Don’t miss the chance to see the beautiful luminous mushrooms on Ghost Mushroom Lane deep in the forests of Glencoe. A natural phenomenon that only occurs for a few months of the year, this event is celebrated annually through free trails hosted by Forestry SA.
Take a trip into the transformed wintery forests of Mount Gambier along a magical, illuminated trail emerging in late Autumn and continuing throughout the winter. The Ghost Mushroom (Omphalotus nidiformis) is a bioluminescent fungus that emits a soft green glow at night and can grow to a spectacular 20cm wide.
The soft green glow is a result of a chemical reaction between fungal enzymes and oxygen. The Ghost Mushroom glow can be bright enough to read the words on a page!
The species is native to Australia and can often be found growing on decaying plant material, such as stumps left behind following pine tree harvest. Ghost Mushrooms are found in southwest Western Australia, Tasmania, and all down the east coast growing along streets and parklands.
Myths surround the mushrooms’ history, with reports that some Aboriginal tribes believed they were fallen stars representing evil magic, while early white settlers found that they spooked their horses.
This phenomena has even stunned scientists who are not sure exactly why the mushrooms glow, although some have proposed that the light attracts insects that spread the mushroom’s spores.
An estimated 65,000 people have visited Ghost Mushroom Lane during the last three seasons, creating significant media exposure for the Limestone Coast region.