- AUSTRALIA -
The longest manmade tunnel in Queensland is now a beautiful trail, home to a special colony of bent-wing bats.
For train and tunnel enthusiasts there is no better place to visit than the Boolboonda Tunnel in Queensland. This amazing 630-foot long (192-meters) tunnel can either be walked, cycled, or driven through. The tunnel cuts through a granite hillside and is known as the longest manmade tunnel in Queensland.
Constructed between 1881-1884 by the O’Rourke & McSharry, the rough-hewn rock walls did not require lining or additional support due to the hard granite. The tunnel took two years to create and is located between the towns of Gin Gin and Mount Perry. It was constructed to serve the Mount Perry Copper Mine and officially opened in 1883.
Due to the closure of the mine and declining use of the rail, the line closed in 1960 and the rails were removed in 1961. The publicly accessible, single-lane, gravel road through the tunnel is open to vehicular traffic and is now used to access other local properties.
The Boolboonda Tunnel was listed on the Queensland Heritage Register in 1999. The tunnel is now home to a colony of protected Bent-wing bats. The unlined rock walls of the tunnel make for a uniquely interesting drive, a fun cycle, or a simple walk.
Clancy's comment: Imagine digging the tunnel through all that granite.