A tour in the Jenolan Caves was a part of a day tour I booked to the Blue Mountains with Gray Line Sydney through Expedia. After visiting Scenic World in the Blue Mountains of Sydney, we traveled for more than an hour to the Jenolan Caves.
The Jenolan Caves is about two and a half hour drive if you go straight from Sydney. However, since my tour included a visit to Scenic World, we went to Scenic World first, then to Jenolan Caves via Katoomba and Hartley Historic Village. As the road to the caves is smaller than usual, there is a closure schedule for departing traffic. Please do check this out when planning for your trip. If you will join a tour, then just sit back on the coach and enjoy the view!
We arrived at the Jenolan caves at around 1 pm and our tour inside the Lucas Cave is at 2 pm. There is a bistro by the parking lot where you can eat some snacks. There is also a hotel and other accommodation in the area in case you prefer to stay overnight.
As I still have time to spare, I strolled around the area by the Blue Lake outside the caves, the color of the lake is caused by the refraction of light to limestone sediments. I bumped into our tour guide who was very much elated because he saw THE platypus in the Blue Lake. He has been talking about this platypus pretty much the whole duration of our travel from Scenic World to the Jenolan Caves.
From the Blue Lake, you can also have a good view of the Carlotta Arch. This is part of the Carlotta Arch walking track, also known as the Shaping Waters walk. From the arch, you can also get a good bird’s eye view of the Blue Lake.
At 2 pm we gathered by the entrance of the Lucas Cave and started our tour. The entrance can be a bit challenging due to it being tight and steep, but after a while there is much more room. I still had to watch my steps though as the floor was wet and slippery.
The Jenolan Caves is about 340 million years old, making it the oldest open-cave system in the world. I was very surprised that there are electrical lightings inside the cave. I thought we would be carrying portable lightings on the tour (haha!). They installed the lights in a way that the bulbs cannot be seen and they will only turn the lights on when the tour group is going to that part of the cave.
One of the highlights of the Lucas cave is the Cathedral Chamber, it was a big space inside the cave where they can hold masses and recitals. There were even ladders going towards the upper part of the cave.
The Jenolan Caves tour guide has a lot of interesting and funny stories about the caves, how they were used and accessed in the olden times and how it became the way it is today. If you are claustrophobic, it might not be a good idea to go inside the caves. I was worried of what could happen if an earthquake strikes, but the guide assured us that we are actually safer inside the caves if that happened.
Aside from viewing the caves, there are other activities you can do around the Jenolan caves especially if you stay overnight. You can participate in bushwalks or adventure caving, or visit other sites around Jenolan. You can check out the Jenolan Caves website for more information.
A surprise from our tour guide
After our cave tour, our tour guide from Gray Line had a special surprise for us. He took us to a clearing to feed wild kangaroos! They are wild in the sense that there are no specific people taking care of them, but they are also trained in a way that when they see people come, they approach them knowing they will get food! This is not part of the tour, by the way, but an extra effort from our guide. You can watch the video below.