Glow Worms Tunnel and Newnes Ruins

Address: Newnes NSW 2790

Tags: camping, hiking, glow worms

Newnes is the abandoned oil plant city.

The Wolgan Valley is very scenic and you will find Newnes to be a very interesting place. Most of the sights at Newnes, including the ruins of the oil-shale works and the Glow-worm tunnel, are open-access and can be visited at any time of the week. The Newnes Kiosk usually only operates at weekends, but may also be open at odd times during the week.

In 1906 and 1907 the Wolgan Valley Railway was built to haul oil shale from the mines at Newnes up to the main railway at Clarence. It was an amazing piece of engineering for its day. It ran over 30 miles (50km), through two tunnels and dropped almost 700m from the top of the ridge to the Wolgan Valley at a steep gradient. The railway has been long since abandoned, but the tunnels remain. The Glowworm Tunnel is the second of these old tunnels. The long steady curve means that the middle of the tunnel is pitch black, and the walls are always damp with water, ideal conditions for glowworms.

The walk follows the railway embankment up under the cliffs to the tunnel, and returns via the Old Coach Road back into the valley. It can be done at any time of year, although the climb can be fairly hot in summer. You will need a torch for the tunnel itself, as it is completely dark in the middle.

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