Newnes Glow Worm Tunnel

Useful Information

Location: Near Newnes
Open: No restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SubterraneaTunnel BiologyGlow Worm
Light: bring torch
Guided tours:  
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1907 railroad opened.
1932 railroad closed.


This tunnel is a former railroad tunnel of the Newnes railroad was closed in 1932. The rails were removed, but the 600 m long tunnel through sandstone remained almost unchanged. Located in the Wollemi National Park, the tunnel was left to offer an almost natural hideout for various animals. Normally abandoned tunnels and mines are used by bats and insects, but in Australia there are the so-called glowworms. The name is a colloquial term for bioluminescent larvae of various species.

The tunnel has become the home of thousands and thousands of glow worms named Arachnocampa richardsae. The fungus gnat larvae live along the walls and the ceiling of the tunnel. They have strings of sticky mucus for catching their prey, other insects, and with their luminescence they try to lure them into their trap.

To see the glowing gnats you must be careful. Use a flashlight to find the middle of the tunnel without injuries, but the turn it off and wait silently for some time. The gnats are disturbed by light and sound, so it will take at least a minute of silence and darkness until they start to glow again. One by one they start to shine, and after some time it looks like stars at the night sky.