The Jenolan Caves are a highlight of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. This labyrinth of stalactite-lined limestone chasms, carved by pure underground rivers, is a three-hour drive from either Sydney or Canberra. The amazing formations make this one of the finest cave systems in the world.
Nine of the 300 caves are open for public viewing, with a temperature of a constant 15 degrees Celsius. The Lucas Cave is one of the most famous. It features the striking limestone formation of the Cathedral, an arching chamber often used for concerts. The Temple of Baal Cave is also renowned for its spectacular features.
There are many guided tours to choose from, including children’s tours, night tours and multilingual tours. Legends, Mysteries and Ghosts is an after-dark tour. Descend into the caves, with a lamp to light your way, and hear a few tales along the way.
Follow two qualified guides on the award-winning Adventure Caving Tour, going into spacious caverns and winding passageways that lead into the heart of the mountain. Overalls, helmets and headlamps are supplied for this popular tour. Or why not take the Plughole and Aladdin Tours through crystal formations?
The Off the Track tour explores dark passageways and tunnels that are not part of the regular tour circuit within the caves. Equipped with a headlamp and helmet, visitors will wind through narrow rock walls to discover secret chasms and incredible stalactites and stalagmites that few ever get to see.
The historic Jenolan Caves House is one of the icons of the Blue Mountains, built in 1897 in the spacious, gracious Federation style of the time. Stop for refreshments here, or book one of the cosy rooms or a self-contained cottage, ideal for a family getaway.
You can also enjoy the beautiful surrounds by walking the scenic Jenolan River Track, a gorgeous riverside amble through pristine wilderness. It passes by the surreal Blue Lake, a waterhole beneath the Grand Arch that is famous for its vibrant colour and resident platypus.