Jenolan Caves, Blue Mountains Guide and review



Welcome to the world's oldest discovered open caves... Jenolan Caves


During our self drive adventure in Sydney, we decided to make a stop at Jenolan Caves. Billed as the world's oldest discovered open caves, it is a must do day trip if you are residing in Blue Mountains for the holiday.

Directions 
The ride from our stay at Fairmont Resort Blue Mountain to Jenolan Caves took us about 1 hr 30 mins. The ride itself is not long , but the winding road during the 20 mins descent to Jenolan Caves can be challenging. The roads on the last stretch was narrow even though it was a two way drive. If you head there early in the day, it will be less crowded and an easy drive down. For direction on the google map, key in Jenolan Caves house as your destination. If you are driving from Sydney , it will take about 3 hours to reach. If Self drive sounds daunting, you can also book a tour from Sydney that covers Blue Mountain and Jenolan Caves.


Book your Jenolan Caves tour from Klook here

Book your hotel for Farimoun Resort Blue Mountain here

Entrance to Jenolan

You know you have reached the caves when you have to drive through a mountain passage. After the passage, Jenolan Caves House will be in sight. There are ample free parking towards the end of Jenolan Caves House. 
Jenolan Caves House

The Jenolan  Caves House is a marvel in itself. A heritage listed hotel, it was build in stages between 1879 and 1926. From afar it resembles a house straight out from Lord of the Rings Middle Kingdom.
Middle Kingdom

The Caves


There are 10 show caves to explore at Jenolan Caves (there are plenty more, but they are not open to public) At any given day, a visit to 2 caves would be possible. 3 if you visit really early. Regardless , it would be best to book your caves visit prior to the trip as there are limited tickets for each tour. Most tours are guided in Jenolan Caves

Here is a quick guide to the caves tour available

Lucas Cave -  Challenging , 1.5 hours
Imperial Cave - Easy , 1 hour
Chifley Cave - Average,1.5 hours , minimum age 10
River Cave - Challenging , 2 hours, minimum age 10
Orient Cave- Average, 1.5 hours
Ribbon Cave - Average , 1.5 hours
Temple of Baal Cave - Average, 1.5 hours, ,minimum age 6
Diamond Cave - Average, 1.5 hours

There are also specialty tours such as off the track tour and Legends- Mysteries-Ghosts tour!
Wtih plenty of tours to choose from, we decided on a Easy cave tour ( Imperial cave) followed by a more challenging tour (Lucas Cave) for the day.  These tours are child friendly an has no minimum age.

Lucas Tour


To kickoff the tour, we had to gather at The Grand Arch.

Our first stop was Imperial Cave, bulled as the easiest cave tour, it follows an ancient river passage that still exist today. There are minimum steps for this cave and is ideal for less mobile or elderly visitors.

Thankfully, we do not need to descent into the caves like how the past tourists used to visit decades ago.
Getting down from the early entrace.

If you look hard enough, you might spot fossils. A Tasmanian Devil bones are on display.

The most interesting part of the caves will be the different formation you see along the way. One of the more outstanding feature is this huge cave shawl we saw.
Cave Shawl

There is also the Crystal Cities which looks like an ancient fortress
Crystal Cities
We even spotted markings on the caves that was dated decades back.

Bush Walks


In between the caves, we opt for a bush walk at Jenolan Caves.

There are 5 different paths to explore and each takes about 45min  to several days to walk . The longest would be the Six Foot Track that will take several days to walk with campsites in between!

Carlotta Arch Walk
Carlotta Track
We decided to take it easy and explore the Carlotta Arch Walk that took us about 45 minutes.


After a track up the mountains, we have a view of Jenolan Caves House from away. It does look like a page off a fairytale book.
Jenolan Caves House
Soon we reached the top of the path...


We were greeted by the sight of this incredible arch - Carlotta Arch

Lucas Cave

Our next cave would Lucas Cave. Lucas Cave is the most visited cave in Jenolan. If you have only one cave to visit, this would be the most popular choice,
Spot the cave man
Compared to Imperial cave, it is quite a hike especially in the beginning to the main chambers as you have to climb 252 steps to get in the famed Cathedral Chamber!

After 10 minutes, we are still walking...


Along the way, there were interesting formation for you to see.

After about 15 minutes, we reached Lucas Cave highest chamber- The Cathedral (54 metres tall)

The chamber is reputed to have the best acoustics in any outdoor space.
How high can you go?
It is often use as a wedding venue and even as a musical concert and theater venue.


When exploring caves, it is best not to touch any of the rocks formation else you may destroy it . At Lucas Cave, there is actually a rock in place for you to have a feel.

Another interesting formation in Lucas Cave is 'The Broken Column'
The Broken Column

Towards the end of the tour, you would have to walk above a river. Be careful when taking photos there, we had heard of tales that many cameras / phones were lost to the river there.

Unlike the show caves in Perth, the caves in Jenolan are lighted by natural light instead of showy luminous light to showcase the caves in the natural environment. There is a segment at the end of Lucas cave that show both side by side.

Which do you prefer?


Walking through Lucas Cave can be tiring with all that steps. If you have kids younger than 4 , it may be challenging to carry them throughout the tour.
Let me rest

Dining

In between caves tours and bush walks, you could stop be the Caves Cafe at Jenolan Caves house to have a cuppa or lunch while admiring the colourful parrots there.

Would we recommend a visit to Jenolan Caves?

The answer will be a resounding YES. A nature tour would beat any man made attractions any day!

Book your Jenolan Caves tour from Klook here


Disclosure
The post contains affiliated links. If you made a purchase through the links, you won't pay a penny more, but we will get a small commission, which helps keep the lights on. Do support us if you like this review. This review was done on our own expenses.


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