West coast man's DIY ferry service after bridge collapse cuts off Franz Josef

The Waiho Bridge collapse in last week's storm severed Franz Josef's access to Otago.

One local man has since stepped up for his town, offering rides from one side of the river to the other on a dump truck.

He ferries back and forth all day, transporting people from the south side of Franz to the North.

Franz Josef was left a dead end after the Waiho Bridge collapse on March 26 during a heavy storm that brought on a state of emergency in the region.

Local man Tim Gibbs heard about the plight of one family who thought they might have to skip their overseas holiday because of the collapse.

His wife Vanessa told Newshub of the day Tim got home with his great idea.

"He came home and said 'I've got an idea', and I said 'what?' and he said 'I'm going to set up a ferry crossing across the Waiho River' so that's how it all started."

"I just wanted to help people out I know what it's like to be stuck and how frustrating it is to ruin your holiday," explained Tim.

The Berrys made it to the other side and were able to go on their holiday.

Graham Berry was grateful for the work that Tim had put in to making sure people could get across.

"We've been caught up in what's happened on the south side and without Tim putting on the service we wouldn't be able to get on holiday."

For tourists like Pavan Patel the ferry service is adding to his Kiwi experience.

"We came here yesterday we didn't know the bridge was broken, the hotel we stayed at told us the bridge was gone and we didn't find out until yesterday that this was an option to get across the river. It's pretty cool.

Tim's ferry service will be in business for as long as it takes to fix the bridge which is expected to be at least another week.