Glow Worm Tunnel Hike

A woman and man walking across a timber bridge surrounded by tree ferns

Exclusive access from Wolgan Valley!

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 7:30am 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 The Bluffs and Forge Point with breathtaking views across Wolgan Valley. 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.

INCLUSIONS

  • 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.

TOUR DEPARTURES

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.

Prices

  • Per Person
  • Adults
  • $270 p.p.
  • Youths
    10–17 yrs
  • $243 p.p.
  • Family of 4
  • 2 adults + 2 youths
  • $667

Our Commitment to the Environment

Our low-impact experiences and certification through Ecotourism Australia are integral to our business and ensure we are continually delivering high-quality, innovative experiences through ecologically sustainable practices and cultural responsibility.

We adhere to the principles of Leave No Trace and we strongly encourage our guests and visitors to do the same. Please make sure you leave the places that you visit as you found them, for others to enjoy. Stick to the tracks and do not remove any plants or artefacts, and refrain from feeding, touching or disturbing wildlife

Remember - take only pictures, leave only footprints!

EcoPassWolgan Valley Eco Tours holds a NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service Parks EcoPass licence number LIC17/153.
This is your assurance that as a tour operator we are licensed to operate in NSW National Parks and that the activity will have minimum impact on the environment.

Advanced Ecotourism Certified

Wolgan Valley Eco Tours has attained Advanced Ecotourism Accreditation through Ecotourism Australia.
This accreditation is only given to operators who deliver Australia's leading and most innovative ecotourism products, which operate with minimal impact on the environment and provide opportunities to learn about the environment.
This accreditation also recognises our commitment in achieving best practice, using resources wisely, contributing to conserving the environment and helping our local community. 

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QTAB

Wolgan Valley Eco Tours meets specific criteria set by the Australian Tourism Accreditation Program (ATAP).
This ensures that we are committed to exceeding our guest’s expectations with great customer service and the highest standards of business practice.
Only leading Australian tourism operators display the accreditation tick.

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WTA Logo

Wolgan Valley Eco Tours is a proud member of the leading wildlife tourism industry body Wildlife Tourism Australia.
We are committed to the conservation of Australian native wildlife through having practices in place specifically designed to minimise any negative impacts of wildlife viewing and interaction with wildlife. 

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Greenfleet

Our Business Operations are Carbon Offset and Wolgan Valley Eco Tours proudly supports the Greenfleet biodiverse program.
This support has not only seen the planting of native trees to offset our carbon emissions from our business operations, it is also helping to improve water quality, reduce soil degradation and provide essential habitat for our native wildlife.
Greenfleet is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to connecting people with real climate action. Greenfleet is Australia’s most respected source of biodiverse native carbon offsets.

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COVID Safe Badge Digital

Wolgan Valley Eco Tours is pleased to advise that it is compliant with the NSW State Government’s COVID-19 restrictions.

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