UPDATE: As of the 30/6/2018, access to Old Helensburgh station and the accompanying tunnel has been closed due to vandalism.
Barely outside the Southern limits of Sydney lies the quiet town of Helensbrugh. One of the first major townships along the spectacular Grand Pacific Drive it’s easy to become distracted by the dramatic vista of the Tasman Sea. Dotted on the horizon are a steady queue of coal ships bound for the nearby Port of Wollongong. Turning inland, lush pockets of temperate bushland reclaim what was lost during the 20th Century boom of heavy industries.
Within one of these pockets lies the remnants of the early train line connecting Sydney to Wollongong. In its first form, a number of rail tunnels were dug through the cliffs. Amongst these is the 1st Metropolitan tunnel which served as the first gateway from the original Helensburgh train station.
Situated barely 100 metres from the current station, this landmark is well hidden amongst the bushes. It took this explorer half an hour to find the station which exists only as a short platform that is engulfed by the greenery.
With only a restored sign indicating the original location a set of nearly submerged rails lead into the maw of a gaping abyss. Within the gloom lies the best treasures of this location. Like other remnants of 20th century industry, glow worms have taken up residence. Unlike their Newnes cousins these creatures are far more responsive and brighter to the eager visitor seeking a natural light show.
Be advised, this area is prone to flooding. Check the weather forecast in advance as downpours can easily inundate the area for a number of days.