Glow Worm Tunnel located in Wollemi National Park, NSW is a disused railway tunnel used in early 1900’s. Since abandoning, it has been taken over by tiny worms which produces a bio-luminescent light.
Following is a short article on how best to get there and what to expect.
Located in Newnes within Wollemi national park its located in the middle of nowhere!
How to get there
There are a number of ways you can get to the tunnel. From my experience, the best way to get there is from Lithgow, driving to the starting point of tunnel with 1 km hike from the start.
Road from Clarence to the tunnel is long and rugged. If you don’t have a 4 wheel drive, trip can feel long and hard with a lot of pot holes on the way. It took 1.5 hours for us to drive from the main turn off point in Clarence to the tunnel entrance driving through the unsealed road.
Although rugged, its very scenic!
Best way to approach the glow worm tunnel
Best route to take to the tunnel (if you’re driving) is to take the road from Lithgow.
Why? This road has the least amount of unsealed road. Therefore, the drive up to the tunnel will be a much comfortable drive if you’ve got kids. Will be better for adults too!
From Lithgow, its a 1 hr drive (one way) compared to the longer drive from Clarence (because the road is bad).
How much time do you need
This place needs more of your attention. Walk up to the cave is beautiful and you will pass a water pool (not sure how to actually get there), a small bridge and stairs. Return trip to the tunnel and back will take about 1.5 hours return (taking it slow and absorbing the whole experience).
Well, what else are you here for? You have reached your destination, the glow worm tunnel!
(Photo below is from the north entrance)
When you are there, please take extra time to let your eyes adjust to the minimal light conditions. Doing so will ensure you get to see the amazing experience you are here for, the glow worms!
You will not see them immediately. But having your eyes adjust to the lighting, you will start to see more and more of them with increasing frequency. From my experience, you see more on the way back to the start of the south entrance of the cave than walking to the north entrance.
When you are there…
Please take extra precautions if you have kids. Always carry a torch (per person) as there are no lights within the tunnel. Don’t scream or should which increases the experience for you and for others around you. Hiking boots are recommended if you have them as the road to and inside the tunnel can be slippery.
Other resources: http://www.infobluemountains.net.au/rail/upper/glow_worm.htm
For those who live in Sydney, Wentworth Falls sounds like yet another trip to the blue mountains. Yes, it does usually involved a 2 hour drive to the mountains usually with a lot of traffic (yes, it is very popular and beautiful). For those who doesn’t know, this may be a good starting point or a review, whatever you wanna call it.
This has been on the cards for a while for me. Although I’ve been to the mountains numerous times (days trips at times!), getting to Wentworth falls has been a challenge. Well, it is not out of the way from the main highway, just that getting there seems to be postponed every time. I finally did get to see it from a distance a couple of weeks before this trip from the lookout point, but from I’ve heard of this, getting to the bottom is a joy. It does involve a bit of a hike down the hill, often with some dangerous navigation. You’ll know what I mean later….
A long weekend was a better excuse to give this a go so we drove directly to the falls with the intension of getting to the bottom of the falls. Like I said, mountains is a popular tourist destination and being a long weekend it seem like everyone was there. Specially the bus loads of Chinese tourist who doesn’t usually behave very well (or quiet!). Ignoring all the hustle and bustle at the start with everyone we started on the first bits of the walk. Hike all the way down to the bottom of the falls is a manageable 1.5-2 hours from the base picnic area. where you can even have a barbecue!
First 2 sections of the walk is amazing and have the best possible views in all directions as well as have great selfie opps (who would like that). It is so easy that families with small children as well as young at hearts can also do this. First bit of the waterfall is where the big drop of it starts and edge (although you cannot get to it and not recommended) is a fantastic spot. After this starts the interesting 2nd leg where the path is narrow, windy and has a lot of steep steps (you be the judge), but I think this is interesting to all ages, plus the photo opps too.
Most people will get to the 2nd leg and take the long walk back to the bast. Last leg to the bottom is the hardest and not recommended for those with fear of heights as it does involve going down 6 flights of steps. When I visited, there was a small landslide at the beginning of the 3rd leg and will be difficult to navigate your way down. I absolutely love the last bit as it was less crowded (hardly anyone was there).
Finally, arriving at the bottom of the falls, you can start to appreciate the sheer drop and the beauty. There isn’t much room to move around here but you get to relax and admire where very few get to. Rocks here can be wet and can be slippery and if you are not very careful you can slip and fall just like I did.In summer, you could probably have a dip in the water here, but I think its still cold. There appears to be a small tracks passing the waterfall which leads to somewhere as I did notice a group of (properly geared) people leading. As I fell down I had one of the worst experiences of my life, where I heard a loud bang! Luckily, it wasn’t a bone, but my phone. It was completely smashed (though my friend picked it up and didn’t want me to see it) with a bruised arm and a leg and a jammed finger (ouch). It was hell for a bit, but I could move. I was alive and nothing was broken and emergency services were required. I did have to take some time to normalise and evaluate if I can climb up all those stairs without any help. It felt like a struggle but I did manage to climb all the way to the top again.
This has been one of the best things I’ve done and I can vouch for it (without the loss of my beloved iPhone).
Taking the longer route back to Adelaide city was delight. It was much calmer and much more scenic than the route we took to get to Barossa valley. On the way, we came across this little town that was founded in 1840’s and it was much better than the main town (Nuriootpa; gosh, I wonder who named this!) we were staying in.
Angaston has this small town feel with a low key atmosphere. People driving slowly with post little cafe’s around, a small creek, an old Church, an old Bar… I think they have a fair share of cafe’s compared to its size as we have seen at least 4!
Walking along the main street and decided to have our breakfast in a nice little cafe (I think its the best out of the lot) to enjoy the small town feel while we conclude our trip to Barossa.