Walk through Queensland’s longest straight railway tunnel (287m). It is also quite high being 640m above sea level. Now that trains don't roar through it the tunnel is a seasonal home to a colony of bent winged bats.
The tunnel is sign posted from the main road (access road is unsealed). The road takes you to a park that is actually on the ridge over the tunnel which is the crest of the Great Dividing Range.
The least distance of gravel is from the northern or Cooyar end where the tunnel is signposted off the road between Cooyar to Kulpi and Acland. (Which is off the New England Highway). From the southern end the tunnel is sign posted from the Quinalow side of Peranga.
From the park there is a track to each end of the tunnel, both of which have long approach cuttings. It is a steep descent to the cutting at the Cooyar end, the recommended entry for one way traffic. The Oakey end is not as steep but the ground can be soggy here. A torch is necessary to enter the tunnel.
The reserve has a good picnic table but no water. It has a gas bbq and a waterless toilet. There is also a track which takes you past ruins from the camp in the construction days. There are good interpretative signs in the park, including descriptions on the history of the rail.
The trail reserve is managed by the Toowoomba Regional Council. If planning a visit around winter it may be worth contacting the council as it is closed for a few months so that the bats are not disturbed, increasing their chance of surviving the winter.
This tunnel was on the branch line that was opened from Oakey to Cooyar in 1913 and was closed in 1964.