Aside from secret gardens, hidden waterfalls and artworks, NSW is home to a number of disused tunnels that have been abandoned over time. In fact did you know that there’s a glow worm tunnel less than an hour from Sydney? An abandoned railroad tunnel in Helensburgh is now home to a multitude of bioluminescent glow worms.
Helensburgh Glow Worm Tunnel
Originally known at the Metropolitan Tunnel, it first opened back in 1889. The original station consisted of two single line tunnels, the shorter Helensburgh Tunnel and the longer Metropolitan Tunnel. Both the tunnels and the station were shut in 1915 after years of soot and smoke built up, rendering it dangerous.
Over the years, the tunnel has become a frequent stop for hikers, photographers, tourists and a colony of glow worms. These tiny bugs produce bioluminescence causing the tunnel to glow with a cool, somewhat eerie radiance. Interestingly, the tunnels have also since gained popularity amongst those who believe in the supernatural. Stories of eerie encounters abound and several visitors over the years have recounted paranormal experiences within the tunnels.
The glow worm ecosystem is incredibly delicate and the use of flashlights and flash photography has resulted in a decline in their population. At the moment flashlights, flash photography and drones are prohibited. It is also advised to always wear gum boots while visiting the tunnels and to avoid visiting during heavy rainfall due to flooding. There are a number of ways you can get to the tunnel. A drive from the CBD should take you less than 90-minutes but there are also a number of public transport options including direct trains from Central. Find your easiest route here and get more info about the glow worm tunnel here.
Please note: The tunnel is currently closed due to flooding and to allow the glow worm population to recover.