Here the view is downstream from the exit portal of tunnel 1 across the short aqueduct to the intake of tunnel 2.
All the tunnels are excavated out of the hillsides like this one is - a large vee shaped excavation is formed back to the stable limestone or volcanic rock which underlies the yellowish Loess with the tunnel fully lined or formed with cut limestone blocks back until the native rock is sufficiently solid to sustain an unlined tunnel. The vee was fully fenced to keep stock off the steep slope, even when the race itself was not fenced. Those are modern fence posts in the view, but in places at other tunnels, some of the the original Totara fence posts still survive.
The tunnels were dug by labourers employed by the construction contractor, although urban myth has it that one of the longer ones was dug by Italians and it is consequently known as the Italian tunnel. Or maybe it's the other way around.
Four men were trapped in a cave-in in one of the tunnels and two did not survive. As far as I can tell these two were the only fatalities directly attributed to work on the race.
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Photo taken in Pukeuri, New Zealand
Misplaced? Suggest new location