Fraser Smith Road Tunnel

Fraser Smith Road Tunnel

Taranaki is home to many tunnels, but while this isn’t technically in Taranaki, it is not too far off the beaten path for anyone headed there and is an absolute hidden gem for tunnel hunters.

After some searching, the origins of this tunnel remain mysterious, with the Waitomo District Council holding no records. Rumour has it that the tunnel excavation was to allow an easement for horses, but we stress this is only hearsay, however. 

The tunnel provides access to a hand full of properties as well as many privately owned whitebait stands on a no-exit road beside the Awakino river, a haven for white baiters.

This tunnel carved through bush-covered rock is picture-perfect and rustic.

Wildlife: 0

Scenic: 1

History / Points of interest: 1

Quiet / Relaxed: 1

Visit again: 1

Smiles per Hour rating: 4

Getting there: North of Awakino, turn into Manganui Rd, then into Fraser Smith Road a few hundred metres later. From here follow the road as it meanders alongside the Awakino river for a kilometre or two until the tunnel appears. Note: The tunnel might not be suitable for motorhomes. Exercise caution.


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