Seeking Out The Past


There is something beautifully eerie about the Old Helensburgh Station when you first walk up to it. Nestled in amongst the overgrown shrubs and overhanging trees, the muddy pathway leads you up to the train lines of the Old Helensburgh Station – a little reminder of yesteryears.

Most of the original structure still stands today, the sign, the stone platform and also, you guessed it, the tunnel. But most of the original structure have been removed, for example, the steel tracks. Which has been replaced since.

The Old Helensburgh Station is just one of a few reminders and relics of how life was back in ‘Old Sydney’ and if anything, should always be respected when visiting the site.


train map
Google Map: Central Station to Old Helensburgh Tunnel


Getting to Old Helensburgh Station is very easy (if we’re talking about getting there by public transport). All you have to do is jump on the southern line train heading to Kiama from Central Station on platform 25. Although the train journey consists of five stations from Central Station to Helensburgh, it will roughly take about 55 minutes (on the South Coast Line – Kiama) or 1hr 7min (on the T4 Eastern Suburbs and Illawarra Line – Wollongong)  to get there on the train and with an added 3-minute walk from Helensburgh Station to the Old Helensburgh Station. But all in all,  it is a good trip to sit back, relax and enjoy the journey.


Things To Remember 

  1. Bring a touch – If you want to head into the tunnel itself, make sure you bring a good touch with you. Your phone touch will not do, trust me, I tried and failed. It is very very dark in there.
  2. Wear boots and bring another pair of shoes with you (enclosed shoes)- you will also need to bring another bag with you to place your dirty boots in. The place is MUDDY. Mud and water are everywhere and you cannot escape it as much as you can try. So I highly recommend bringing boots along for the journey. That way you can freely wander without worrying about destroying your shoes or getting mud or water on them.
  3. Wear Jeans or Long pants – now, I don’t know this but as I was walking into the tunnel, I heard a couple of young people freak out about leeches and saying that they could feel the leeches on them. So wearing jeans might not prevent them 100% but it’s a preventative nevertheless.
  4. Bring another set of Jeans or Pants – like I said, it’s muddy and if you fall at least you have a spare to change into.
  5. Cameras – this spot is great for photography and make sure all your cameras have a full battery. Make sure that you also have patience with the other people who are also there to take the same photograph as you. strike up a conversation with them and see what awesome photographs you can both take.
  6. Mobile Phone – Make sure you have this with you at all times. This place is creepy and slightly risky. So if you do injure yourself, you can then make the necessary call to get help.
  7. First Aid and Space Blanket – I know that this might seem a little ridiculous seeing that this place is only a three-minute walk away from the train station but the tunnel itself is muddy, slippery, wet and dark a perfect mixture for an accident. The space blanket is simply there for you to be able to change into your other pants if you happen to slip and fall on your ass.
  8. Backpack – so you don’t have to carry it basically… and have your hands free.
  9. Weather – I urge you to look at the weather forecast and make sure you that when you do head out to this tunnel, it’s on a clear sunny day. or simply a clear day. Becasue when it rain, the tunnel is known to flood.
  10. Tell someone where you are going – just in case you don’t return home (on time or ever)
  11. ENJOY – the place is awesome, so make sure you take the time to really take everything in, photograph everything that you can and simply enjoy the old parts of Sydney Southern region. You never really know when it all might disappear.


So, with that, I hope you enjoy your travels and exploration of the Old Helensburgh Tunnel.


tunnel 5

Until next time … Stay awesome.


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