UPDATE MARCH 2019: Helensburgh Station Reserve is officially gazetted by the NSW Government. (details below)
UPDATE 1 JULY 2018: THIS AREA IS NOW FENCED OFF WITH HOPES THE DECIMATED RARE GLOW WORM COLONY WILL RECOVER.
Not long ago I shot this video footage of the Helensburgh Railway Station Reserve which includes; Helensburgh’s 1st Railway Station, the 1st Helensburgh Tunnel, and the popular Metropolitan Tunnel 1st, (also known as the Glow Worm tunnel).
The day I visited the site was a pleasant Winters day in June with mostly sunny conditions. I deliberately didn’t add music or speak during the video as I wanted to capture ambient and natural sounds from the fauna and surrounds. As you will see in the video, there was a photo-shoot in the Metropolitan Tunnel that day. Hope you enjoy.
Can’t view it? Watch on YouTube
MARCH 2019 – (By Merilyn House) On 21 Deccember 2018 a new reserve was established in Helensburgh. Notice of its creation appeared in NSW government Gazette Number 144 of that date. The reserve, No. 1039211, consists of the two old tunnels: Metropolitan Tunnel (the glow worm tunnel) and the shorter tunnel opposite it, the land adjacent to them including the Porcupine Track, and the railway station car park. The reserve has been set aside for “passive recreation, heritage purposes, environmental protection”.
The gazettal notice also appointed Helensburgh and District Landcare Group Inc as the Crown Land Manager for the reserve. As Crown Land Manager, Helensburgh Landcare is responsible for the care, control and management of the reserve. It has the powers similar to that of a landowner, but with additional powers including the making of by-laws.
The first action was to officially name the reserve. It is Helensburgh Station Reserve.
The second action was to close the Metropolitan Tunnel to visitors for four weeks during the current glow worm breeding season. This was to give the colony a chance to recover after being severely impacted by visitors in 2018. Generally, the closure was respected but some ‘visitors’ did climb over the fence. One group let off a loud firecracker (cherry bomb) in the tunnel and were intercepted by locals as they climbed back over the fence.
Currently people entering either tunnel when the gates are closed risk a fine in excess of $1,000. By-laws to protect the glow worms will be determined over the next few months. Fines for harmful activities, such as lighting of flares, are likely to be substantial. Landcare is determined to save this colony from extinction, which is what happened to the small colony in the other tunnel after graffiti vandalism on the tunnel walls. We welcome community feedback. Visit www.helensburghlandcare.org.au.
Get more information on the Helensburgh Tunnel
Get more information Metropolitan Tunnel
How to get there?
The first Helensburgh and Metropolitan Tunnels, including the remains of the former Helensburgh Station platform, are no longer in RailCorp ownership, and has been vested to the NSW Department of Lands.
Video/Images/Photos, and Article © Ian Piggott 2013 – all rights reserved,