Visit the Glowworm Tunnel for an Illuminated Hike

If you’re searching for something unusual to do on your next trip to the Outback, look no further than the Glowworm Tunnel in Helensburgh. While you probably won’t find this obscure attraction in your Australia travel guide, it just might make you forget the Australian countryside and feel as though you’re in another world. 

History of the Glowworm Tunnel 

Until 1995, the Metropolitan Tunnel, also known as the Glowworm Tunnel, was just like any other abandoned railroad tunnel. It was closed in 1915, filled with water, and was largely ignored for eighty years. During the decades of being untouched by humans, a large number of luminescent glowworms began to call the tunnel home. The glowworms lingered after the tunnel was drained in 1995, and the now brightly-lit tunnel has become a popular tourist attraction for visitors to Australia that enjoy finding things to do that their friends have never heard of. 

Visiting the Glowworm Tunnel 

Although the Glowworm Tunnel can be visited year round, it is a good idea to check the weather before trekking out of town to check out this unique sight. Light rain can make the rocks inside the tunnel slippery and difficult to walk on, and strong rain can flood the tunnel. However, if you enjoy canoeing or kayaking, floating through the flooded tunnel can create the most unforgettable ride you’ve ever been on.

Be sure to pack comfortable shoes with good grips to minimize slipping, and dress in layers, as the interior of the tunnel may be cooler or more humid than the outdoor temperature. Bring plenty of water and snacks if you’re planning to stay for a while. While the tunnel can be a magical sight for children, be sure to instruct them before you arrive to walk carefully, not run, and not touch the glowworms unless instructed to do so. 

While the Metropolitan Tunnel is one of the brightest and best-known places to find glowworms, there are others throughout Australia and New Zealand. If there’s an Australian vacation in your future, be sure to add the Glowworm Tunnel to your list of must-see sights!  

Visiting the Site of the SS Ayrfield Shipwreck

The SS Ayrfield Shipwreck can get found in Homebush Bay, which is a bay on the southern bank of the Parramatta River. The Parramatta River gets located on the Inner West Bay of Sydney, Australia. The SS Ayrfield has been sitting in the same foliage over 100 years ago and still sits in Homebush Bay to this day.

The catch is: this cargo ship never sank, which is rather miraculous given all the trees and foliage that have become intertwined with the base of the ship in the last century.

History of the SS Ayrfield Shipwreck

The SS Ayrfield shipwreck can be viewed still floating in the water from the nearby lands around Homebush Bay. The same can get said for many other ships that have been stranded in the area or wrecked nearby. Most ships that wrecked here in this area have been there for at least a century since the area was a bustling trading post to Australia back in the late 1800s and into the early 20th century.

Homebush Bay Gets Brought Back to Life

The area was revamped and refurbished by the economic boom that hosting the 2000 Olympics brought to the area. Homebush Bay has now been made into a tourist destination as the funds that were sunk into the area rebuilt it to be similar to the bustling trading post that it was back over a century ago when these types of cargo ships frequented the area to trade supplies with those who lived in the area.

SS Ayrfield a Tourist’s Attraction

The SS Ayrfield’s remains and so many others are seen as tourist attractions today The SS Ayrfield is essentially an amazing, floating platform covered by a small forest. Many tours that come through the area where the SS Ayrfield rests also take people to see other local attractions such as Hyde Park and other tours even take people throughout the entire city of Sydney to see many other great attractions!

Conclusion

If you are in the Sydney area, the SS Ayrfield is an attraction worth stopping to see! Prices are quite affordable, and people who have gone on these tours give it great reviews on sites such as TripAdvisor.

If you are ever in the Sydney area, it’s definitely worth stopping by the SS Ayrfield and witnessing what is now a beautiful floating forest! 

The Old Gum Tree’s Place in South Australia’s History

Many of us as children learned the words to a fun song, “Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree, merry, merry king of the bush is he. Laugh, Kookaburra, laugh, Kookaburra, how gay your life must be!”

The song originated from a contest in 1934 organized by the Girl Guides’ Association of Victoria, Australia. It was penned by Marion Sinclair, a former teacher, poet, and composer from Werribee, Victoria, who was very familiar with gum trees, and most specifically a special one.

Glenelg’s History and its Gum Tree

Gum trees are smooth-barked trees, members of the Eucalyptus family, and native to Australia. It was under the shade of one particularly large, bent over gum tree that in December 1836, a proclamation was read establishing South Australia as a British province.

Ships under the direction of Colonial Secretary Robert Gouger had landed on that hot December day with settlers developing a makeshift camp, and Rear-Admiral Sir John Hindmarsh declaring that proclamation. Hindmarsh was named governor of the province. That gum tree resided in Glenelg, recognized today as the oldest European settlement on mainland South Australia. It is located along the southern coast, about a 25-minute drive from the city of Adelaide.

Glenelg Today

The old gum tree is gone, having died out in the 1900s. Attempts had been made to preserve the tree including its base being surrounded by cement in hopes of keeping it from collapsing. It wasn’t until 1963, the tree’s decayed outer shell was encased with cement and plastic.

This area of Glenelg is now a park known as the Old Gum Tree Preserve. It is open daily for visitors with all hometown park facilities including picnic areas, BBQ pits, playgrounds, and a memorial to the old gum tree and its part in Australia’s history.

There are approximately 900 species of eucalyptus in Australian forests. The historic gum tree is believed to have been a red gum. The kookaburra is a member of the kingfisher family and native to Australia and New Guinea. Also known as the Laughing Kookaburra, its laughing cackle can best be heard in the early morning or evening before nightfall.