Hutt Valley, Wellington, New Zealand
A short but rough hike to one of the old railway tunnels near Upper Hutt
I am not 100% certain that this is public land, but there shouldn't be any issue walking in to the tunnel from the Cruickshank Road end, if you don't mind mud, brambles, and bush-bashing!
View from Cruickshanks Road towards tunnel area
It is only a few hundred metres from civilisation to the tunnel, and the incline is gentle, but it can be hard going in places. The track is not marked, but the route is obvious at the start. From the end of Cruickshank Road, go under the railway line and follow the rough track through the brambles and undergrowth. It is muddy at the start and gum boots are essential as the mud will be half-way up to the knees. After about 200 metres the track heads towards the stream, and you need to cross it (usually just a trickle of water and little mud). You then head around the side of the ridge on the left of the stream, climbing slowly. There is no marked track, but the route is relatively obvious. After about 150 metres you should be heading back and arrive back at the draining stream on the left bank. The stream should be easy to cross to the right hand side, and you should emerge into the old railway cutting. The tunnel should be visible about 50 metres along the railway cutting. You can try following the old railway route back towards Upper Hutt - the base should be firm but the track is overgrown.
Cruickshanks Tunnel is 120 metres long and can be walked safely without a flashlight. At the Mangaroa end there is some open grassland and the river. Return the same way. It is only about 400 metres from Cruickshank Road to the tunnel entrance, but allow about 1 hour for the return journey.
There are rough tracks leading up either side of the railway cutting up to a wide 4WD track that runs along the top of the ridge and beside a fenceline (beyond which is probably private land). These are also shown on the route below, but you should only comes across the 4WD track if you get lost and continue heading up the hill. In which case take one of the routes back down to the tunnel entrance (which is at the bottom of the hill, not the top!).
From Maoribank drive down Fergusson Drive towards Upper Hutt, taking Cruickshank Road on the left. Drive straight down until the road turns sharp right. Park here beside the underpass under the railway line.
See also this web site
26 Apr 2012 by ledzep
Download GPS path: kml