We continued our little holiday visiting Jenolan Caves which is a good 3-hour drive from Sydney (traffic included). Here’s how the caves are described by Wiki:
Jenolan Caves are caves in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia; 175 kilometres west of Sydney. They are the most visited of several similar groups in the limestone of the country, and the most ancient discovered open caves in the world. They include numerous Silurian marine fossils and the calcite formations, sometimes pure white, are noted for their beauty. The cave network is very large, with over 40 km of multi-level passages, and the complex is still undergoing active exploration. The caves are a popular tourist destination, with several kilometres of the caves rendered accessible to paying visitors and well lit.
And in case you need some coordinates, I have them right here via Google Maps.
The Drive Up
The drive out of Sydney and particularly in Jenolan Caves Road was relaxing and scenic, as these pictures would suggest.
The only thing I found distressing was the final 10-minute leg of the journey; the road is incredibly narrow and winds around the edges of the mountain. There were so many warnings of twists and crazy 180 degree turns that it was really making me feel queasy (I am not good with heights). The road also appears to only fit 1 vehicle going one way at first glance…until you encounter another vehicle coming straight for you!
It’s no Yungas Road, but it’s not like you will ever see me up at Yungas either.
Being the long weekend, I expected the caves to be super-busy and crowded, but I was pleasantly surprised that the number of people was modest (and certainly not an unmanageable crowd). This made the tour all the more pleasant and the sunny 24 degrees helped.
The caves itself however, was a cool 15 degrees all year round. Here are some snaps inside the cave.
Snaps taken are from the Lucas Cave which is one of many caves they have up there. And just by looking at the internet, it looks like there are many other caves up there worth exploring, e.g. we missed the underground river cave.
The Surrounding Area
After the 2-hour cave trip, we were once again welcomed by the gorgeous spring day and stream of water running out of the cave system. Here’s an assortment of snaps around the area.
Of note: The water produced within the caves is so clear that it is literally used as drinking water.
Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to do proper walks (you really do need one full day to do it all up there).
One final word of warning: To extend that last point, you need to be reasonably fit to be walking up and down the mountainous paths, particularly if you’re up for one of the walking tracks. I did see a few people run out of breath while walking around.
About this post
This has been my first trip in 10 years and a lot of things have changed; the new roads, new structures around the Blue Mountains township etc. There was even a wind farm along the way. It’s such a pity that it is a 3-hour drive from Sydney or else I would have loved to stay around the caves and the countryside.
Be prepared to stay a while, if you do visit the area.