Spooners Rail Tunnel, South Island, New Zealand
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member No Fixed Aboder
S 41° 29.353 E 172° 53.922
59G E 658500 N 5405192
Quick Description: The longest disused rail tunnel in New Zealand
Location: South Island, New Zealand
Date Posted: 2/13/2010 11:05:58 AM
Waymark Code: WM879R
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member kbarhow
Views: 13

Long Description:
Ever wondered what happens to disused rail tunnels? New Zealand's longest, the 1352m Spooners rail tunnel was once a thriving facility for commercial mushroom growing, and even a base for seismic equipment installed to gather earthquake data.

Situated close to State Highway 6 between Kohatu & Belgrove at an altitude of 303 metres, when open to the public, it is impossible to see from one end to the other due to a hump in the middle.

Most importantly, from 1893 it served as a vital rail link to the Nelson region through the hilly Golden Downs ranges. It is now a popular tourist destination, with guided tours. A flat walk of 400 metres from the car park to the tunnel entrance.

Work on the tunnel began in 1891. The picks and shovels of Italian and Chinese immigrants worked relentlessly for two years, as they chipped their way through the hill to create the tunnel. Trains chugged their way through until rail services to Nelson stopped in 1955.

The tunnel is maintained today by a trust formed with help from Council. The proceeds from tours are used to meet the cost of looking after it.
Construction: Concrete

Condition: Good

Rail Status: No

Current status: Closed / Blocked

Original Use: Freight

Tunnel Length: 1,352.00

Suggested Parking Area: N 41° 29.342 W 172° 53.645


Date Built: 1891

Date Abandoned: 1955

The "Other End": Not Listed

Website: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
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Recent Visits/Logs:
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BigglesNZ visited Spooners Rail Tunnel, South Island, New Zealand 4/13/2011 BigglesNZ visited it