Copy
View this email in your browser
What are you doing on the Queen's Birthday Long Weekend - June 8, 9 and 10?  Go online now, and book an awesome guided tour of one of Australia's most spectacular caves.  Even though we are offering between 50 to 60 tours on each of the 3 days, tours are already filling up. 

Long weekend food: In our spacious Caves Cafe, you can purchase snacks, drinks (including beer and wine) and light lunch.  Also our Chisolm's Restaurant (upstairs in Caves House hotel) will be open for buffet lunch - a relaxing alternative if you like to avoid holiday queues. Pre-bookings are not required for Chisolm's buffet lunch, but if you are the organised type, it's just as easy to book buffet lunch online.
Special Limited Offer!

Is your name Elizabeth?  If so, in honour of the birthday of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, you can save 20% on your Jenolan cave tour, on any day in June 2019 only.  
  • This offer applies to tickets purchased by Elizabeth, for Elizabeth's use only. 
  • This offer applies for ALL ticket types and ALL our cave tours.
  • Tickets must be purchased and used in June 2019.
  • If Elizabeth is an adult, she gets a 20% discount.  If Elizabeth is a child, Australian Age Pensioner or Seniors Card holder, although she already gets a reduced ticket price, she gets an additional 20% off.  
  • If Elizabeth is part of a family (2 adults and up to 3 school-aged kids), although she saves with a family ticket, she gets an additional 20% off.  
  • Elizabeth CANNOT book online or on the phone - sorry!  She must show photo ID at our Ticket Office. 

FREE - The Nettle and the Devil's Coach House Caves

It is still totally free of charge to visit our Nettle Cave and our Devils Coach House cave, and you don't need to book.  If you have an hour or so to spare at Jenolan, you can walk through these caves on your own.  There is no guided tour.  There are lots of stairs, but you can do them at your own pace. 

At Jenolan, most of our caves are 'dark' caves, but the Nettle and the Devils Coach House are 'twilight' caves, with massive chambers, some natural lighting and ecosystems that are quite different to those of the 'dark' caves. The Nettle Cave is home to the Sooty Owl, and both caves contain stromatolites - large, ancient formations made by colonies of cyanobacteria - fascinating!


To access these caves, walk right around the Blue Lake.  The path then takes you under the main road, and into the Devil's Coach House cave, and you simply keep following the path.  In the Devil's Coach House cave, you can either climb the stairs to the Nettle Cave's turnstile entrance.  Or you can wander out the far end of the Devils Coach House cave and enjoy a tranquil walk along the McKeown's Valley Track.
Chisolm's Restaurant A-la-Carte Dinner is Back!
Upstairs in Caves House hotel, Chisolm's Restaurant serves 'modern Australian' cuisine, and we have reintroduced our a-la-carte dinner menu. Enjoy delicious dishes such as Crisp skin barramundi, quinoa rice, bok choy and Tioman curry sauce or Vegetarian baked stuffed eggplant, Spanish spiced chickpeas, kale and a sweetcorn puree, followed by Pecan pie with hot butterscotch and double cream - among other taste sensations.     SEE THE DINNER MENU.

Just to clarify - The a-la-carte menu is for dinner every evening, but we still do a beautiful buffet lunch in Chisolm's on weekends and public holidays.

Chisolm's Restaurant was finished in 1926. So as you dine, you can look around at the architectural style of that period - the impressive Arts & Crafts bay windows of the Late Victorian, combined with linear, geometric Art Deco features, most notable the lofty columns and deeply recessed ceiling.
"Superior to Anything Hitherto Found"
The Commonwealth of Australia was barely 3 years old, when the winds of change blew through Jenolan Caves.  New men were in charge, and new treasures were unearthed, starting with the amazing discovery of the labyrinthine River Cave, now one of the most popular caves at Jenolan.

The Wilson Brothers, Jeremiah and Frederick, who had long dominated cave exploration, were gone, and James Corvosso Wiburd, a cave guide since the mid 1880's, was appointed caretaker or chief Guide. Voss, as he was popularly known, brought to the role a wealth of scientific knowledge, as well as a determination to continue exploring for new caves.

On the 11th of June 1903, The Bathurst Free press and Mining Journal reported that “...the new cave just discovered is a really wonderful affair”. FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED NEXT

$10.4 Million Turning Dreams to 5-Star Reality!

$10.4 Million to Turn Sweet Dreams into Reality
To promote overnight stays in regional NSW, the NSW government is funding the renovation of our heritage-listed hotel, Jenolan Caves House, with a grant of $10.4 million.  This is a dream come true for Jenolan staff, management and residents of the nearby town of Oberon!
 
Caves House was built between 1897 and 1926.  It rapidly became THE fashionable escape for Sydney society couples, honeymooners, celebrities and even royalty!  
 
The grant will mean that at last Caves House can have the features that all 21st century hotel guests consider essential. It will be fabulous and 5-star. 

HOT TIP: Anyone who loves authentic historical ambience is strongly advised to treat themselves to a night or two in Caves House now, before renovations start in early 2020.  Remember that room rates are much lower on Sunday to Thursday nights (outside of NSW school holidays and long weekends).
 
During renovations, Jenolan’s other accommodation (the Mountain Lodge, the Gatehouse backpacker lodge and all the self-contained cottages) will be available for overnight guests as usual.
Organise Your Own 'Cave Crawl'

June 6 is the International Day of Caves and Subterranean World.  We would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that NSW has lots of fascinating caves, and many of them are open to the public.  For a list of NSW caves, see this link

In our Central West region, the best caves to visit, aside from Jenolan, are Wellington Caves, Abercrombie Caves, Wombeyan Caves and Borenore Caves.  They are all amazing and well worth the time and the entry fees. 

You could even organise your own 'cave crawl' over several days, to see them all, because each cave system is different in its own way.  For example, Wombeyan Caves have formed out of marble, Abercrombie Caves features the largest natural arch in the Southern Hemisphere and Wellington Caves is rich with megafauna fossils!
Speaking of Crawling...

Composting worms have been busy at Jenolan converting kitchen scraps to garden fertiliser.

In holiday times, more than 1000 people per day might visit Jenolan and use our cafe, plus we might provide 3 meals a day to up to 200 guests.  So, some leftovers from food preparation are unavoidable.  Previously, kitchen scraps were all taken offsite to the tip. 

Then in March, we purchased a worm farm from Worms Downunder.  Our staff are still getting used to using it, but the worm farm now composts all our food preparation scraps plus shredded paper.

The worms slowly but surely consume it all and excrete a black liquid, rich in nutrients, which we use to fertilise our recently planted shrubs. This environmental initiative has great potential. 

NEW - The Best Way to See Nearby Bathurst

Newly launched, the Bathurst Explorer Bus is a 7-day-a-week hop on, hop off tourist bus, that travels around the Bathurst CBD, showcasing everything Bathurst has to offer, including parks, gardens, museums etc. It’s a convenient way to see everything, and learn along the way, with great commentary.

The Explorer Bus starts 10 am daily. Each loop covers more than 20 km and takes approximately 1 hour. There are 5 loops per day, 7 days per week, 51 weeks per year. Hop on or off at any stop. Buy a ticket online, at the Bathurst Visitors Centre or on the bus. 

When you visit Jenolan Caves, historic, bustling Bathurst is only 1 hour away. It has a great shopping centre, and many things to see and do.  If you love caves, you will love the Bathurst Mineral and Fossil Museum, home of the internationally renowned Somerville Collection - featuring some of the finest and rarest specimens of mineral crystals and fossils from around the world. 

Hidden Gem - The Jenolan Caves Express

Some older people can still remember when it was possible to catch the Caves Express train from Sydney to Mount Victoria.  Now, you can see this fully restored carriage from the actual Caves Express, at the Valley Heights Locomotive Depot Heritage Museum.  The Caves Express has an interesting history, which you can read here.    

If you are driving to Jenolan from Sydney on a Sunday, stop in at the Museum at Valley Heights.  Opening dates and times are quite limited, so make sure you look at this list of open days first.  The museum has 9 restored locomotives on display plus 6 passenger carriages, 7 freight wagons and lots more.  You must see to believe.

Snow in Our Region Already - Drive Carefully

Snow has already fallen in the hills surrounding Jenolan.  Jenolan is located in a deep valley, nestled in the highest part of the Blue Mountains. To get here, you must drive through areas that take you up to 1,365 metres above sea level.  So, when snow is predicted, take the same level of care that you would take if you were driving to the ski fields, and make sure you check the Live Traffic NSW website for road closures

On the Live Traffic NSW website, you can create an account. Then you can  tell it where you are travelling, specifically, and it will send you alerts about possible hazards you may encounter on your specific journey, including snow - very convenient!

Book Early for Yulefest at Jenolan Caves!

With snow flurries appearing early, it's getting chilly in the Blue Mountains.  That is why Yulefest (Christmas in July) has become so popular since it began in the 1980s.  When it's cold outside, it is quite delightful to have the traditional hot Christmas-style dinner, in historic Chisolm's Restaurant, at Jenolan Caves, surrounded by festive decorations, and the special feeling of Christmas.  Chisolm's and our guest lounge both have open log fires to enjoy.  

Chisolm's is offering a tempting Yulefest menu each Saturday evening in July, with a separate children's menu.  Grownups receive chocolates and a cocktail on arrival.  Children visit Santa, and get a gift, in one of our famous caves before dinner.  It is so memorable!  Start a Yulefest tradition this year!  Book now, because our Yulefest dinner is really popular.  

Regardless of how cold it might be above ground, it is always 15 to 16 degrees Celsius in the caves - perfect for walking and climbing stairs underground!
The Very Best Things to See and Do Near Jenolan Caves

Mayfield Winter Festival 

 
The spectacular Mayfield Garden is only 40 minutes from Jenolan.  While 20 hectares are open 363 days of the year, the Hawkins family opens the private garden, an additional 55 hectares, during the Winter Festival  Some of the major features include: 
  • The English Box Hedge Maze
  • The 80-metre cascade and waterfall
  • The Walled Kitchen Garden
  • Mayfield Chapel
  • Croquet Court
  • Mayfield Amphitheatre
  • Rowing boats on Mayfield Lake
We recommend arriving at 9am and give yourself at least 2 hours. Last garden entry is 3pm. The garden shuts at 4:30pm.
FIND OUT MORE.

NEW - There are also private tours of the entire garden.  They include lunch plus transport from your Oberon or Bathurst accommodation.
FIND OUT MORE.

Hartley Historic Village
 

On your way to or from Jenolan, stop in at Hartley Historic Village. The village’s many lovely sandstone buildings preserve an important piece of history. 

No longer a ghost town, you can easily spend a whole morning or afternoon here. 

Do a self-guided tour of the 1837 Greek Revival courthouse. 

Browse the Talisman Gallery, with its amazing metal art, or the Kew-Y-Ahn Aboriginal Art Gallery.

Relax in the sweet little cafe, which was once the village post office, or enjoy a picnic in the absolute serenity. 

Note that the village open every day except Mondays.

More details HERE


 

Kanangra Boyd National Park

From Jenolan Caves, take the 29 km drive to the World Heritage Kanangra Boyd National Park (unsealed 2WD). Enjoy spectacular views, with just a 10 min easy walk to the Lookout, approx. 20 mins walk down to Kalang Falls and then a further walk around to the Plateau.

You can easily spend a whole day out here, so don’t forget to take a picnic and your camera!

 

 
Copyright © 2019 Jenolan Caves, All rights reserved.


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.