Jenolan Caves: Six Family-friendly Highlights
The Jenolan Caves are home to some of the most spectacular displays of natural rock formation in the world and the great news is they’re right here in our very own backyard!
Where are the Caves?
Around 3 hours drive outside of Sydney in the Blue Mountains, you’ll be able to spend a day (or two) with the family exploring the caves and local surroundings. Unfortunately due to fire, flood, landslides and COVID-19, the Jenolan Caves have been closed for around a year, however, they’ve recently reopened to the public. To get you prepared for a great day out, we’ve pulled together a comprehensive guide on six family-friendly highlights when visiting the famous caves.
1. Explore the Limestone Caves
Renowned for the stunning stalactite limestone canopy that drips from the ceiling, this is geology and history that needs to be seen to be believed. A common question people ask when considering a trip to the caves is: can you visit Jenolan Caves without a tour? To really immerse yourself in the experience and understand how these caves have developed over time, you’ll need to book a tour to gain entry to the caves.
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2. Go on a Jenolan Caves Tour
To learn more about the Aboriginal history of the area and to understand how these rock formations first came into existence some 340 million years ago (phwoar!) we recommend heading off on one of the fascinating Jenolan Caves tours. During the week you can book in for a guided or self-guided tour and on the weekends you’ll need to package your tour with an accommodation or dining option due to limited numbers.
So, how long are the tours? Tours generally take around 1-2 hours to complete. Just don’t forget to take some warm clothes as the caves are a crisp 15 degrees year-round.
3. Stop off at Jenolan Caves House Cafe
In need of a little refreshment after heading deep underground? With a nod to the alpine regions of Europe, the Jenolan Caves House is the perfect spot to stop and grab a bite to eat at Chisolm’s Restaurant. A resplendent old grand dining room has been transformed into a favourite eatery for visitors to experience delicious food in a historical setting.
4. Discover the Blue Lake
Below the Grand Arch sitting still amongst the green bushland, you’ll find the majestic Blue Lake at Jenolan Caves. As welcoming as it is, unfortunately, you won’t be able to dive in for a dip as the Blue Lake is a Platypus habitat. Regardless, it is still well worth a visit just to take in the Blue Lake in all its beauty.
5. Traverse the Jenolan River Walking Track
For the adventure-seeking families, there’s no better way to experience all the wonders of the Jenolan Karst Conservation Reserve than to head off on a hike that will take you past the Blue Lake, waterfalls and bridges. The 2.6km looped Jenolan River Walking Track will take you anywhere between 45 to 90 minutes to complete and is listed as a walk suitable for most ages and fitness levels.
6. Stay over at Jenolan Caves Accommodation
With so many caves and natural wonders to explore in the area, you might find that one day just won’t cut it! Opting to stay overnight in the Blue Mountains is a great way to give yourself some more time to fit in all of the sights. Book at the Jenolan Caves House, the Mountain Lodge, or if you’re keen on getting the Jenolan Caves camping experience you can stay at the nearby Jenolan Holiday Park in Oberon.
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