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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Heritage Trail Sign.

Aukopae Tunnel - West Portal  

Aukopae Tunnel - West Portal

Site 24 – Stratford- Taumarunui Heritage Trail. (The site is within the old Taranaki Province.)

Excavation of the Aukopae tunnel was begun just prior to World War I. It was designed to eliminate a steep and difficult section of road over the ridge between the Ohura and Whanganui River watersheds.

Because of the war and hard papa strata it was not completed until about 1923.

The size of vehicles which were able to

Whangamomona Road Tunnel # 2.

Whangamomona Road Tunnel # 2

Whangamomona Road Tunnel #2 - Southern Portal 

 

There are two tunnels on a spur near the Arnold Stream on the Whangamomona Road - a four-wheel drive/quad vehicle access only down the Whanga River to Aotuhia.

The road and bridges are unmaintained by the District Council

The Whangamomona Road Tunnel #2 is a few hundred metres from the # 1 tunnel near the Arnold Stream. It is about 20 metres in length

It  is unusual for Taranaki road

Whangamomona Road Tunnel #1 - Northern Portal.

Whangamomona Road Tunnel #1 

Whangamomona Road Tunnel #1 - Northern Portal

There are two tunnels on a spur near the Arnold Stream on the Whangamomona Road - a four-wheel drive/quad vehicle access only down the Whanga River to Aotuhia.

The road and bridges are unmaintained by the District Council

ALWAYS CHECK LOCAL INFORMATION FOR ACCESSABILITY

(See location map in Documents below)

Tunnel # 1 is about 6 kilometres from Whangamomona. It is about 40 metres long and has  a typical Gothic arch profile.

Te Horo c1900.

Te Horo c1900

Sometimes known locally as the Taniwha Tunnel (after Ruataniwha Point) this was a stock tunnel providing an access to and from the beach at the northern end of the Parininihi/White Cliffs.

The Te Horo tunnel was begun by the Taranaki Provincial Council in 1859 but not finished until 1889 after John Rigby of the Armed Constabulary was drowned in 1883 while taking some horses around Te Ruataniwha ('Rigby's Point') just to the north. After the road over Mt Messenger was completed, the tunnel continued to be used until

Awakino Gorge - East Portal.

Awakino Tunnel  

Not really in Taranaki but ..... we have to go through it to get north!

The tunnel is cut through the 25 million-year-old Oligocene limestones of the Te Kuiti Group.

In 2011 the desirability of removing the tunnel itself was again raised by the Taranaki transport industry but met with some vocal opposition.  Eventually 400 mm was shaved off the sides to make it a little easier for large trucks pass through.

The Awakino Valley road and tunnel was opened in 1923-24. It was welcomed

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Huinga Tunnel - South Portal.

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