Trip Report – Glow Worm Tunnel
Saturday, 11th December 2021
Rob Drummond (TL) Patrol
Phillip and Linda Favaloro (ITM) Patrol
Eric and Diane Liney (TEC) Prado
We tried to meet at Clarence at 9:00am, but the local constabulary stopped Rob on the way, much to the amusement of Phillip and Linda who Rob had only just overtaken. They waved as they passed apparently. It turned out to be a RBT and license check, and Rob made sure that the officer didn’t mind him touching his mobile phone in order to show his license. A quick ‘count to ten’, viewing of the license, and wishing the officer a good day, and Rob was on the way again, only to arrive 2 minutes late.
Eric and Diane arrived a few minutes later, and after surveying the new carpark under construction at Clarence, headed off onto the road to the GWT. The track in was in good condition, but only as far as the sand mine, which has grown to massive proportions since our last visit. After passing the mine, the track became rougher and more pot-holed and slowed progress down appreciably as we dodged pot-hole after pot-hole. Remarkably, after all the rain we recently received in Sydney, the track was dry, other than large puddles here and there.
After a while we arrived at the carpark for the GWT, had our elevenses, then walked off toward the tunnel. A pleasant walk, in cool and overcast conditions, meant we were could enjoy the greenery and weren’t going to get too warm. We arrived at the tunnel and there was a reasonable amount of water flowing into it. We made our way easily through the tunnel without getting our feet wet, but there were small waterfalls to greet us at the northern end.
Eric and Rob disappeared to the west to explore the terrain and spotted a small set of footprints. PIC The water has carved out a wide, curved amphitheatre which shelters many tree ferns. The gurgling of the water and the various frog calls enhanced the tranquil scene. They returned to the mouth of the tunnel and found the others coming back from the track heading north east. After retracing our footsteps through the tunnel, we hopped into our cars and stopped for lunch at a clearing just before the ‘car tunnel’ on the main track. Suitably refreshed, we headed off back towards Clarence. Wondering where else we could explore; Phillip suggested a look down the Beecroft Fire Trail would fill in the balance of the day nicely. This is where we encountered some large mudholes! One of them is actually a sink hole and is suitably marked, though if you’re not accustomed to reading the forestry signs on the side of the road, you may end up seeing your pride and joy, and you! disappear into the 2m deep mud!
We followed the Beecroft FT for a while, using the side trails here and there, following the transmission lines and the high ridges, with excellent views over the valleys on each side of the track; to the Lost City to the east, and the Wallerawang Power Station to the west. After stopping for a few photos from our high vantage point, we started our decent towards Lidsdale, and found another great spot for a view over the surrounding countryside. As the plan was to offer an overnighter on the trip, we had decided to have dinner before parting ways and found a quiet spot on the way down to the valley to cook our dinners. After enjoying too much food (getting ready for the Christmas splurge!!) we packed up and headed down hill to the valley floor. At the bottom of the Beecroft FT, we turned right, then quickly left into Groves Road which took us onto Wolgan Road where we turned south. Normally, as you head south towards the Castlereagh Highway, you can’t miss seeing the sight of the power station, but today the vista had changed. The coal fired power station is in the process of being demolished to make way for a renewable energy hub: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-11-24/wallerawang-coal-demolition/100643694 It’s rather haunting to see the twisted steel and rubble post demolition, sort of like you see in the movies.
We all had a relaxing time out with friends in the bush; as it should be. Phillip, Linda and Rob turned towards Sydney, and Eric and Diane turned right to make their way home to Queens Pinch, saying our farewells and exchanging best wishes for Christmas over channel 13.