Historical Helensburgh // Train Tunnels and Waterfalls (NSW)

Helensburgh, Wollongong’s northernmost suburb, is home to a number of amazing spots, so abandon your weekend plans and get exploring. 


Highlights

  • Old train tunnels with historical significance
  • Glow worms!
  • Peaceful waterfalls and creeks
  • Great photo opportunities close to Sydney

Please note that as of 1 July 2018 the glow worm tunnel has been fenced off due to vandalism and misuse, resulting in danger to the glow worms. As with all adventures, exercise respect and consideration for the environment and always leave no trace

The Lowdown

Starting at Helensburgh Station, a short drive or train ride from Sydney, follow the main road to an intersection, either side of this intersection are old train tunnels that have been abandoned for over 100 years.

The shorter Helensburgh Tunnel is on the right (facing south) and is sometimes locked up. This tunnel is only about 80m long, so you can always see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Across the road lies the always photogenic Metropolitan Tunnel. This tunnel is much longer, which is the main reason it was abandoned (coal fires and tunnels with no ventilation do not mix!). It is now dammed at the other end and often floods after heavy rain.

Culvert helensburgh tunnels emily parisi

At the start of this tunnel is the Old Helensburgh Station platform and sign, from when the trains would stop there. Inside the tunnel is a large colony of glow worms that are very sensitive to noise and light, so DO NOT shine your torch at the roof or make any loud noises. If the area outside the tunnel has lots of puddles, then there will be water spiders, frogs and tadpoles living there, so be careful not to step on them, or their eggs.

Across the train tracks, on the other side of the train station is Wilsons Creek, which cascades into a small pool below. If you follow the creek upstream up the culvert, there is a small dam at the end which has a small area where you can sit and take in the scenery.

Essential Gear

  • Gumboots or old shoes
  • Torch
  • Camera

Activities

  • Photography
  • Swimming

Skill Level

Easy, although the ground can be slippery and uneven along the way. Only a few hundred metres are covered in this adventure.


No car, no problem. Check out more adventures by rail…

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