Auckland’s next big tourist attraction and transport fix might be stagnating under the city at this very moment.
Beneath Albert Park in the Auckland CBD 3.5 kilometres of air raid tunnels have been sitting unused since they were closed off after World War II. The main tunnel runs 660m, all the way from Churchill Street at the bottom of Constitution Hill in Parnell to the eastern end of Victoria St and is 4.4m wide and 3m tall. There are also a lot of smaller tunnels off that too. So, why not make use of them?
Below is an artist’s impression of what the Parnell entrance to the tunnels would look like.
Bill Reid, 77, has been campaigning for more than 30 years to have the tunnels reopened and to turn the main tunnel into a walking and cycling route with connections to the University via some lifts and the side tunnels to be used as tourist attractions, such as glow worms, black water rafting, a Maori Battalion museum and a chapel.
The tunnels were built in 1942 to house up to 22,000 people in case Auckland was bombed during the war.
Reid said he didn’t know why it had taken so long to reopen them.
“I don’t know why it hasn’t happened, it should happen and it will happen.”
We wish Bill the best of luck and will be keenly following his progress.
If you’d like to read more about the tunnels and follow Bill’s progress click here to like and follow their Facebook page.