Look no further if you’re in the need for wholesome adventures. 2 hours from Sydney, Bundanoon, aka Bundy, is a wholesome town tucked away in the Southern Highlands. There’s plenty of adventures include the Glow Worm Glen!
No Bottle Bundy
You might’ve heard of Bundy before. It was the first town in the world to do away with all bottled water. A vote was held at a town meeting and it was decided that plastic water bottles had to go.
So bottled water is now extinct in Bundy. No cafes, stores, or events provide single-use water bottles for free or for sale, luckily, there are water bubblers all over town!
And they were way ahead of the curve. This week Bundy is celebrating 10 years since the historic decision was made. As the instigator of the campaign Huw Kingston puts it, ‘Bottled water truly is the triumph of marketing over common sense, selling the stuff that essentially comes free from a tap.’
So next time you visit Bundy, make sure to bring your reusable drink bottle with you! Otherwise, you might find yourself a little bit parched after a long day of exploring.
Erith Coal Mine Falls
This walking track combines a beautiful waterfall as well as a historic old coal mine carved into the cliff face.
As you enter the national park from Bundanoon, park at the Gambells Rest Campground on the right. The start of the track is a short walk along Echo Point Road from the rest area.
There’s an abundance of rainforest foliage, as well as wildflowers along the track at the right time of year. The walk starts relatively easy, but there are quite a few steep stairs further on. The stairs lead down to the Coal Creek Crossing across the top of the waterfall.
This is a stone step crossing across the top of the falls, so if it’s been raining recently, the water flow may be strong, making it tricky to get across.
Follow the stairs down the side of the waterfall to reach the sparkling pool, surrounded by cliffs. Carved into the cliffs you’ll find the old Erith coal tunnels that extend back through the rock almost 1.5km.
These are fenced off, but with the help of a trusty torch, you can have a good deep look. Follow the path down to reach Coal Creek at the bottom.
On your return, after crossing the top of the waterfall again, you can either take the path you came or continue on a loop track back to the main road.
Fairy Bower Falls via Tooth’s Lookout Trail
Jump back in the car where you left it at Gambell’s Campground and this time takes the Bundanoon Loop Road all the way to Tooth’s Lookout, where you’ll marvel at the sweeping valley view. Park the car here and take the Tooth’s Lookout Trail as it steeply descends from the lookout into the bush.
The trail follows along the bottom of the forest and after a short walk you pop out at the lower half of the falls.
Take some time to soak in the quiet and calm nature of the rainforest; then follow the trail as it veers to the left, back up steep steps, and onto the cliffs.
A short way across the cliffs you’ll come to the top of the falls. Make sure to follow the Fairy Bower Falls Access Trail onto the Bundanoon Loop Road to loop back to your car near the lookout.
Glow Worm Glen Track
Don’t rush back to Sydney too soon! It’s worth hanging around Bundy until after sunset to get a glimpse of the bioluminescent extravaganza that is Glow Worm Glen.
The glen can be accessed two ways, via the Glow Worm Glen Track in the national park, or via the end of William St back in town. The glen is a short 25-minute walk from William St but can become pretty slippery. Definitely recommend some sturdy shoes.
For the most lit glow worm experience, start the walk during sunset, so the path is easier to see on your way down, but the worms are in full-glow when you arrive. When approaching the glen, make sure to bring everything to a whisper as the worms are incredibly sensitive to noise and will hide away if startled.
Be sure to pack a torch as well for the walk back in the dark, but leave it switched off while at the glen to protect the glowies!
Set Up Camp
Loving the peace and quiet? Why not pitch your tent and stay awhile? Gambell’s Rest Campground is close to the entry of the park and is just a short drive or walk away from plenty more walks around the national park. It’s recommended to book in advance online and camping fees apply. There are spaces available for tents, campervans, and camper trailers.
The campground has plenty of facilities, including showers, toilets, and BBQs to keep you content. Plus refreshing tap water to fill your reusable bottle with!
- Sturdy shoes
- Tent and camping gear!
- A jumper and rain jacket
- Water bottle
How To Get There
From Sydney, take the Hume Highway towards Canberra, and take the Sutton Forest exit onto the Illawarra Highway. Once into the township of Sutton Forest, turn right onto Exeter Road and follow until you reach Bundanoon. The town is also accessible by train!
Distance / Time Taken
Erith Coal Mine Falls: 2km / 1hr
Fairy Bower Falls via Tooth’s Lookout Trail: 2.5km / 1hr
Glow Worm Glen Track: 1.5km / 1hr return