Glowworm Tunnel Road is a drive worth taking in Australia
Glowworm Tunnel Road is the name of a very scenic drive located in, New South Wales, Australia. The road is totally unpaved.
How long is Glowworm Tunnel Road?
Tucked away in the Wolgan Valley, this bumpy dirt road is 26.8 km (16.65 miles) long and follows the route of a disused railway built in 1907 as part of the Newnes railway line that served the Newnes Oil Shale mines that operated during the early 20th century. The railway was closed in 1932 and the rails were pulled out of the tunnel. The road is pretty narrow and rough, so drive slowly. It is not advisable to travel this road of a night. Whilst driving watch out for wildlife, especially kangaroos and wombats. The road follows the route of the old railway, through cuttings, elevated embankments and long sweeping curves. The last part of the drive is quite winding, very narrow through deep cuttings and at one point a railway tunnel. Plenty of blind corners so watch out for other traffic, including motorcycles. While 2WD vehicles can access this route in dry weather, 4WD vehicles are recommended.
Why is Glowworm Tunnel Road famous for?
Located within the Wollemi National Park, the road ends at a car park, 1km south of the Glow Worm Tunnel. The small car park marks the start of the walking track to Glow Worm Tunnel, a 400-metre tunnel popular for bushwalkers and tourists. Built in the early 1900s as part of the railway for the thriving mining industry at Newnes, the tunnel curves through almost 180 degrees and consequently it is very dark. Remember to bring a torch. It is one of two now abandoned tunnels on this railway. It’s extremely dark inside. In normal weather a small creek flows through it. These conditions are ideal for certain "glow worms" which inhabit the walls and roof of the tunnel. It’s now home to thousands of glow worms that cling to the dark, damp walls. While glow worms occur in other dark, damp places in the Blue Mountains, the Glow Worm Tunnel is probably the best place for the visitor to see them. In addition to the glow worms, the area features spectacular gorges, caves and scenery. The site is maintained by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. It can be very busy and there’s limited parking during summer, weekends, and holiday periods. Take care in the tunnel as the ground is rocky, uneven and slippery.
Pic: Alfredo Revelant