But to get this special, you must book ONLINE, using this offer code: FEBERLY.
February is Australia's hottest month! But in the beautiful Blue Mountains it's always several degrees cooler. Below ground it's cooler still. Our caves are always 15 to 16 degrees Celcius - better than the beach. Shh! Don't tell anyone, but there is a secret swimming hole in the Jenolan River, below the waterfall, just a short walk from the caves.
We want to book out all our cave tours well ahead of time this February, so please take advantage of this offer code.
Love a Challenge? Try Adventure Caving!
The Plughole Adventure tour is for those who want to try something totally out of the ordinary. Tackle nature's obstacle course! Squeeze, climb, crawl, abseil and slide deep into the heart of a limestone mountain, with only a head lamp to light your way. Too risky for you? You need no prior experience, and we guide you every step of the way. This is an authentic adventure, where you negotiate a cave like a real speleologist.
It's a challenge - exhilarating and rewarding, for people of all ages.
Upstairs in Jenolan Caves House, historic Chisolm’s Restaurant is said to be haunted by the spirit of the old housekeeper, Miss Chisolm. Now, Jeremiah’s Bar, in Chisolm’s Restaurant, is summoning more spirits – the drinkable kind.
You can now choose a wine from 34 carefully selected labels. Included are many delicious regional wines, such as Casey’s Pinot Noir, crafted from grapes grown in the mountains near Jenolan. To celebrate life’s most important occasions, you can now choose from Europe’s most famous wines, including Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial NV.
We now stock a massive 59 spirit labels, from Stone Pine Native Citrus vodka, locally crafted in Bathurst, featuring Australian native botanicals, to Lagavulin16, 16-year-old single-malt, distilled on Scotland’s far-flung Isle of Islay.
This amazing array of drinks forms the basis of new handmade cocktails, such as the Cave Tini (gin, vermouth and olives soaked in Jenolan brine) or the irresistible Gold@Jenolan (Dead Man Gold rum, Kahlua and Frangelico).
Indulge in one of the new labels or fun cocktails with a delicious dinner. Then, experience a haunting Legends, Mysteries & Ghosts tour in the caves (Saturdays). After that, you will need a relaxing nightcap at Jeremiah’s Bar - guaranteed!
During school holidays, Sept 28 to Oct 13, we run considerably more tours each day, as we don't want anyone to miss out. But you should still book ahead, just to make sure you are able to go on the cave tours that you want.
This school holidays, we will run our Stones & Bones tour every day, for kids, age 7 to 12. We only run them once daily, so you would be wise to book.
an 1890 open-ended "cowboy" carriage, hauled by Tank Engine No 2 OR
the ever popular Sydney Steam Tram, both dating from the 1890s.
Take in the two operating model rooms, and explore the range of locomotives, carriages and wagons from past eras. The rich story of the settlement and development of western NSW is revealed, as you appreciate the contribution made by the railway.
Of particular note is the wonderfully restored First Class carriage from the ‘Caves Express’ that sped excited travellers in the 1930s to and from Mount Victoria, en route to Jenolan, for an adventurous ‘package holiday’ that could include train and bus travel, accommodation at Caves House plus cave tours. Relax in the superb leather seats and soak up the ambience of pre-war luxury travel.
Children can take the 'Kid's Quiz' and check their answers on the website, then print out a personalised certificate! There’s also easy-to-read signage that helps explain key exhibits to the young ones.
A World War I Honour Board commemorates local railwaymen who enlisted for the armed services, and book extracts tell the stories behind these young men's lives.
Then enjoy some railway-style tucker and barista coffee in the air-conditioned café before browsing the gift shop.
Entry fees include Museum admission and rides.
Introducing Our Cool New Hotel Manager
When you next visit Jenolan, keep an eye out for our smiling new Hotel & Hospitality Manager, Mukul Sharma, pronounced 'McCool' Sharma.
Enthusiastic and helpful, McCool is a seasoned operations manager, with over 19 years experience managing complex operations and customer expectations. Most impressively, he was Director of Operations for Marriot International, and Director of Food & Beverage with Shangra-La Hotels and Resorts. He has worked in luxury hotels in Sydney, India, France, Middle East and Italy. In his career he has done 3 'pre-openings' of luxury hotels, one of them a $1 billion project.
McCool was attracted to work at Jenolan Caves because Caves House is an important heritage building, and he feels he can make a valuable contribution to the upcoming renovation process.
McCool is fitting in well at Jenolan, loves his role, and is especially captivated by all the native Australian wildlife that call Jenolan home.
Nature's Energy Conservation Experts
The world's largest burrowing herbivores (wombats) live in the wild at Jenolan. But they are nocturnal, rarely seen during the day. However, sometimes in Spring, to soak up some sunshine, they emerge from their deep burrows in the day. This one was spotted casually mingling with tourists in the Grand Arch last week.
Wombats have exceptionally slow metabolisms, allowing them to convert 'grass to wombat' three times more efficiently than kangaroos. The stable temperature in their deep burrows helps them to manage their energy usage efficiently all year. By letting body temperature drop while they sleep, wombats don't need to consume as much food as other mammals.
And their efficiency extends to water usage. Wombats are amongst the lowest water consumers of any mammal on earth, needing only 20 per cent of what a sheep requires. Their droppings are four times drier than a camel's.
At Jenolan, we cater to all budgets, even if you stay overnight. If you stay mid-week, outside of NSW school holidays and public holidays, our accommodation is surprisingly economical.
AND what about the most important meal of the day? We serve hot breakfast in the elegant Chisolm's Restaurant, for only $20 per adult and $14 per child up to age 12. Breakfast runs from 7:30 to 9:30am, every day, and guests can choose from a full, delicious buffet. It is great value!
Ben and Melissa from South Australia, were friends for 13 years, before Ben finally proposed in the Lucas Cave, on August 15. It was a magical moment as Ben got down on one knee, in the Exhibition Chamber. Totally surprised, Melissa responded with a very happy and teary "Yes".
The 40 other visitors on the Lucas Cave tour clapped and cheered, delighted to be part of such a momentous occasion. Excited tour guide, Tania, took the photo above.
After the event, Tania received a lovely email from Ben, saying, "Thank you, I appreciate it so very much. You helped me with the most nervous situation of my life!"
Our very best wishes to Ben and Melissa!
Book Now for Outdoor Week - November 2-10
Oberon's Outdoor Week celebrates everything that makes the outdoors in our region so special. It is a must for anyone who loves the outdoors or those looking for some family fun. Outdoor week will feature:
Jenolan will also be participating in Outdoor Week, offering barbecue lunches, discounted cave tours, discounted High Teas. Please keep an eye out for more information in the near future.
Detour Adventures Go Off the Beaten Track
to Jenolan Caves
Based in Bathurst, Bathurst Tours and Detour Adventures offer a wide range of fascinating experiences. Enjoy a tour of Bathurst itself, focusing on the town's proud history, or roam much further afield, to Hill End, Cowra or to the tempting wineries of Orange and Mudgee. Step back in time at historic Abercrombie House or the ghost town of Glen Davis. Or experience the peace and beauty of Abercrombie National Park, Kanangra-Boyd National Park, Newnes and the Wolgan Valley, by 4WD.
On the 'Blue Mountains, Jenolan Caves, & Cox's River 4WD Adventure', Detour Adventures can even bring you to Jenolan, as part of a much wider (and wilder) experience. On the way, see kangaroos, wallabies, echidna, cockatoos, dramatic gullies & creek crossings. Walk in the pristine bush, even across the amazing swing bridge over the Cox's river
The Webb Family, of Bathurst,
Defied Victorian Conventions
In the 1800s, it was common practice for visitors to write or carve their name in the caves. Today it is seen as vandalism - and rightly so! But those old signatures continue to intrigue. Some tell a story.
In a tiny alcove in the Imperial Cave, two small names are written on the ancient wall. These are of Edmund Webb and his daughter Catherine, of Bathurst, who were intimately connected with early cave exploration.
It was Catherine (Katie) that discovered Katie's Bower, now the last major chamber on the Chifley Cave tour. The story goes that a party including Edmund Webb and his children, made their way by candlelight, through what was then the Left Imperial Cave. In the Lucinda Chamber, they came to a deep, unexplored descent. Katie bravely went ahead, down into the black abyss. The Inscription ‘C Webb' near what is now called the ‘Dragon's Head’ records her discovery.
Katie went on to become one of the 'Cave Girls', an all-female group of intrepid cave explorers who defied Victorian conventions. What was her father thinking? He allowed his daughter to pursue a dirty, dangerous quest, instead of making her sit at home doing needlework and waiting for a suitor! Who was this unconventional man?
Experience the thunderous RHYTHM HUNTERS in concert, in the spectacular Grand Arch. Rhythm Hunters are back in their biggest show of the past years, with the return of Rhythm Underground. With a brand new album ready to be released – this is the biggest and best album launch party imaginable. Looking forward to making this the biggest and best Rhythm Underground ever!
Rhythm Hunters have held 7 concerts in the Grand Arch, and the event has seen 4000+ people to witness Frenetic Shamanic Dance, Japanese Shakuhachi Flute Master Riley Lee, thunderous Japanese drums, traditional music from Indonesia, electronic beats, drum and didge with Wild Marmalade and of course the enigmatic percussion master Nicky Bomba. It's like an organic dance party in the largest underground caves systems in the world.
The Very Best Things to See and Do Near Jenolan Caves
Mayfield is home to one of the largest English box hedge mazes in the country, and it is open to visitors during the Spring Festival. It is 1.4 km of maze paths for you to find your way through. The goal is the Crowsnest in the centre where – should you be successful – you can climb up and ring the bell to let everyone know you’ve solved the Mayfield Maze.
The 80-metre Cascade and Temple, inspired by a water feature at Chatsworth Estate in the UK, is also open and features a stunning sheet of water that you can walk behind.
The aviary is also open during Spring Festival – the design was inspired by the aviary at Waddesdon Manor, another UK-inspired design.
The entire 75 hectares is open, including The Walled Kitchen Garden, the Mayfield Chapel, the Croquet Court, the Mayfield Amphitheatre, the Water Garden and the Rowing boats on Mayfield Lake.
Mayfield provides a hop-on-hop-off bus free of charge with your entry ticket to the Spring Festival.
Some 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.