether or not it is the current single span concrete bridge with ornamental hand rail, it is not possible to tell. Flooding remained a concern into the twentieth century. The concrete retaining walls along the banks of the Otepuni were constructed in 1919 to prevent the gardens from being flooded during periods of high tides. The walls were completed in 1923. In 2018, the bridge remains a significant feature in the Otepuni Gardens.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1909 - 1926

Completion Date

23rd May 2018

Report Written By

Heather Bauchop

Information Sources

Invercargill City Council

Invercargill City Council

Invercargill City Council, ‘Town Belt Management Plan: Otepuni Gardens, Gala Street, Elles Road/Queens Drive, Appleby Park’, Invercargill City Council Parks Department, 2013

Other Information

Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.

A fully referenced upgrade report is available on request from the Otago/Southland Area Office of Heritage New Zealand.