Jenolan Caves

Jenolan Caves in the Blue Mountains is a significant and historic limestone cave system, offering tours and accommodation options for visitors to explore and enjoy.

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Jandolan Caves offer a unique experience for visitors with its geological formations and underground rivers. Be sure to read this guide before exploring this natural wonder that has been formed over millions of years.

What to expect from Jenolan Caverns

Exploring the limestone caves in the southern Blue Mountains provides a unique and fascinating experience. The caves offer a vast and ancient landscape with stalactite-filled chambers, crystal basins, underground rivers, limestone formations, and cathedral-like caves. This cave system is considered the oldest open cave system in the world.

Visitors must book a guided tour at least two weeks in advance to enter the caves. Staying onsite is recommended for a better experience. For those who prefer to stay above ground, there are walking tracks in the surrounding valley, including the Carlotta Arch Walk, McKeown’s Valley Track, Six Foot Track, and Devil’s Coach House Lookdown.


The caves are incredibly old, dating back 340 million years. They formed from a coral reef that turned into limestone, eventually rising from the ocean and becoming part of a mountain range. The Jenolan cave system evolved over millions of years and various geological processes, including volcanic activity, minerals, and radioactivity.

The Blue Mountains, which formed 100 million years ago, have ancient geological features beneath them. The caves continue to evolve as water erodes the limestone, creating new subterranean spaces that will last for many more years.

The caves have been significant to the local Gundungurra people for generations, as they are believed to have special healing powers. The Gundungurra would travel great distances to bathe their sick and infirm in the waters of Binoomea, or ‘dark spaces’.

The caves, once a sacred place for the Gundungurra people, were discovered by James Whelan in 1838 and later became a tourist destination in the 1880s, drawing in hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.

Top attractions

The depth of exploration at the caves will reveal different attractions, but there are also easily accessible spaces for those who prefer not to go too deep.

There are 22 caves in the Jenolan network, with 11 of them open to the public as show caves, including Imperial, Chiefly, Lucas, Orient, Temple of Baal, Diamond, and the Pool of Cerebus.

Visitors should take the time to explore aboveground attractions and observe local wildlife in the area, including platypus, rock wallabies, echidnas, and bats. Dining options such as Chisholm's Restaurant and the Caves Café offer delicious food, and heritage accommodation is available at the historic Caves House.


There are nine different tour options available, catering to those seeking underground adventure. The Blue Mountains Tour, lasting 2.5 hours, includes activities such as abseiling, squeezing, and climbing. Participants should be at least 10 years old with average fitness levels, and no prior experience is required.

The Imperial tour is the easiest option, suitable for children ages four and up. It follows a riverbed to see 'Crystal Cities' and the beautiful blue waters of the underground river.

A tour for children ages 5 to 12 allows budding fossil enthusiasts to explore the depths during school vacations.


Caves House Hotel

Constructed in 1897 as a getaway in the wilderness, this historic hotel has been a popular destination for guests seeking relaxation in the mountain air and exploring the underground area.

Caves House is an elegant retreat with a Federation, Arts and Crafts architectural style, furnished in a way that respects its original aesthetic.

Guests can dine at Chisholm’s Restaurant and drink at Jeremiah's Bar on-site. On Saturday evenings, guests can visit the caves at night, but reservations are required.

Binda Bush Cabins

These two-bedroom homes have been renovated and are ideal for families visiting Jenolan Caves.

blue mountains tour

Bind Bush Cabins provide guests with a self-contained experience in an eucalypt forest, allowing them to enjoy their natural surroundings and interact with local wildlife.

The road between the cabins and caves is closed, so visitors can access the Jenolan Caves car park for their tour by taking a 50-minute drive through beautiful high-country scenery.


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