Spooners Tunnel Update
A new section of the Great Taste Trail Rail Route, from Wakefield to Belgrove, through the Spooners Tunnel and on to Kohatu, is due to be fully completed for summer 2018/2019.
As of August 2018, the first 3.4 km leg of the section from Wakefield to Belgrove is temporarily on the side of the existing state highway. Plans are underway to move this off-road by summer 2018/2019. The second leg of this section consists of a 1.6 km stretch that also runs along the side of the state highway and the highway has been widened to allow for the cycle lane. The third and final leg of this section to Belgrove is completed and is off-road. The route from Wakefield to Belgrove is 9.5 km and is easy riding and flat most of the way.
Upon reaching Belgrove, the leg from here, through the tunnel to Norris Gully carpark is completed. It is a slow steady climb from Belgrove, following the original railway line grade. The Belgrove Tunnel is a dis-used rail tunnel 1.4 km long and is TOTALLY DARK so lights are essential. The Norris Gully carpark is located next to the state highway at the southern end of the tunnel. It is 8 km from Belgrove to this carpark.
As of August 2018, the leg from the Norris Gully carpark to Kohatu is set to begin. This section will follow the historic railway embankment most of the way to Kohatu.