The Jenolan Caves

Question:  What do you do when it’s wet and miserable?

Answer:  Head underground.

Yes, I went underground!

And there was only two places where I felt closed in and (ever so slightly) panicked, but this was only due to others walking slowly and stopping in areas that were smaller spaces.

The Famous Minaret

The Famous Minaret

Our original plan was to leave Katoomba today and take a short detour via Oberon to ultimately visit the Jenolan Caves before once again heading east and back towards the coast.

But with the rain clouds literally sitting on the mountain, it seems silly to pack up – in the rain, drive down the road and further up the mountain – in the rain, and finally set up again – in the rain.  So we stayed put, leaving the caravan where it was and drove to the Jenolan Caves to enjoy a day of touring through the oldest known limestone caves in the world.  (Did you notice I said “a day of touring”, not “a day tour”?)

The first tour we went on was the Lucas Cave, 90 minutes and over 900 steps.  Thankfully not 900 all at once in an upward direction.

The second tour we did was the River Cave, two hours and 1,298 steps, but again, thankfully, not all at once and at least some of them were downwards.

It was breathtaking, amazing, exhilarating, breathtaking, exciting, educational.  Did I mention breathtaking?  Actually, I think all the walking around the Blue Mountains has paid off as I didn’t struggle anywhere near as much as I thought I might have considering the number of steps.  Some were so steep you had to descend them facing the steps, much like going down a ladder.  A very steep narrow steel ladder in a small cold dark space.

I choose not to think about it or look down.  I just counted the steps one by one as our guide told us to and was very relieved when I reached the bottom.

Just like the Blue Mountains and seeing The Three Sisters, the Jenolan Caves has always been one of those places I’ve wanted to see and I’m so glad we spent the day there.  Dean was just as exhilarated as I was to have seen such amazing natural wonder and beauty.

We highly recommend a visit to the Jenolan Caves should you find yourself in the Blue Mountains.


Tomorrow morning we say goodbye to this beautiful area and head back to where salty water meets the sand and I know Dean is really looking forward to having a surf.

6 Comments

  1. So many people don’t marvel at our natural wonders….the caves are just soooo beautiful, though I must confess I did visit the day after I had my leg out of plaster so wasn’t as agile as I would have liked, but it was still a great experience…you both seem to be having such a great time…..enjoy…love…Sue

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    1. Hi Sue,

      I am so glad we’ve had this amazing opportunity and seeing such raw beauty really is the icing on the cake. I’m just glad I didn’t struggle (too much) negotiating the steps yesterday, thought my knees will be grateful for a day of rest today.

      Clare

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  2. So glad you enjoyed the caves – they are truley a spectacular sight – when I was younger I visited them several times and always marvalled at the stalagmites and stalactites formation and yes those stairs are something else!! cheers for now Denise

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