Forgotten Highway hand-cut tunnels are a feat of engineering. It is a challenge for modern vehicles to navigate the narrow one way lane Moki and Makahu tunnels.
Located on the Forgotten Highway 43 is the Moki Tunnel with its ‘Hobbits Hole’ signage. The tunnel is the better known of the two road tunnels on the Forgotten Highway. Near the Moki tunnel is the detour to the spectacular Mount Dampier falls. The Moki tunnels is 19 kms from Whangamomona the largest settlement on the Forgotten Highway.
Moki Tunnel is a 180-metre-long, single lane tunnel built in 1935. The forgotten highway is a scenic central North Island road trip on a narrow winding road of 148 km from Stratford, to Taumarunui and contains the only gravel road part of the national New Zealand state highway system.
MOKI TUNNEL LOCATION
The Makahu tunnel is equally fascinating and seems even narrower than better-known Moki tunnel. The Makahu tunnel is not located on the Forgotten Highway and will require a detour to drive through. Today, the tunnel acts as an access point to the Makahu and Puniwhakau communities, the Te Wera Forest, Aotuhia Station, the “Bridge to Somewhere” and a large proportion of the Whanganui National Park, including the Matemateaonga Walkway.
The perfect shape of the tunnel was achieved during the repairs completed in the 1990’s when the tunnel entrance collapsed due to rotting timber frame supports.
Photo enthusiasts will enjoy getting their driver to drive through the tunnel several times so that they can capture the tunnel atmosphere.
MAKAHU TUNNEL LOCATION
Kiore (Matau) located on Mangaoapa Road is still in its original shape with no modifications to its original form.
The tunnel is only 3 metres wide so breathe in deep.
KIORE TUNNEL LOCATIONTRAVEL PACK INFORMATION
For tunnel buffs check the detailed Stratford Council publications for lots of detail describing the tunnel construction.
These tunnels are part of the Top New Zealand Road Trips.
BEST BITS TRAVEL GUIDE