Makahu Tunnel - West Portal Huinga Tunnel - North Portal Otaraoa Rd Sign - Tarata Makahu Tunnel Heritage Trail Sign Mt Messenger - East Portal, 2012 Kiwi Road Tunnel - North Portal

As the rugged inland of Taranaki was surveyed and opened up for Pakeha settlement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, roadmakers were often confronted with steep ridges which required long and tortuous detours.

The answer, in many cases, was a short tunnel through the soft, easily-excavated Late Tertiary papa mudstones.  A few of these tunnels, particularly those on major routes, have subsequently been enlarged, often by excavating the tunnel floor, to allow access by increasingly large commercial vehicles.

Many of those on lesser-used roads have maintained their original elegant Gothic profiles, a shape which helped to stabilise the roof of the excavation.

These small tunnels seem to be a particularly localised feature and few of a similar type are to be found in other areas of New Zealand.

This site records only the road and foot tunnels of the area - as well as a couple actually outside Taranaki. It does not include rail tunnels or those associated with hydro-electric schemes.

 Otaraoa Road Tunnel Sign

Taranaki Tunnels





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Makahu Tunnel Heritage Trail Sign.

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