Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Jenolan Caves

Today we took the treacherous drive from Oberon down to the Jenolan Caves. It was definitely one of the scariest drives I’ve ever taken, especially given the fact we where in a motor home.

After getting to the bottom and speaking to staff they informed us that buses and larger vehicles can’t get down that way. It is the steepest decent in New South Wales!!

It’s definitely a quicker route but going in through Lithgow is a much easier drive.


The children spend time playing in the small creek while we wait out front for our tour to begin.


Having never experienced caves before this was truly one magical day for us. The first part of the experience is entering the Grand Archway, either on foot or via car, depending on what direction you enter the cave area from.


This in itself is awe inspiring and we haven’t even entered a cave as yet.

Photo’s never really do any place justice, it’s simply not the same as seeing it yourself and Jenolan Caves is definitely one such place.


The blue tinged river out the front of the Grand Archway is stunning.


We chose the Imperial Cave tour, perfect for families and first time cave explorers.

At every turn your mouth is agape in wonder at the enormity of the formations inside.  Stalactites, millions of years old, grow in the most amazing fashion.


It’s simply inconceivable to wonder about how long it takes for formations like these to grow. Striving to make that join, to become one.


Some areas of the pathway meander through overhanging rock and limestone. Fairy Princess is standing full height, so us big people definitely needed to bend to get through here.


They call this the crystal city, our guide likens it to the Great Wall of China. These are created when water evaporates and leaves a track of crystals over hundreds of thousands years.


A stunning example of stalagmites and stalactites joining to become one. Such an amazingly slow process, water droplet by water droplet over hundreds of thousands and even millions of years, drip drip dripping adding to the crystal growth with each drop.


Here, approximately 40 metres underground, we are met with the gorgeous blue tinged river.


Lighting is positioned in targeted places for maximum impact.


At each turn along the path we are oohing and aahing along with the other 20 people that had joined us on the tour.


It’s not hard to see why this amazing formation is fenced off. We are advised at the commencement of the tour that even the slightest touch can affect the crystals.


Outside we stop for a brief snack, here Little Surfer Dude, found himself a friend.  Well actually a little thief that was more interested in stealing his chips than being his friend!


Today was definitely the day for special treats for us. We were privileged to get a rare glimpse of this female Lyrebird, bathing in the creek that the kids played in earlier. Very special indeed!!


Looking back at Jenolan Caves House, the historical home and dining hall with various accommodation options.

Truly a magical day.

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Stacie said...

The pictures make it look like a gorgeous place. It's so interesting how over time the stalagmites build. Looks like it was an amazing tour.

KJ@letsgoflyakite said...

I am enjoying your blue mountain posts immensely. My gran spent her last years in lithgow so my husband travelled extensively throughout the area. When my girls are older, I hope to take them.

Kez said...

Aren't the caves incredible? You're making me want to take Billy there!

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