Who would have thought that at the end of a small dirt road, there would be a 192-metre unlined and unsupported hard granite rock historic tunnel tucked away at the back of Bundaberg and approximately 11 kilometres north-west of Mt Perry? It is the longest unsupported railway tunnel in Queensland and passes through the Boolboonda Range.
What makes this tunnel so amazing is that it is a man-made construction from the period 1883-1884. The story tells of the miners working from each end and coming within inches of each other at the centre.
Boolboonda Tunnel was constructed as part of the Railway Line from North Bundaberg to Mt Perry with an objective of opening up the mineral and agricultural resources of the area. Copper was discovered in Mt Perry in the nineteenth century and to enable the copper to reach the coast, the idea of this tunnel to link the mines to the Port came into view.
The line closed in 1960 and the tracks were removed the following year.
You can drive or walk through the tunnel. A number of acreage properties are situated at both ends of the tunnel perimeters. A tranquil place to live amongst Queensland's mining history.
As with most stone structures devoid of any sunlight, the tunnel had a slightly cool atmosphere and the thought of spending a night in there did not rate very high on my agenda. After walking halfway into the tunnel, I decided to turn back and drive through, as the tunnel does create an eerie feeling with the hundreds of miniature bats flying high around the granite ceiling. Many cobwebs of different types of spiders can be seen in the crevices of the stonewalls, so keeping your hands by your side was the better option. As the tunnel is only one-lane, driving slow and being on the lookout for on-coming traffic is the best thing, however no one was around the day I visited on a sunny winter's Saturday.