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Introducing Our New Hotel Manager

We are very happy to welcome Ram Rajoo, our new hospitality manager, bursting with enthusiasm, ideas and ready to take on challenges! 

For the last 25 years, Ram has worked in a senior management capacity with the Shangri-La Hotel Group (Singapore), the Merlin Resort (Malaysia), the Sussex Hotel Group (UK), the Melbourne Zoo, Melbourne Airport and the Commonwealth Games 2006 in Victoria, just to name a few. He is also multilingual and a qualified chef. 
 
At Jenolan Caves, our hospitality covers a range of accommodation, from heritage listed Caves House to self-contained cottages, plus a very large restaurant and spacious cafe.  It is a big job to take on. But Ram is confident and highly experienced.  On your next stay at Jenolan Caves, keep an eye out for Ram. If you happen to meet him, be ready to feel totally uplifted by his positive outlook and his very obvious passion for hospitality!

Stay Overnight on March 8 & 9, for the Exciting Six Foot Track Marathon

The finish line for Australia's biggest off road marathon is right outside Jenolan Caves House hotel.  So, imagine yourself staying the night in historic surrounds, then staking out the perfect position on the shady Caves Cafe verandah, with a coffee (or wine/beer).  You and a crowd of spectators will watch in awe as 900 athletes push their bodies to the limit on the final leg of the treacherous Six Foot Track Marathon and through the finish line.  How inspiring! 

Although it is still only January, book your guestroom now, for that weekend, while there are a few left!  We have 'Classic', 'Grand Classic' and 'Traditional' guestrooms in the historic Caves House.  We have more modern guestrooms in our Mountain Lodge.  Take your pick. BOOK NOW

Try Chisolm's Restaurant's New Delicious Menu

How do you like the sound of "Shanghai sticky pork belly, quinoa granola, shallots and oyster mushrooms"?  What about "Double baked Gruyere soufflé with fresh chives and crusty bread" or "Braised lamb shank with potato gratin and a warm broccolini and hazelnut salad"?  Yum!!

Hidden away, upstairs in Caves House, you can discover our magnificent Chisolm's Restaurant, built in 1926.  Open for breakfast and dinner, every day, Chisolm's is a 'grand dining room'.  It looks fancy, but the prices are mid-range.  So you can enjoy Chisolm's on special occasions or just any time.

Our new head chef, Mark Livingstone, has just launched a completely new and very stylish menu, featuring a greater variety (even kangaroo) and more vegetarian choices. And the desserts!  There is even a kid's menu.

Our New Caves Cafe Keeps Getting Better and Better

In April 2018, the Caves Cafe opened on the ground floor of Caves House, and it has been a great success.  Throughout the day, the Caves Cafe sells fast meals such as fish, chips and salad, burgers, sandwiches/wraps, a few hot choices, cakes, and drinks including beer and wine. You can eat indoors or outdoors.

Now the cafe is getting even better, with:
  1. Extended Hours - We are extending the Cave Cafe's opening hours to 7:30 am through to 6 pm.  This will be handy for an early morning coffee or snack before your first cave tour.  And in the late afternoon, after your last cave tour, call in to re-energise before heading home.
     
  2. Breakfast - Our Caves Cafe now serves breakfast between 7:30 and 10:30 am daily.  You don't need to be an overnight guest - just come and try our delicious breakfast.

Where Can You Escape from February's Heat?

Due to the mysterious insulating properties of limestone, the caves at Jenolan are always 15 or 16 degrees celcius, regardless of the surface temperature. There is nothing like walking into a cool cave on a blistering hot day!  15 degrees may sound even a bit too cool, but it's actually perfect for walking and climbing stairs.  Jenolan Caves is a magical place to get fit, while escaping the oppressive heat of February. 

And here is a little secret for keeping cool at Jenolan in February.  If you walk past Jenolan's Blue Lake (don't swim there, as it's a platypus habitat), and follow the river downhill a short distance, you will come to a waterfall above a little swimming hole. Very few know about it.

Seeking a Less Conventional Way to Get to Jenolan?

Most visitors come to Jenolan by car or coach.  But why be conventional?  Try something different with Tread Lightly Eco Tours.  Their 4WD Jenolan Caves Eco Tour visits the best of the upper Blue Mountains, including remote lookouts over the Grose and Kedumba Valleys, plus a visit to Jenolan, for a guided Orient cave experience. At Jenolan, Tread Lightly Eco Tours provides a gourmet picnic lunch by the Blue Lake, where you might spot a platypus. Then you head back to Katoomba, stopping along the Great Dividing Range to see kangaroos. 

Tread Lightly Eco Tours has Advanced Ecotourism Accreditation with Ecotourism Australia. This guarantees you the highest quality nature-based touring. All their guides are highly qualified ecological guides, with extensive knowledge of the local ecosystem and region.

Tread Lightly Eco Tours have been acclaimed, by Newcastle University, as the highest credible ecotourism company in NSW.  They have been acknowledged as one of the top 50 sustainable businesses in Australia.  They have been independently audited by their peers and visitors to maintain a high level of conservation and respect for the beautiful Blue Mountains World Heritage area.

For more information about how to get to Jenolan Caves via Tread Lightly Eco Tours, CLICK HERE.

The River Cave - Jenolan's Underworld Labyrinth

The River Cave is a bit more strenuous than our other show cave tours.  But the experience is worth the extra effort.  The River Cave is a mind-bending labyrinth, with awe-inspiring chambers and pure water.  This is one of the longest tours at Jenolan, with 1,298 stair steps, and 2 steep ladders.

You start this fully guided tour through the last chambers of the Lucas Cave. The first main chamber of the River Cave is the 'Tower Chamber', with the huge stalagmite known as 'The Minaret'.  Moving deeper into the mountain, you see the 'Pool of Reflections'. This large, illuminated pool of pure, still, blue water produces a multitude of perfect reflections. It is breath-taking.

Next, you stop to admire the 'Queens Canopy', a large canopy of flowstone that extends out from the cave wall. Then, you enter 'Queen Esther's Chamber', where the roof and walls are completely covered in stalagmites and stalactites - awe-inspiring!  You continue to the 'Mons Meg Chamber' with its enormous, stunning centrepiece, then 'Olympia', a chamber dominated by the 'Grand Column'. Finally, as you head back, you pass through the spooky 'Mud Tunnels'.  The River Cave has everything.  

Make sure you wear sensible, non-slip shoes on this tour - no short skirts or high heels!  FOR MORE INFO, CLICK HERE.

1919 - A Flooded Sanctuary!

At Jenolan Caves, guides are often asked, “Do they flood?” Yes, they do, but infrequently and only when enough rain has fallen to saturate the catchment areas around the caves. However, a hundred years ago in February, a calamitous deluge hit Jenolan, causing panic, the closure of both the hotel and the caves and a damage bill of over £5,000 – a tremendous amount of money in 1919 - worth around $150,000 today. How did such a disaster happen? 
 
In 1880, the original Caves House hotel was built at the confluence of two streams, Camp Creek and Wallaby Creek. Builders were warned that the site was flood prone. But perhaps because flat land was rare in the valley, work went ahead. When the original hotel burnt down in 1895, its replacement, which still stands, was built in exactly the same position where the 2 streams meet.
 
In 1919, a bushfire had denuded the hills above the hotel, and many mature trees had been cut down years earlier to feed the valley’s steam driven power generator. It was a classic recipe for disaster.  Then, on the evening of February 26, the first inkling of trouble came when lightning flashed above the high points of the nearby Great Diving Range. But since summer storms are common, little notice was taken. 

And then what happened?
The Very Best Things to See and Do Near Jenolan Caves

See the Spectacular Mayfield Garden  

 
There are only a few days left to experience Mayfield Garden's Summer Festival. But after January 27, 40 acres of Mayfield Garden will still be open daily: 
  • Only 40 minutes drive from Jenolan Caves
  • Open daily 9 AM – 4:30 PM
  • Last garden entry at 3 PM
  • $20 Adult (18+)
  • $18 Concession/Senior Citizen
  • $10 Child (7-17 years)
  • $55 Family (2 adults, 2 children)
  • FREE Child (0-6 years)
FIND OUT MORE.

NEW - There are also private tours of the entire garden.  They include an opulent lunch (with matched wines) 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!

 

 

The Secret Town of Oberon

Too often, visitors come to Jenolan, and never know that only 30 minutes away, in the highest part of the Blue Mountains, sits the little town of Oberon, with a variety of dining venues and accommodation.
 
Visit
Oberon’s Military Museum and the Oberon Tarana Heritage Railway. Call into Casey’s Vineyard. Play golf or fish for trout in Lake Oberon. Head out on an adventurous quad bike or horse riding tour.

Fossicking for gemstones around Oberon’s pretty rivers and creeks is a fun activity for the whole family.  Hire fossicking kits from the Oberon Visitor Information Centre, then venture out and try your luck!
 
Over several days, take a pleasant drive through the
surrounding historic villages. Meander along picturesque country roads, or for the more adventurous, there are a variety of 4WD tracks through State Forest and National Parks to explore. Camping, fishing and bushwalking are just a few ideas to spend a rewarding time in Oberon - your new favourite country escape!
 
Copyright © 2019 Jenolan Caves, All rights reserved.


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