Glow Worm Glen

A great evening activity for the whole family

One of the great evening activities for visitors is a trip down to glow worm glen. With a bit of care you can ensure to see a great light show while minimising impact on these luminescent locals. A good idea is to start the walk down to the glen at sunset and this way it will be dark by the time you reach the glen.

Where are the glowworms?

Drive to William Street, on the right on the Moss Vale side of town. Park at the top end of William Street. From here a steep track descends towards the glen. It will be pitch dark (especially if you turn off your torches).

How long does it take?

The return trip will take about 1 hour. Add your glow worm viewing time onto this.

What are glow worms?

The truth is that glow worms are not worms at all, but rather they are the larvae offspring of the fungus gnat. Adult fungus gnats lay about 130 eggs then die soon after. After 8 or 9 days the first larvae hatch. They position themselves near tiny cracks or seepage spots, where they can retreat to if conditions become too cold or dry.

Why do they glow?

The light is produced by a chemical reaction between certain body fluids and oxygen.

What do they eat?

Glow worms eat tiny insects catching them via mucus threads that hang down and act like fishing lines. When an insect is caught on a fishing line, the glow worm reels in its catch with its mouth then attaches the insect to the mucus tube to prevent escape.

When is the best time of year to see the glow worms?

The best time to see the glow worms is from December to February.

Things to remember when visiting the glow worms

In order to ensure a rewarding experience (that won’t disturb the glow worms and other local residents please:

  • Be respectful to the local residents, only park at the top end of William Street
  • Visit the glen in small groups as loud noisy groups may cause the glow worms to retreat into their crevices
  • Hold your torches down on the approach to the viewing platform then switch them off – if the glowworms sense the lights they will ‘switch’ off, as they will think it is daytime
  • Do not touch the glowworms as they are sensitive to touch and will retreat into their crevices
  • Avoid wearing insect repellant or smoking