A three-hour drive from either Sydney or Canberra, Jenolan Caves is one of the highlights of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, a spectacular labyrinth of stalactite-lined limestone chasms carved by underground rivers. Nine of the 300 caves are open for public viewing, at a constant 15 degrees, even when it’s snowing outside.
There are many tours to choose from. The Lucas Cave is one of the most famous. It features the spectacular the limestone formation of the Broken Column as well as the Cathedral, a 54 metre high chamber often used for concerts and performances.
Named after a story from the bible, the Temple of Baal Cave is also renowned for its spectacular features. Entry is via the Binoomea Cut, a man-made tunnel, followed by a walk down the Dragon’s Throat via a dramatic winding staircase. There are two massive chambers, one 42 metres high, filled with amazing formations including the nine metre Angel's Wing, one of the world’s largest of its kind.
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.
Legends, Mysteries and Ghosts is an after-dark tour. With just a lamp to light your way you’ll descend into the pitch-dark caves and hear a few tales along the way. Historical fact is woven with strange stories about unexplained phenomena, sometimes based on your guide’s personal experience.
Grand, historic and full of character, the nearby Jenolan Caves House is a century-old hotel and one of the icons of the Blue Mountains, built in the spacious, gracious Federation style. Décor throughout is opulent and refined, reminiscent of the early Edwardian era. Book one of the cosy hotel rooms or a self-contained cottage, ideal for a family getaway.