- Bike: 2010 DR650
This destination belongs on top of NZ’s ‘out of the way’ cool places wall plus involves gravel riding to get there, so deserves highlighting to the adventure riding community.
The tunnel itself is quite a different experience – as in you walk from the road end through a tunnel in a hill right out on to coast rocks, where at high tide the water is very close to the tunnel mouth.
The location is also quite special – with a laid back remote feel – including old caravans parked around the edge of the lagoon.
Getting here is fun too.
From Mokau in the south there is some great twisty sealed riding before hitting the gravel.
From Waitomo or north there are also enough sealed road corners to put a smile on your face before hitting the gravel – plus there are some great places to visit on the way like the Mangapohue Natural Bridge (which would be NZ’s most visited natural wonder if it wasn’t so remote), Marokapa Falls (a proper wide and tall waterfall) and Marokapa Beach (where you will ask yourself, “could I retire here?”).
If you are heading to Waikawau Beach Tunnel, to or from Mokau or Waitomo, make sure you have plenty of gas as there is nothing available in this remote area.