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Aussie Adventures

Exploring the Historic Helensburgh Train Tunnel

We went ghost hunting at the historic Helensburgh train tunnel south of Sydney.

Located about an hour south of Sydney, on the way to Wollongong, is an Aussie historic town nestled in the thick coastal bushland of the southern coastland New South Wales.

Originally called Camp Creek, it was established as a workers camp in the 1880s to accommodate coal miners, who worked in the coal mine in the area.

Although not confirmed, the naming of Helensburgh is likely related to Scottish immigration, where they named it after a town located by The Clyde river in Scotland which is also named Helensburgh.

But it’s the old Helensburgh railway station which was covered in the earth until recent years which has everyone’s attention.

The old railway line was once serviced by steam trains and ceased use by the New South Wales rail line more than a hundred years ago.

Although it’s only one specific tunnel open for public access to explore and take photos, they are referred to as the Helensburgh Tunnels, and it refers to a group of seven disused train tunnels littered among the rugged landscape between Waterfall and Otford.

They were built in the 1800s as part of the original Illawarra Line and were abandoned around thirty years later.

Now all that remains of the station is a disused train line which enters into a dark and mysterious tunnel, which sits alongside a moss covered platform next to an old station house which is now a private residence.

It’s the perfect place to conduct a ghost hunting excursion and to admire the local glow worm community which resides at the end of the tunnel. Surrounded by a canopy of lush green foliage, the tunnel and old train station is a wonderful site to see.

The tunnel itself has been blocked off at the other side by concrete, which is where the glow worm community live. And the train tracks themselves don’t go all the way into the tunnel. And if you go unprepared you’ll be left standing in rather a lot of water, dirt and mud and lost in the dark with only the light from your phone.

Which is exactly what happened to us. We were completely unprepared wearing inappropriate footwear and the only light coming from our phones. Not exactly exploring gear, so we went as far as we could and decided to turn back.

It’s said the tunnel is haunted by a man who fell of the train as it came through the tunnel and was run over. Though it’s difficult to find any real evidence of the story and who the person was who died. So it may just be a haunting story of fiction to add to the mystery of the tunnels.

Personally ,I didn’t feel a haunting presence there, even though the tunnels are eerie and haunting in nature. With the sound of dripping water echoing strangely through the dark. And deprived of the right lighting, the shadow do cast strange illusions in the dark, making you think there is something floating around in the distance. But there was nothing there.

I’m definitely keen to go back to the tunnel, and next time I’ll be better prepared, wearing the right gear and with plenty of lighting too.

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