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Old Grafton Road tunnel


The Old Grafton Road runs east-west and links Glen Innes with Grafton. The road was built by convicts in the 1800’s, and this tunnel was cut by a contractor in the 1860’s. Local lore has it that the tunnel was also built by convicts but we’ve not found any evidence to support this story.


  1. Matt H says:

    What is the rough dimensions of the tunnel? Would a 4WD fit through?

    Thanks for the pic, fantastic to see, seen it on many maps and wondered about it. Blog some more on the whole trip along the road, am interested to hear.

  2. Alan P says:

    I think that you will find that the road and the tunnel was actually built by government contractor. An early map I have shows that this road, the Grafton to Glen Innes Road was the original Gwydir State Highway No.12 originally used by the bullock teams but by 1916 it was being used by motorised vehicular traffic.

    I came across this info when researching the old township of Mitchell that has since long gone, but stood where the present Boyds Plains and the Mann River Camping Ground is now located at the foot of Big Hill.

    Convict work gangs had been abolished long before the tunnel was built. Graffiti in black paint is still visible on the roof of the tunnel that was carved out of the rock by poorly paid labourers working for the contractors.

    It is unfortunate that most websites state that the tunnel was convict built, but if you browse most of them you will find that people have copied and pasted information on to their own websites almost word for word. It is called plaquerism.

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