One of Australia’s oldest and most impressive cave systems, Jenolan Caves are a highlight of any visit to the Blue Mountains. The caves serve up some spectacular scenery, with dramatic stalactites and stalagmites, underground rivers, and unusual limestone and crystal formations.
The only way to explore the caves is on a guided tour, and there are more than 10 different show caves to discover. Each cave has its own unique selling point—Lucas and Imperial are the largest and most accessible, Chifley Cave is riddled with secret chambers, and the Orient and Temple of Baal caves have stunning rock formations. There’s also River Cave, set around a subterranean river, and the Ribbon Cave, with its unusual crystal formations.
Various combination tickets and tours are available. Day tours of Jenolan Caves from Sydney often include a visit to the Blue Mountains, stopping at regional attractions, such as the Three Sisters rock formation and Jamison Valley, the mountain villages of Leura and Wentworth, or Featherdale Wildlife Park.
Things to Know Before You Go
There is a minimum age of 6 or 10 years for some cave tours, which are graded according to their difficulty level.
Temperatures in the cave average 60°F (16°C) year-round, so bring warm clothing. Sturdy, enclosed shoes and comfortable clothing are also essential.
Most caves are not wheelchair accessible, but visits to Orient Cave can be arranged with prior notice. For those with reduced mobility, Imperial Cave is the most easily accessible.
The Jenolan Caves complex has a number of hotels, restaurants, cafés, and on-site facilities for visitors.
How to Get There
Most travelers opt to visit Jenolan Caves as part of a Blue Mountains tour. There is no public transport to the caves, but trains run from Sydney to Katoomba, from where coach tours operate to the caves. There is plenty of free parking on-site.
When to Get There
The caves are open daily year-round. The busiest time to visit is during the summer months of January and February, when advance booking is essential.
Adventure Activities at Jenolan Caves
Jenolan Caves’ striking topography affords adventurous travelers plenty of opportunities to explore. Visit rarely seen caves on an “off the track” tour; take a thrilling night excursion; or strap on a headlamp and helmet, and squeeze, scramble, and crawl through the “Plughole.” Hikers can also enjoy a number of bushwalks around the caves, with popular choices, including Carlotta Arch Walk, Jenolan River Walk, and McKeown's Valley Track.