Visit the Glow Worm Tunnel Walking Track from Katoomba

Image by Lithgow Tourism

Image by Lithgow Tourism

Why is the Glow Worm Tunnel Walking Track worth visiting?

Nestled in the UNESCO World Heritage listed Wollemi National Park, at Newnes Plateau near Lithgow, the Glow Worm Tunnel Walking Track is a fantastic way to see glow worms in their natural habitat.

The first part of the walking track will take you through the forest, where you’ll be surrounded by ferns, Wollemi pines and pagoda rock formations, with stunning views of the surrounding valleys.

About 1km in you’ll reach the start of the historic 400m tunnel. The mysterious-feeling tunnel was constructed in in the early 1900s as part of the Newnes oil-shale industry but was abandoned by the 1940s. Fortunately, it now provides the perfect home for thousands of glow worms. You’ll need to switch off your torch to see them and be quiet because they’re sensitive to sound.

This is a really adventurous walking track and great fun for family outings. Make sure you bring a torch to guide you once inside the tunnel, as it’s very dark with no artificial lighting. The ground can be uneven and water runs through the tunnel so make sure you wear sturdy footwear that you don’t mind getting wet.

At the end of the tunnel is a beautiful fern clearing, which makes a great spot for a picnic. The area is also a thriving wildlife habitat and you might be lucky enough to spot lyrebirds, wallabies or kangaroos.

How long does the walk take?

It’s a 2km return track and should take 1-2 hours, depending how much time you spend marveling at the glow worms and the scenery.

How difficult is the walk?

It’s a grade 3 walk, so medium difficulty.

Do I need to book?

No booking needed! The Glow Worm Tunnel Walking Track is an open track and the glow worms are in a natural environment. All you’ll need to do in advance is make sure you bring a torch, as it’s dark inside.

When is the best time to go?

The tunnel can get quite busy so you might be better off getting there a little earlier in the day, or going on a weekday if you’re spending a long weekend in the mountains. The road is unsealed so it’s also recommended to drive back while it’s still light.

Where to eat nearby?

The closest restaurant is The Country Kitchen at The One & Only Wolgan Valley Resort, otherwise there are a number of warm and friendly restaurants in nearby Lithgow too.

How do I get to The Glow Worm Tunnel Walking Track from Katoomba?

Getting to the Glow Worm Tunnel Walking Track from Careel Cottages in the centre of Katoomba takes around 1 hr 30 min by car, via the aptly named Glowworm Tunnel Road.

At the end of the road you’ll find the Glowworm Tunnel Parking Lot, at the beginning of the track.

It’s worth noting that the road to the tunnel is unsealed with some potholes, so it’s probably best to go there in a 4wd. An alternative way to get there is via the Great Western Highway towards the One and Only Wolgan Valley resort, then continue from there to the Glowworm Tunnel Parking Lot, which some people might find easier.

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What are some other things to do in the Blue Mountains?

If you enjoyed the Glow Worm Tunnel Walking Track, you might also enjoy a trip to the mystical Jenolan Caves. Two other great day-trips in the Blue Mountains are Megalong Valley and Mayfield Garden. There are also some beautiful hikes which we've made easy for you to plan in our Best Blue Mountains Walks guide.

Blue Mountains FAQs

For more useful information that will help you plan your stay, we invite you to take a look at our Visiting the Blue Mountains FAQ guide, which will help you plan when to come, what to wear, where to stay and more.