Insiders’ Secrets – Craig Curran

15 February 2016

Craig Curran, Insider Secrets

Craig Curran, Insiders’ Secrets


Magical caves: My favourite caves are the ones decorated with sparkling crystal, ranging from tiny, delicate helictites to some of Jenolan’s largest features. That’s Orient, Temple of Baal and Diamond Cave. They’re stunning.

Favourite dinner date: You can enjoy a hearty dinner at the Hampton Halfway. It’s the closest pub to Jenolan Caves and was built in 1863.

Best local event: I love to visit Bathurst for the Bathurst 1000, now called the V8 Supercars Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000. I’ve even driven a coach around the Mt Panorama racing circuit.

Amazing views: You can see for miles from Kanangra Walls Lookout which overlooks Kanangra Walls and Mount Cloudmaker. It’s truly inspiring.

A cool town: I like eating at one of the eateries or pubs in Oberon, about half an hour’s drive from the caves. Among Oberon’s claims to fame is that it’s the highest town in the Blue Mountains, at 1,113 metres above sea level so it’s cold in winter.

Fine-tuning: I often head into nearby Lithgow to hear some of my caving colleagues perform in the Lithgow Musical Society. Myself, I play guitar and sing in a local band, GTK.

Out and about: There’s no better place to go for a ride on my motorbike than the routes and trails around the Blue Mountains. It’s a great way to combine cruising with sightseeing.

Eating in and eating out: I like to eat at Chisolm’s Restaurant which is upstairs in Jenolan Caves House. It was built in 1924 and is a grand dining room in the old-fashioned style. I also like the wood fired pizzas from Little Hartley’s Alchemy.

Historic towns: A favourite spot is Hartley, which was for many years the village where travellers stopped on the way to Jenolan Caves. These days people call in to Hartley to feel the ambience of the fabulous historic buildings and get a taste of how people lived in the past.

Cave man: If you love caves like I do, consider a drive to three awe-inspiring cave systems, including Jenolan which is Australia’s most extensive and spectacular. Stay at Jenolan Caves House and then head south to Wombeyan Caves and back up to Abercrombie Caves. The four-day drive is known as The Silurian Way.