Tunnel Gully Recreation Area covers 48.5 hectares on an elevated basin at the foot of the Rimutakas. A variety of walking tracks weave through the lush tawa/podocarp forest, including this foreseted walk.
Tunnel Gully Recreation Area is 3 km up Plateau Road in Te Marua. There are 2 parking areas with toilets. The lower picnic area is the start of Tane’s Track. The start of the track is signposted from near the information panel.
The metalled track climbs through forest, shortly reaching a junction. Head left and cross the road (10 minutes). It then completes a loop (30 minutes), returning to the upper picnic area.
Follow the road, or cut across the grassed areas under the eucalyptus to Tunnel Gully and head left. Two intersections of tracks are signposted on the right and both lead back to the start point.
If you continue left however, take the opportunity to explore the Mangaroa Tunnel. You will need a torch, as the interior is as black as the soot which coats the dank walls.
Return through the tunnel to Tane’s Track, as there is little of interest along the Tunnel Track past the tunnel exit.
The area of tawa/podocarp forest covers approximately 17 hectares. Emergent rimu, kahikatea, matai and pukatea form a discontinuous canopy over hinau, tawa, rewarewa and mahoe. This dense jungle is strung with liana and epiphytes perch in clefts on the upper branches. There is a magical feel to this forest.
The Mangaroa Tunnel is 221 metres long and serviced the mountain section of the Masterton to Wellington railway line from Kaitoke to Upper Hutt. It was constructed between 1875 and 1877. The details of the brickwork still protrude through layers of soot, belched from nearly 50 years of coal fired steam locomotives.
North Island ▷ Wellington Region ▷ Hutt Valley
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Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍