Glow Worm Glen, Bundanoon
Experience | bushwalking | national parks | nature | South East Tablelands | New South Wales

Glow Worm Glen, Bundanoon

Natures fairy lights

by Susie Baber  |  8 April 2023

2km return | moderate

Starting from the end of William Street in Bundanoon is a short well-defined track that leads to a fairy wonderland. I have seen glow-worms before, but it has always involved a much longer walk to a more remote locale, once even a boat ride though a cave system. The proximity of these glow-worms to civilisation makes it an easily accessible, family friendly adventure, an easy walk with kids but not pram friendly however – too many stairs.

The Glow Worm Glen has had a bad run over the past few years, with damage from the 2019/20 bushfires, followed by floods, rain, more floods and more rain, and a pandemic. It has been closed to walkers for some time. But thanks to lots of hard work by NSW National Parks, the local council, and some awesome volunteers this wonderful experience was reopened in March 2023. There is a second trail into the glow worm glen from the national park but sadly this track is yet to be reopened.

Glow Worm Facts

  • Glow worms are not actually worms, they are the larvae of the fungus gnat. Fungus Gnat Glen doesn’t have the same ring to it…
  • The unique bio-luminescent phenomenon is produced by a chemical reaction between the gnats body fluids and oxygen.
  • The blue glow is used to attract tiny insects to eat.
  • Glow worms have mucus threads that hang down like fishing lines which they use to catch their prey.

To admire the glow of the glow-worms obviously it needs to be dark so head out at sunset or later (maybe after dinner at the pub). Don’t forget your torch, and a warm jacket, we went in April and it was already very cold once the sun went down. It was lovely and sheltered in the valley though, which took the edge of the icy wind for our walk. Apparently peak glow worm viewing time is December to February, as they also prefer the warmer weather. Even though we visited outside these months the show was still very pretty.

There is no parking at the bottom of the dead-end street so you will have to park a little up the hill. Don your warm clothes and some sturdy walking shoes (can get slippery) and head down the path into Morton National Park. The good news is that it is all downhill on the way in, but sadly that does mean it will be all uphill on the way back out.

There were not many people on the walk the night we hit the track, maybe due to the cold southerly wind (and that it was quite late by the time we finished our dinner at the pub). We passed only two other groups of walkers on our way in and out of the glen, and we had the viewing area to ourselves while we were there.

As you approach the glen there is a final set of stairs down onto the viewing platform. Keep in mind that glow worms don’t like light and turn your torches off before you get to the bottom. They also don’t respond well to noise so keep the chatter to a minimum for a better experience.

Once you arrive, although you can’t see it in the dark, you are surrounded by sandstone overhangs that are filled with the types of cracks and crevices that glow worms like to hang out in. They glen is home to thousands of the tiny creatures who put on a bioluminescent light show reminiscent of stars shimmering across the night sky.

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