Jenolan Caves – Magical Experience Underground

Jenolan caves are world’s oldest UNESCO heritage listed caves set in Blue Mountains National park (New South Wales) and are the largest and renowned caves in Australia. This ancient outstanding cave system is sure to give an underground magical experience to anyone who visits.

These enormous caves are made of limestone caverns, and scientists confirmed the age of the clay from the caves to be circa 340 million years. Hence making the cave complex the oldest identified and dated open cave system in the world!

For tens and thousands of years, Jenolan area holds significance spiritual, religious and cultural connection to Gundungurra indigenous people of Australia.

Jenolan, with its caves complexes, underground water and other formations, is a type of landform called “Karst”. Karst landforms are made when the limestone rock is quickly dissolved in bodies of fresh waters characteristically found in limestone regions.

Karst landforms are a labyrinthine terrain, integrating the composite elements of air, water and minerals, and supporting diverse biological components. They include several Silurian marines fossils in addition to the enchanting pure white calcite formations. These are noted amongst many of their exotic beauty.

The most visited cave is the Lucas cave which also has a glimpse of the underground Jenolan river. The Cathedral Chamber, part of the “Lucas Cave” is famed for its unique acoustic qualities. Underground performances take place in this impressive chamber. The sound is superb to listen to during musical concerts. This most photographed cave is often used as a venue for  memorable Jenolan caves weddings.

If you’re in search of adventurous thrills through the winding, ancient multi-level passageways, at times squeeze and crawl through narrow chambers with only your headlamp to light your way, Adventure caving is the best choice. It is all about leaving your comforts of usual track and lights and with the help of an experienced guide reach out to the depths of the dark caverns.

Another mentionable fascinating tour is ‘Off the track tour’, this unique tour has rarely seen caves and has more adventure and fun in it than the rest.

Jenolan caves has 8 visitor show caves open to the public every day, with marvelous LED lighting, underground river systems and cave formations, such as impressive stalactites and stalagmites. The complexity of the caves is still being explored. Currently, Jenolan caves are estimated to be 40km multi-level passages that collectively have over 300 different entrances. Among these, only 3km are open to the public as show caves, Temple of Baal (365m) being the shortest; River cave (1271m) being the longest; and Lucas (54m) being the tallest of the show caves.

When you come out to explore the surface keep your eye out for some of the unique native wildlife, including kangaroos and wallabies. If you are lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the elusive platypus.

If time isn’t an issue, there are a lot of other things to do in and around Jenolan caves. We recommend that you stay at least a night so that you can explore a few of the towns, do at least one of the six scenic bushwalks, enjoy self-guided tour of Aboriginal culture & history, marvel at the wildlife and conveniently dine at some of the restaurants to fully absorb all of what Jenolan could offer.

Book now to get the best out of Jenolan caves, where you’ll only get the top handpicked tours recommended by us.

  • Jenolan caves are estimated to be 40km multi-level passages that collectively have over 300 different entrances!
  • Jenolan caves are world’s oldest UNESCO heritage listed caves set in Blue Mountains National park and are the largest and renowned caves in Australia!
  • Jenolan caves have underground river systems, cave formations and enchanting calcite formation noted for their exotic beauty
  • Jenolan caves, the ancient outstanding cave system is sure to give an underground magical experience to anyone who visits!
  • These enormous Jenolan caves are made of limestone caverns, and scientists confirmed the age of the clay from the caves to be circa 340 million years!
  • Out of the 40km caves in Jenolan, only 3km are open to the public as show caves, Temple of Baal (365m) being the shortest; River cave (1271m) being the longest; and Lucas (54m) being the tallest of the show caves!
  • If you're in search of adventurous thrills through the winding, ancient multi-level passageways, at times squeeze and crawl through narrow chambers with only your headlamp to light your way, Adventure Caving is the best choice
  • The most visited cave in Jenolan is the Lucas cave often used as wedding venue with the glimpse of the underground Jenolan river. The Cathedral Chamber of "Lucas Cave" is famed for its unique acoustic qualities and impressive theatrical performances!
  • Jenolan cave complex is the oldest identified and dated open cave system in the world!
  • Another mentionable fascinating tour in Jenolan caves is ‘Off the track tour’, this unique tour has rarely seen caves and has more adventure and fun in it than the rest!

Category

Caves

Transport from Sydney CBD

Jenolan caves are located on the west of Blue Mountains National park, which is around 175km east of Sydney CBD. It takes around 2 ½ to 3hrs to get there by car.

Follow the signs to the Blue Mountains and Katoomba. Pass Katoomba, Jenolan caves road will take you through the tiny village of Hampton and finally to Jenolan Caves.

Since Jenolan Caves is found at the bottom of a steep-sided valley, there are restrictions on some roads to allow large coaches to arrive during midday. Always check updates on road conditions and detour before setting off for Jenolan caves.

Buses and coaches are available from Sydney CBD. Check Transport for NSW for further details.

Planning to drive? You can instantly rent a car suited to your personal needs filtered by price, availability, time and pickup/dropoff locations, by major car service providers.

Car Park 

Free car parking (limited during the weekend) and a restricted number of disabled parking are available.

       

Address  

Jenolan, 4655 Jenolan Caves Rd, Jenolan NSW 2790

       

Phone no

1300 76 33 11 or (02) 6359 3911

      

Website    

www.jenolancaves.org.au

Opening Times

Jenolan caves tours are every day of the year, including Christmas Day. Ticketing office opens at 9am and last show cave tour starts at 5pm. The Night tour is at 8pm. Booking ahead is highly recommended. Click here to see their ever-changing Jenolan caves timetable offering a wide variety of tours and activities.

       

Age Group

This activity is great for everybody, and different tours are aimed at different age groups, so there is something for everyone.

       

Activities

There is much to do in Jenolan caves, apart from the spectacular show caves, adventure tours and night tours, there is also Legends, Mysteries and Ghost tour for adults and older kids. The place is made lively through various activities from Yulefest (Christmas in July) to performances, weddings, functions and corporate events.

Adventure cave experiences are so rigorous and challenging. To do full day Mammoth cave expedition, you need to have completed Plughole or Aladdin adventure.

 

Visit Duration & Best time to visit

The tours run on a strict timetable. Different experiences take a different amount of time; simple show cave tour takes an hour whereas Mammoth cave expedition is a full day tour.

Best time to visit is all three seasons except winter. Unless you are heading to the Blue Mountains for a snow activity, you don’t want to go through the hassle of taking precautions for snowy conditions or even an inclement weather on the way up. It makes a difference to visit Jenolan on a bright sunny day to a gloomy winter day.  Remember, Jenolan caves temperature is cooler than outside temperature.

Food & Drinks

There are 3 places to enjoy a meal or a light snack, Chisholm’s restaurant, Jeremiahs bar and Caves café.

       

Services & Retail

If you want to bring your own food, there are plenty of places around the reserve to set up a picnic. Make sure you use the toilet before the tour as there are no toilet facilities inside the caves. Prams or strollers are not allowed in any of the caves at Jenolan.

Nearby Sites

Unfortunately, there aren’t any nearby places both within walking distance and within a short driving distance. But little away are Abercrombie house in Bathurst, Three sisters in Katoomba, Hartley historic Village, a Scenic world in Blue Mountain (chairlift) etc.    

Things to note and safety tips

  • Tour covers only part of the cave, so stay close to your tour group to avoid getting end up in an unstable limestone area
  • Rock crystals are delicate; they can be damaged by human touch
  • Eating, drinking other than water and smoking isntt permitted inside the caves
  • Cameras are allowed, but camera tripod or a selfie stick aren’t allowed in any caves
  • Pets aren’t allowed in the caves
  • Service stations are not available to refill your fuel tank up in the mountain
  • There is no refund for no show, if you require a change before the tour, then another tour can be selected
  • Wear comfortable active wear and non-slip shoes especially for adventure tour
  • Not suitable for someone with limited mobility or someone who can’t climb many flights of stairs
  • Mobile phone signals  might not be great up in the mountains, it is advisable to download googlemaps offline

       

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