Auckland Cycle Touring Association
Taranaki Tunnel Tour
There are a few shots here simply of some of the tunnels.
If you are not interested in them, look no further.
Back in the good
old days the AA road maps showed all the road tunnels in Taranaki. Not so today.
Back in the mid eighties I was browsing a Taranaki map, saw the tunnels on it, and I was hooked.
There are, as far
as I can make out, 11 tunnels. There are the two short ones that anyone travelling
Te Kuiti and New Plymouth has experienced : Awakino Gorge and Mt Messenger.
The next most well
known one is the Moki Tunnel, also known as "Hobbits Hole", on the road between
Taumarunui and Stratford.
For the rest, you have to get a little adventurous.
No 4 is between
Ahititi and Ohura on a level, sealed road.
There are bridges at each end crossing the Tongaporutu River
where it makes a big horseshoe curve.
No 5 is on Matau
Road, near Kiore. This one of the longer tunnels and has had the
interior sprayed with concrete.
This is the southern end.
No 5 inside.
No 5 northern end.
No 5 inside the north end.
No 6 is on Otaraoa
Road, between Tarata and Tikorangi.
Unlike most of the others, it is not at a summit - there is a reasonable grade from south to north.
It is obviously used to having trucks scraping the side.
No 7 has the
summit just inside the south portal.
This one is on Uruti Road.
The north portal has new reinforcing recently fitted.
No 8 is a short
one between Uruti and Moki, on Moki Road.
(Do not confuse it with Moki Tunnel)
This is the western end and there is a downgrade.
No 8's eastern end
No 9 is on Kiwi
This road has signs warning against taking caravans and heavy vehicles along it.
This is the eastern end.
And the western end.
Tunnels 10 and 11
were not visited on this trip. If you are interested
you can see them on Brewer Road, east of Strathmore on SH43
and way down Raupuna Road, south east of Toko, on SH43, and Huinga.
information on Taranaki's Tunnels have a look at
Taranaki Tunnel Stories
Photos : John McK