Trail Finder

Fill in one or more of the fields below to find matching rail trails.

km km


Rail Trails Australia advises everyone to follow government advice, regulations and travel restrictions.

Join Rail Trails Australia

Become a financial member of Rail Trails Australia and help develop and support Australia's Rail Trails. Click below to Join or Renew.


Guide Banner 4 2015

Muntapa Tunnel - Trail Description



Muntapa Tunnel

View larger map
Type: Rail trail
Location: 15km south of Cooyar, north of Toowoomba, 210km from Brisbane
Start/end: Muntapa Tunnel to Muntapa Tunnel
Status: Open
Length open: 0.6km
Surface: Compacted earth
Terrain: hilly forest
Best seasons: Dry
Contact Region: S.E. Queensland
The northern portal of the tunnel (2010)
The northern portal of the tunnel (2010)
Suitable for walking



  • The trail to the tunnel is open, as is the park, shelters, and toilets.

  • Queensland’s longest straight railway tunnel (287m).
  • Height above sea level is 640m.
  • Tunnel is home to a colony of bent winged bats.



Walk part way through Queensland’s longest straight railway tunnel (287m). It is also quite high being 640m above sea level. Now that trains do not roar through it the tunnel is a seasonal home to a colony of bent winged bats, so a fence has been installed part way in from both entrances to protect the colony.

The tunnel is sign posted from the main road (access road is unsealed). The road takes you to a park that is on the ridge over the tunnel which is the crest of the Great Dividing Range.

The least distance of gravel road 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.

New stairs have been built to the tunnel entrance.

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.

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.

Background Information

This tunnel was on the branch line from Oakey to Cooyar that was opened in 1913 and closed in 1964.

It is the only tunnel in Queensland that crosses the summit of the Great Dividing Range, connecting two different water catchment areas; the Murray-Darling and the Brisbane Valley.
There was a "town" present during the 13 month construction period. The remains of a bakehouse are evidenced by a pile of stones cemented together on site. The Muntapa Camp School was a small building with the top half of the walls made from canvas which could be pegged back to allow a breeze to blow through. The stumps are all that remain of the school now on site.


It is the only tunnel that crosses the summit of the Great Dividing Range, connecting two different water catchment areas.


Toowoomba Regional Council Web Site and contact details

Download a map for the walking track here

October 2020

To advertise your rail trail support business on this page, please click here.

Contact Us About This Trail

Email or click here:





If you wish to write a comment on this trail, please log in or register a new account.