The Newnes Plateau and South Wolgan area is riddled with fire trails, and the first time you head out there it is easy to get lost. The directions below should make for easier navigation to the various canyon trackheads in the area. All distances are in kilometres.

Most canyon trackheads are accessed from fire trails off the Glowworm Tunnel Road. There are two main ways of getting to the Glowworm Tunnel Road.

The first route - via Old Bells Line of Road is best if you are coming from the east - from Sydney, or the main part of the Blue Mountains. This runs between the currently closed Zig Zag railway at Clarence, and the Glowworm Tunnel Rd. This route used to deteriorate a lot after rain, but for the past 10 years or so has been kept fairly well maintained for mining and logging trucks.

The second route is from Lithgow, via State Mine Gully Rd, which becomes the Glowworm Tunnel Rd. This route makes more sense if you are already at Lithgow, or are coming from west of the Blue Mountains.

These routes both lead to the junction of the Glowworm Tunnel Rd with the Old Bells Line of Road from Clarence/Zig Zag - a place I’m going to refer to as Paddys Creek Corner for brevity (look at the map to see why). This can be found at MGA398984 (Lithgow). Most of the remaining directions below start from there.

The routes listed below are generally suitable for 2wd cars with plenty of clearance. Low clearance vehicles may have difficulty on some roads if they have not been graded recently. Low clearance vehicles will likely have trouble accessing the Natural Bridge and Deep Pass at all times. Note that the routes are all dirt roads, and need regular grading. The fire trails can deteriorate significantly between gradings, and may become difficult or even impassable for certain vehicles. There are a couple of sections of clay on the main Glowworm Tunnel Rd which can be difficult for all vehicles after heavy rain and some traffic.

The Glowworm Tunnel Road past Bungleboori Picnic Area is in below average condition (08 Jan 2017) to the Deep Pass turnoff, and also in fairly poor condition beyond there.

Zig Zag to Paddys Creek Corner via Old Bells Line of Road

0.0Turn north off Bells Line of Road at Zig Zag railway turnoff. This is not signposted, as the Zig Zag Railway is currently closed. The turnoff is opposite the junction of Bells Line of Road and Petra Ave at Clarence.
0.1Turn right, signposted Newnes Forest Rd, following the railway tracks
0.5Turn left across the tracks
0.6Keep right at a Y-intersection to avoid entering the sawmill
4.8Turn left at a sharp bend - the Dumbano Fire Trail (currently signposted as Wollangambe Trail) turns off to the right.
8.8You reach Paddys Creek Corner, at a T-junction with the Glowworm Tunnel Rd.

Zig Zag to Dumbano Fire Trail via Old Bells Line of Road

This route is generally not suitable for 2wd vehicles past the 6km mark, and possibly earlier. This road is useful for accessing the upper reaches of Dumbano and Yarramun Creeks, as well as parts of the upper Wollangambe River.

0.0Turn north off Bells Line of Road at Zig Zag railway turnoff. This is not signposted, as the Zig Zag Railway is currently closed. The turnoff is opposite the junction of Bells Line of Road and Petra Ave at Clarence.
0.1Turn right, signposted Newnes Forest Rd, following the railway tracks
0.5Turn left across the tracks
0.6Keep right at a Y-intersection to avoid entering the sawmill
4.8Turn right at a sharp bend on to the Dumbano Fire Trail (currently signposted as Wollangambe Trail) - Old Bells Line of Road heads left
6.0Turn left at a clearing
7.2Turn right as the main trail goes straight ahead
11.1Keep left at a Y-intersection
14.1You reach a locked gate at the end of the trail

Lithgow to Paddys Creek Corner

0.0Start at the intersection of Main St and Bridge St in Lithgow, and head north to cross the bridge over the railway tracks
0.1Turn right on to Inch St immediately after you cross the bridge over the railway tracks
1.3Turn left into Atkinson St, as Inch St goes around a right hand bend
2.0Turn right on to State Mine Gully Rd, which immediately crosses a level crossing and a bridge. It then becomes a dirt road as it heads steeply up a hill, and becomes the Glowworm Tunnel Rd at the top of the hill
8.3You reach Paddys Creek Corner, at the junction with Old Bells Line of Road (on your right)

Paddys Creek Corner to Waratah Ridge car park (Hole-in-the-Wall car park)

0.0Continue north on Glowworm Tunnel Rd
2.3The Glowworm Tunnel Rd swings to the right at the old Bungleboori Picnic area - avoid a turnoff to the left on to the Blackfellows Hand Trail
5.4Turn right at Waratah Ridge Rd (currently signposted)
9.0Keep left on Waratah Ridge Rd at the intersection with Eastern Boundary Rd (currently signposted)
9.4Turn right, still on Waratah Ridge Rd, at Two Trees Rd intersection (signposted)
11.4Keep right at a Y intersection
12.4Keep straight ahead at a 3-way intersection
13.0You reach the Waratah Ridge car park at the locked gate

Paddys Creek Corner to Galah Mountain car park (Rocky Creek car park)

0.0Continue north on Glowworm Tunnel Rd
2.3The Glowworm Tunnel Rd swings to the right at the old Bungleboori Picnic area - avoid a turnoff to the left on to the Blackfellows Hand Trail
5.4Keep straight ahead at Waratah Ridge Rd (signposted)
15.7Turn right at Galah Mountain Rd (signposted to Rocky Creek)
16.0Pass Barcoo Swamp camping area on your right
16.1Veer left at a Y intersection
20.8Turn right at a locked gate. This is the trackhead for a number of canyons, including Surefire and Heart Attack
21.1Pass a locked gate on your left. This is the trackhead for a number of canyons, including Breakfast Creek, Closet and Galah
22.2Reach the Galah Mountain car park

Paddys Creek Corner to Old Coach Road car park

0.0Continue north on Glowworm Tunnel Rd
2.3The Glowworm Tunnel Rd swings to the right at the old Bungleboori Picnic area - avoid a turnoff to the left on to the Blackfellows Hand Trail
5.4Keep straight ahead at Waratah Ridge Rd (signposted)
15.7Keep straight ahead following signs to Glowworm Tunnel at Galah Mountain Rd (signposted)
20.2Turn right at a Y-intersection on to the Old Coach Road (signposted).
24.3Reach the Old Coach Road car park on your right.

Paddys Creek Corner to Glowworm Tunnel car park

0.0Continue north on Glowworm Tunnel Rd
2.3The Glowworm Tunnel Rd swings to the right at the old Bungleboori Picnic area - avoid a turnoff to the left on to the Blackfellows Hand Trail
5.4Keep straight ahead at Waratah Ridge Rd (signposted)
15.7Keep straight ahead following signs to Glowworm Tunnel at Galah Mountain Rd (signposted)
20.2Keep straight ahead at a Y-intersection (Old Coach Road, signposted)
26.9Reach the Glowworm Tunnel car park

Paddys Creek Corner to Deep Pass

0.0Continue north on Glowworm Tunnel Rd
2.3The Glowworm Tunnel Rd swings to the right at the old Bungleboori Picnic area - avoid a turnoff to the left on to the Blackfellows Hand Trail
5.4Pass Waratah Ridge Rd (signposted) on your right
11.7Turn right at the end of the pine plantation into Eastern Boundary Rd (signposted). This is just after the double road starts, and a large cleared area runs along side the road for the next 4km
12.3Turn left at the second intersection at a large clearing
12.8Veer right at a Y-intersection
14.9Keep straight ahead as a fire trail turns off to the right
15.4Turn right at a Y-intersection. A sign points left to Mt Cameron, right to Deep Pass.
16.3Keep straight ahead as a fire trail turns to the right. A sign points straight ahead to Deep Pass.
16.4Keep straight ahead where a road heads left
17.5Reach the Deep Pass car park

Paddys Creek Corner to Natural Bridge

0.0Continue north on Glowworm Tunnel Rd
2.3The Glowworm Tunnel Rd swings to the right at the old Bungleboori Picnic area - avoid a turnoff to the left on to the Blackfellows Hand Trail
5.4Pass Waratah Ridge Rd (signposted) on your right
11.7Turn right at the end of the pine plantation into Eastern Boundary Rd (signposted). This is just after the double road starts, and a large cleared area runs along side the road for the next 4km
12.3Turn left at the second intersection at a large clearing
12.8Veer right at a Y-intersection
14.9Keep straight ahead as a fire trail turns off to the right
15.4Turn right at a Y-intersection. A sign points left to Mt Cameron, right to Deep Pass. Note that while you can take the Mt Cameron trail at this point, it crosses Dinner Gully, a 60m descent and ascent, and it is better (particularly if you have a 2wd car) to take this detour.
16.3Keep straight ahead as a fire trail turns to the right. A sign points straight ahead to Deep Pass.
16.4Turn left on to a fire trail.
17.8Turn right as you rejoin the Mt Cameron fire trail. This is just after a steep rocky downhill, the most difficult section of the route.
18.7Pass the park boundary sign. A closed fire trail branches off to your right.
19.1Reach the Natural Bridge car park. There are a couple of steep water bars in this last section, and 2wd cars are likely to bottom out on these. You can park in a number of places before the actual car park.