Blue Mountains Lithgow
The town of Lithgow serves as the administrative hub of the City of Lithgow local government region and is located in the Central Tablelands of New South Wales.
Various landforms surround Lithgow, including seven valleys with national parks, one of which is the world-heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park.
The Wollemi Pine is a Jurassic-era pine discovered flourishing in a secluded canyon and is found at the Wollemi National Park.
The State Mine Heritage Park and the picturesque remains of the Blast Furnace Park, a center for coal mining and steel manufacture, provide historical exploration.
Guido Van Helden, a renowned muralist, painted portraits of neighborhood workers on the silos of the former cement factory in outer Portland.
It has since been transformed into The Foundations, a center for the arts.
A 400 m-long tunnel nearby has hundreds of glow worms that glow like stars in the tunnel’s deep, black interior.
A busy event schedule is another feature of Lithgow.
The town’s Halloween celebrations are the biggest in the state, while LithGlow illuminates the Blast Furnace in May.
The most popular event, Ironfest, is a quirky celebration of steampunk, blacksmithing, and historical re-enactments, attracting over 10,000 visitors.
|Book a Blue Mountains glow worm guided tour to explore native glow worms in an abandoned tunnel following a bush walk through the forest during the evening.|
Glow Worm Tunnel
Initially built as a part of the railway for the thriving mining industry at Newnes, the tunnel is now an ideal habitat for ‘glow worms’.
The 400-meter-long dark rail tunnel with a small stream running through it produces the right conditions for the larvae of the fungus gnat.
The larvae live in the tunnel’s walls and ceiling and glow to attract prey like mosquitoes.
The Glow Worm Tunnel is arguably the most excellent spot to see glow worms, which people may also find in other dim, damp areas of the Blue Mountains.
For a great experience, please wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a flashlight, as it is pitch black inside the tunnel.
Turn off your flashlight, remain silent, and watch for the worms to emit blue light specks that will illuminate the tunnel.
The farther you are from daylight, the more visible the glow worms are.
The distance to the tunnel from Lithgow or Clarence is slightly over 30 kilometers over the Newnes Plateau.
You can reach the Glow Worm Tunnel from Lithgow through Inch Street, turn left into Atkinson Street, and continue past interesting rock formations to the Newnes Plateau.
After passing the former afforestation camp, continue on the gravel road.
Leave your car at the parking lot for a short, pleasant 5-kilometer walk along the old railway track to the Glow Worm Tunnel.
You can also continue driving until you reach the car barrier and walk 1 kilometer to the tunnel.
Old Coach Road or Wolgan Valley Road, near Newnes, go to the Glow Worm Tunnel.
There are excellent bush walks and walking trails nearby in the national parks of Newnes and Wollemi.
- The Glow Worm Tunnel walking trail is a two-kilometer round-trip walk from the parking lot at the end of Glow Worm Tunnel Road.
Passing through dense trees, thick tree ferns, tiny valleys, and spectacular pagoda rock formations, you will reach the 400m-long tunnel built in the early 1900s.
The path is also great for spotting native wildlife, including goannas, lyrebirds, and occasionally koalas.
If you want to go on an educational trip to the Blue Mountains, reserve a tour that includes a nighttime climb to the cave with a knowledgeable guide.
- The Wolgan Valley Circuit Walk combines the Pagoda Track, the Old Coach Road Track, and the Glow Worm Tunnel Track.
This year-round 9 km circuit walking track is a popular trail for birding, hiking, and walking.
The loop trail passes through the Glow Worm Tunnel and picks up the Pagoda Trail, which leads through a 3-kilometer-long eucalyptus forest with various bird species.
A 7.5 km shorter round trip hike takes you via the Glow Worm Tunnel, through the Wolgan Valley Railway, up to “The Junction,” then back along the Old Coach Road and Pagoda Track.
The walking path runs through the wide, steeply sloped complex, beginning at the Ruins parking lot.
- Newnes Industrial Ruins in Wollemi National Park near Lithgow, a 2.5-kilometer walk, takes you through the historic Newnes Industrial Ruins.
Get the eerie experience of walking among shale oil ruins gradually reclaimed by nature.
Stop at the nearby Newnes campground by the Wolgan River, set up your tent, and picnic beneath the eucalyptus trees. Camping here is quite popular.
Reserve a stop at the flat campground with barbecue facilities and toilets by booking online.
Alternatively, call the National Parks Contact Centre at 1300 072 757.
The other side of the river is available for camping by car and is only a short drive from the luminous Glow Worm tunnel.
Only a 4WD vehicle or rock-hopping on foot across the Wolgan River will get you to the Ruins parking lot. Please don’t attempt to drive a 2WD across the river.
Need a 4WD vehicle?
Book a 4WD adventure tour with a local guide to see the Zig Zag railway, Lost City, Capertee Valley, and other attractions.
Zig Zag Railway
A steam locomotive will accompany you over the Great Lithgow Zig Zag, providing beautiful sights, sounds, and scents.
Initially inaugurated in the 1860s, the Zig Zag Railway was a section of the Western Railway line that connected Sydney with Western New South Wales (NSW).
You can now visit this historic site run by a non-profit to relive the extraordinary period of steam trains.
While you visit the site, you can also enjoy the views of impressive sandstone viaducts and the breathtaking Blue Mountains.
Please check before traveling since the Zig Zag Railway is temporarily closed for maintenance.
The Capertee Valley is the world’s second-largest canyon, located 135 km (84 miles) northwest of Sydney, between Lithgow and Mudgee.
The valley is rich in flora and wildlife and offers the ideal setting for experiencing nature with its quiet mountain scenery and tranquil perspectives.
The towering sandstone cliffs have a substantial coal and oil shale layer underneath.
Capertee National Park provides spectacular birding, hiking, camping, and accommodations in historic homesteads.
You can camp at the Capertee campground or the Valley lookout, which overlooks the Capertee River Valley and red sandstone cliffs.
Other well-liked outdoor activities in this area include biking, hiking, and birding.
Blackfellows Hand Cave
The Blackfellows Hand Cave, located in the Wolgan Valley, just north of the little town of Lidsdale, is around half an hour’s drive from Lithgow Blue Mountains.
The site is believed to be a gathering site for the local Aboriginal tribes and has cultural significance.
The local Aboriginal community continues to use the cave, known by the Aboriginal name ‘Maiyingu Marragu.’
You can see numerous well-preserved Aboriginal artworks in the form of hands and weapons in the cave.
A 500-meter Blackfellows Hand Walking Trail connects the parking area along Wolgan Road to the cave.
Remember that this place has cultural significance, so do not tamper with or disturb the artwork.
|Book a 4WD adventure tour that takes you along rare paths to see some of the best sites in the Blue Mountains, including the aboriginal artwork, Capertee Valley, Lost City, and more.|
Hassans Walls, the highest overlook in the Blue Mountains, is 1,130 meters above sea level.
The vantage point offers breathtaking panoramic views across the valley to the cliff from the new Sir Joseph Cook walkway.
The Bracey Lookout, near the Hassans Walls, also offers panoramic views of the Lithgow Valley and the town center.
Hotels Lithgow Australia
Lithgow, conveniently accessible by road or train from Sydney, offers a range of accommodation options to suit different tastes.
For those seeking luxury, Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley and Bubbletent Australia on the outskirts of Lithgow provide deluxe boutique experiences.
History enthusiasts can indulge in the charm of Linden Tree Manor in the original brewery or stay near the Hartley Historic Site.
If breathtaking views are your preference, Eagle View Escape overlooking Lake Lyell is a fantastic choice.
The Zig Zag Motel Lithgow, surrounded by picturesque mountains, is another comfortable option just 1.5 km from the train station and close to the Lithgow State Mine Heritage Park & Railway.
Lithgow Australia Weather
In Lithgow, the summers are comfortable, the winters are very cold, and it is partly cloudy year-round.
Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from -1°C to 25°C (29°F to 77°F) and is rarely below -6°C or above 32°C (22°F or 89°F).
The ideal time for warm-weather activities is from late December to late February when the warm season prevails, offering average daily highs above 22°C (72°F).
January is the hottest month and the cold season lasts from May to August, with daily highs below.
July is the coldest month, with an average low of -1°C (30°F) and a high of 11°C (51°F).
Lithgow Australia Map
You can reach the town from Sydney by heading westward in New South Wales.
Passing through the scenic Blue Mountains region, Lithgow is an approximately 142 km drive via B59, taking around 2 hours.
Is Lithgow a part of the Blue Mountains?
Located on the western slopes of the Blue Mountains in east-central New South Wales, Lithgow is a part of the Blue Mountains region.
Positioned between Sydney and the wine-producing area of Orange, Lithgow Australia, has a historical significance in coal mining and steel production.