Award-winning tour returning in July 2024!
Duration: FULL DAY
Step into a celestial wonderland as you embark on our Glow Worm Tunnel Hike, where countless tiny living lights await. Whether you're an avid nature enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking a day filled with wonder, this extraordinary full-day vehicle and walking tour through Wollemi National Park is an unforgettable experience. Discover the iconic Glow Worm Tunnel, inhabited by the endemic Blue Mountains Glow Worm (Arachnocampa richardsae). Immerse yourself in the Wollemi's enchanting fern-filled canyons and ancient rock pagodas, and cultivate a deep appreciation for the unique flora and fauna that define this extraordinary landscape. Join us on this enchanting journey and let the magic of nature captivate your senses.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Departing at 7:45am from the Seven Valleys Visitor Information Centre, relax in air-conditioned comfort as our passionate local guide introduces you to the UNESCO-inscribed Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, Wollemi National Park and our destination of Wolgan Valley.
Our first stop of the day is at Wolgan Gap in Mayingu Marragu, a place of strong cultural significance to the traditional owners of this landscape, the Wiradjuri Nation. Whilst taking in the breathtaking scenery over Wolgan Valley, your knowledgeable local guide will share with you the incredible geological story of UNESCO world heritage-listed Greater Blue Mountains region, and the fascinating history of Wolgan Valley including a visit by naturalist Charles Darwin in 1836.
After a brief stop, we return to our 4WD vehicle and with exclusive access we safely navigate the Donkey Steps, reported to be the steepest road in Australia.
Following the Wolgan Valley Discovery Trail that takes in spectacular scenery and wildlife abound, we arrive at the Glow Worm Tunnel Trailhead. After a brief stop, we are greeted by the tranquil Wolgan River where a short and shallow bare-foot walk through its crystal-clear waters awakens the senses. Our knowledgeable ecological guide will share with you what makes this wild river special and the incredible 2000km + journey of the native Long-tailed Eel that call these waters home during summer.
As we enter the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area into Wollemi National Park, a moderate to steep 9km return walk awaits with plenty of stops along the way to learn about the rich history, diverse flora and fauna, and the geological marvels that define this UNESCO world heritage-listed region.
While immersing yourself in the awe-inspiring beauty of the Wollemi, there will be ample opportunity to participate in wildlife conservation through research, surveying some of the unique and diverse wildlife we encounter along the way.
As we make our way through the aptly named Bellbird Gorge, listen out for the bell-like chorus of its resident Bell Miner colony as we meander through the tall forests of Blue Mountains Ash and Brown Barrel. Walking along the Old Coach Road, your knowledgeable local guide will share with you the stories behind the construction of this historic road and the lifeline that it provided for the community of Newnes.
Before departing this historic road, we will stop to enjoy a delicious morning tea of locally baked goods and seasonal fruit whilst taking in the ancient sandstone rock pagodas that are synonymous with the Wollemi and Gardens of Stone region. For the more adventurous, an optional steep climb leads to the summit of a towering sandstone rock pagoda, taking in the spectacular scenery below.
After morning tea, our journey takes us along the Pagoda Track and Glow Worm Tunnel Trail for the iconic Glow Worm Tunnel, along the way you will learn about how Wollemi National Park came to be, and the natural and cultural values that have contributed to its proclamation as a protected area in 1979.
Traversing the narrow winding track of the long-since abandoned railway line we finally reach the illuminating wonder of thousands of Blue Mountains Glow Worms (Arachnocampa richardsae) in former Railway Tunnel No.2. Learn about the amazing life cycle of these special tiny insects and the incredible story of the construction of the Wolgan Valley Railway and the people and characters that brought the famous railway to life.
Our next stop is the breathtaking Penrose Gorge and Bells Grotto, where you will be lead on an 800m easy walk through these stunning fern-filled slot canyons. Relax and take in the cathedral-like atmosphere of this ancient location whilst enjoying a gourmet picnic lunch featuring local seasonal produce.
Whilst our journey discovering Blue Mountains Glow Worms and exploring fern-filled canyons has come to an end, we return to Wolgan Valley via Old Coach Road. On return to our 4WD vehicle, enjoy light refreshments of locally roasted espresso coffee or Australian brewed tea, whilst surrounded by a symphony of nature's sound and spectacular towering sandstone cliffs.
Our small group tours ensure ample opportunities to connect with our local guide, ask questions, and fully appreciate the diversity and wonders of the Wollemi and Gardens of Stone.
- Return vehicle transfers to the Seven Valleys Visitor Information Centre, Lithgow or accommodation in Wolgan Valley, Lidsdale, Wallerawang, Portland or Lithgow.
- Small group size maximum 4 people.
- Your own local guide who specialises in ecology and heritage.
- All meals including a delicious morning tea and lunch with your choice of espresso coffee, tea, hot chocolate, fruit juice and bottled water (using our reusable water bottles).
- Comfort of a modern air conditioned 4WD vehicle.
- Use of special wildlife-friendly headlamps and tablet device for recording wildlife sightings.
- Visits Wollemi National Park including Wolgan River, Bellbird Gorge, Glow Worm Tunnel, Penrose Gorge and Bells Grotto.
Our Glow Worm Tunnel Hike departs at 7:30am and returns at 3:30pm to the Seven Valleys Visitor Information Centre, 1137 Great Western Highway, Lithgow NSW 2790. Alternatively, we offer complimentary return vehicle transfers for guests staying at accommodation in Wolgan Valley, Lidsdale, Wallerawang, Portland and Lithgow.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
GRADE 3 - RECOMMENDED FOR PEOPLE WITH SOME BUSHWALKING EXPERIENCE
Suitable for most ages and fitness levels. Track has short steep hill sections, a rough surface and many steps. The trail consists of mostly undulating uneven surfaces. Due to significant obstacles present along the route, the trail is not pram or wheelchair-accessible.
- Per Person
- $270 p.p.
- $243 p.p.
- Family of 4
- 2 adults + 2 youths