Cooyar - Muntapa Tunnel
Address: Muntapa Park, Narko QLD
Muntapa Tunnel is 287m in length making it Queensland's longest straight railway tunnel. Located 640m above sea level, it's the only tunnel that crossed between the inland and coastal sides of the Great Dividing Range, and the only one that crossed the Range summit.
While access through the tunnel is not permitted, to protect an existing colony of bent winged bats, visitors can explore 30m into the space.
Muntapa Tunnel is a unique and secluded tunnel that makes for a great sightseeing experience with interpretive signage revealing its interesting history.
Now closed, the line was originally constructed to support small-scale agriculture in the area and to provide access to timber reserves at Blackbutt and Nanango.
It was situated on the branch line that opened from Oakey to Cooyar in 1913 and closed in 1964. Muntapa Tunnel serves as a reminder of the region's pioneering days and the important role railways played in developing the area.
Muntapa Tunnel was listed on the Queensland Heritage Register on 3 May 2007 having satisfied the following criteria:
- the place is important in demonstrating the evolution or pattern of Queensland's history;
- the place demonstrates rare, uncommon or endangered aspects of Queensland's cultural heritage;
- the place is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a particular class of cultural places; and
- the place is important because of its aesthetic significance.
How to get there: The tunnel is located about 40km north of Oakey or 16Km south-west of Cooya. The access road (Narko Nutgrove Rd) is unsealed.
Due to the isolated location, there is no drinking water supply. Please leave your pets at home.
Muntapa Tunnel Walk
Best for: Bushwalking.
Classification: Bushwalking - Grade 3 - formed track, short steep hills.
Distance: 1,050m total distance.
Walking time: Approximately 15 minutes.
Description: The trailhead of Muntapa Tunnel Walk is located within the park. The walking track surface consists of natural soil and crushed rock. It has two tracks, one to each end of the tunnel. The northern track has metal stairs that descend to the tunnel. The southern track has a lookout to take photos of the tunnel. As part of this walk is shared with vehicles, beware of cars.
RailTrails Australia website