Filling in Time, Shaky Bridge

As strange as it may seem, time and a shaky bridge came together in a recent visit to Alexandra in Central Otago. Nigel was attending one day of a National Irrigation Conference. I kept him company for the trip but had the day to myself.


The shaky bridge is a short walk out of the town centre. Its a pedestrian swingbridge over the Manuherikia River, a tributary to the mighty Clutha River. Beautiful scenery, and there’s a lovely cafe on the other side of the bridge that makes the idea of doing the walk even more appealing.

Alexandra has a very prominent outdoor clock set high on the rocky hillside. As you approach the Shaky Bridge the clock can’t be missed as its right above you. The clock is illuminated in colour at night, and is an Alexandra icon.


If you look carefully in the above photo you can see the clock above the bridge, near the ridgeline of the rocky hill.

Photo below: View from the start of the bridge looking downstream and toward Alexandra, and to the snow capped mountains beyond. This is the Manuherikia River which runs into the Clutha a little further downstream.


The next photo is taken after I’d crossed the bridge and walked down to the riverside. This time I’m looking upstream away from Alexandra town centre. The river flows swiftly down to my left, rippling and gurgling as it speeds by.


Later when I’d crossed back to the Alexandra side of the bridge, I explored a short way along the walking track you can see in the above photo. I took these two photos while standing on that track looking toward the clock.



Switching sides again, the photo below is taken from the cafe/clock side of the river – I’m watching a person walking across the bridge from the Alexandra end.


While on the cafe side of the river I’d walked up to a subdivision that’s shoehorned into the rocky landscape above the bridge. I’d walked over an empty lot and taken this photo from the rocky edge of the lot, looking down on the bridge.


Here’s the view as I approached the bridge in order to return to the Alexandra side of the river (photo below).


I crossed back over the bridge to return to town and as I walked up the path on the other side, I glanced to the left and saw this quaint old-fashioned house that was really cute. What’s not to love about that? The spiky tree to the left is a New Zealand native that we call the cabbage tree or more properly Cordyline australis


Text and Photos by Liz; Exploring Colour (2018)

11 thoughts on “Filling in Time, Shaky Bridge

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    1. You’re quite right Ted. In an earthquake-prone country such as ours (and supposedly ‘the big one’ could hit anytime) its nuts to tempt fate by crossing a ‘shaky bridge’. Nevertheless I’ll likely cross it whenever I have spare time in Alex!


  1. Curiosity bids me to ask, what is the source of the clock’s power to keep time? A clock on a hillside must be a phenomenal sight to see, to see it illuminated would be amazing. The trip back and forth on the Shaky Bridge seems like quite an experience too. The cafe would be enticement enough for me to attempt a crossing. Your beautiful photos and delightful narrative were greatly enjoyed. Happy Earth Day to Nigel and YOU! Thank-you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My contact kindly replied to my email. I quote “The clock just runs on mains power it drives a 3 phase electric motor. The motor is a synchronous motor that runs at 1500 rpm.” I also asked him about the colour at night and he said the lights are LED. Thanks for your question Ellen!


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