By definition, the word tunnel means a passageway through or under an obstruction. However, not all tunnels are dark concrete lined tubes, and sometimes the “obstruction” they make their way through can be breathtakingly beautiful.
Throughout the world there are numerous tree tunnels which can make you feel as though you are in a fairytale dream, places worthy of the best photographers’ Instagram feeds. Some are easy to find and are in some of the world’s most well known cities, whereas others are a bit more off the beaten path but well worth the effort to seek out. So let us explore the world’s most incredibly beautiful tree tunnels.
Known as the tunnel of love, this nearly 5km green arch tunnel is almost surreal. A railway running through the forest has cut out this impressive pathway in which lovers flock to stroll along and make wishes. Be sure to keep an eye out for trains or your wishes may be short lived.
California is blessed with numerous tree tunnels including the Cypress Tunnel located north of San Francisco in the Point Reyes National Seashore. You will also find tunnels in Mendocino County and along the Redwood Highway where you can drive beneath the some of the tallest trees on earth. Some of these trees allow you to drive your car through the bases of their trunks.
For something truly unique you can check out Parque Francisco Alvarado to see the remarkable topiary tunnels. For over 50 years, the park has been using the art of topiary to trim and train perennial plants and trees into all kinds of designs including dinosaurs, animals, and the famous rows of green arches.
Japan is known for its stunning gardens and natural beauty and offers visitors the greatest array of tree tunnels. Tokyo comes alive during Sakura or cherry blossom season where you can take in an impressive pink tunnel in Sakurazaka ("Cherry Blossom Hill"). Kitakyushu offers a stunning tunnel of cascading wisteria flowers fit for the most glamorous of wedding ceremony aisles and one must also take in Kyoto’s Arashiyama Bamboo Grove where you will be dwarfed by an army of bamboo stalks.
Of course it has the Harbour Bridge and Opera House but be sure to check out McDougall St in the suburb of Kirribilli to take in the beautiful tunnel of purple jacaranda trees each spring. These impressive trees native to Central and South America look even more picturesque with the harbour as a backdrop.
How about heading way off the beaten path to the land of the lemurs where you can experience some the most impressive trees in the world. In the Menabe region of Western Madagascar you’ll find a simple dirt road lined with a remarkable collection of baobab trees which could become the country’s first national monument. However, it is wise to pay a visit to this area on the world’s fourth largest island as it is not fully protected and may succumb to deforestation in the future.