Nestled at the foot of Mount Climie (830 m) north of Upper Hutt, Tunnel Gully Recreation Area is popular for picnics, mountain biking and walking through the remnant native bush. There is plenty of parking, and flush toilets are provided.
Named for its link with the historic Rimutaka Railway between Wellington and the Wairarapa, Tunnel Gully features the 253m long Mangaroa Tunnel, built between 1875 and 1877. The tunnel’s working life ended in November 1955 when the new Rimutaka Tunnel was opened. Tunnel Gully is now a popular spot for walking and tramping, mountain biking, and picnicking.
The shallow water of Collins Stream at the Tunnel Gully Recreation Area is ideal for paddling and swimming for young children. Stream water should be boiled before drinking.
You can download a map of Tunnel Gully from the right hand side of your screen ) that shows the links to the surrounding areas including Kaitoke Regional Park.
Tane's Track - Upper Tane's Track in Tunnel Gully is currently CLOSED as a large beech tree has damaged the walkway and viewing platform.
Start at the lower picnic area and take the left-hand branch of the track through tall rimu, matai, kahikatea and tawa forest. Cross the road which once formed the old railway line, then climb through hard and black beech forest to Collins Stream and a picturesque waterfall. During the descent to the starting point you cross the Mt Climie access road then pass a grove of eucalyptus trees. This area was once the campsite for workers building the nearby Mangaroa Railway Tunnel, which was completed in 1877.
From the tunnel it is a short walk through podocarp/tawa bush back to the lower picnic area.
This walk is suitable for single mountain buggies.
You can download a map of this walk (see the right hand side of your screen).
All tracks are also open to walkers, mountain bikers and horse riders. Mountain bikers and horse riders please give way to walkers. Use tunnels at your own risk. Horse riders please lead your mounts through the Mangaroa Tunnel and Kaitoke Underpass.
Horse riders will need to contact GW's Upper Hutt office for a permit and keys.
Old Railway Line
Start at the top carpark and follow the old railway line formation through native bush and exotic forest plantations towards Kaitoke. There are several forestry tracks leading off this route for more adventurous and experienced riders to explore, including the track to the Rimutaka Rail Trail via Goat Rock (579m).
To reach Kaitoke Regional Park's Te Marua area, turn left where indicated and ride up the hill towards the gate and service road. Cross the road and follow the track through the underpass and down Kaitoke Hill. Return the same way, via the Pylon Loop Track or through Plateau Village.
A short circular route leading from the top car park part way up Mt Climie before descending a forestry track and returning through the old Mangaroa Tunnel.
Mt Climie (no horse riding)
Follow the Mt Climie access road from the top carpark up to the ridgeline. This is a 6km climb in low gear, but rewarded with great views of the Hutt Valley, Wellington and the Wairarapa on a clear day. Return the same way looking out for vehicles, walkers and other cyclists on the road.