Visited Caves: Jenolan Caves (Lucas, Imperial, Chifley), Abercrombie Caves, Wellington Caves
We separately toured on different dates these three limestone caves in New South Wales – Jenolan Caves, the Abercrombie Caves, and the Wellington Caves, because of their distance from Sydney.
Jenolan Caves has a lot of cave formations and can’t be toured in a single day.
They are limestone caves considered the largest, most spectacular and most famous in Australia, located in the Central Tablelands region, west of the Blue Mountains, in New South Wales, 175 kilometres west of Sydney. They are also one of the most outstanding cave systems in the world
They are well preserved caves meaning – fully maintained, lighted, and provided with safety features like stairs and hand rails for the safety of all visitors.
Tours are grouped and scheduled throughout the day and are provided with experienced tour guides. The caves are one of the many famous limestone caves in the country and being the oldest discovered open caves in the world.
Lucas Caves is one of the many cave formations that formed the Jenolan Caves. We were about 50 people in a tour group scheduled for the 2:30 pm tour.
First, we accessed the caves through narrow openings, winding, quite long and inclined approximately 45 degrees. We were relieved when we reached the first big chamber. It was a huge open space. From here we got the first lecture from our tour guide of what and where we were in and looking at, how it was formed.
She also showed us how wonderful a music was when played inside this chamber and we were all surprised and awed at the lovely sound reverberating on the rocks as it fills up the chamber where we were. The next thing she showed us was a “total darkness”. She switched off all the lights leaving our eyes to wander into the total darkness for about ten minutes, a duration just to experience how it feels being in absolute darkness.
There were more caves and chambers as we went along our tour, all great and wonderful. You can just imagine how much time nature carved out all these formations in such caves in total array of perfection. You’ll indeed be amazed and wonder, appreciate their grandeur!
Abercrombie Caves off the Bathurst-Goulburn Road, Trunkey Creek, spectacular limestone caves located in a nature reserve about 272 kilometres west of Sydney. In fact we did walk up and down a carved out path of a limestone rich mountain to reach the opening of the caves. The opening can be seen a few metres down the man-made path as if it was intentionally been hidden by huge trees from public view.
Indeed, the Abercrombie Caves are one of the most spectacular limestone cave systems in Australia. They consist of a large arch claimed to be the largest natural limestone tunnel in the Southern Hemisphere and a number of smaller passages leading from it.
While the cave system is small as a whole, the Abercrombie Archway is one of enormous dimensions surpassing the size of the Grand Arch at Jenolan by two and half times.
Definitely, it is one of the majestic caves I’ve seen thus far with full lightings and safe accesses. More than a century ago gold miners built a platform for dances in one of the main galleries. Today the historic dance floor is used as a stage for underground concerts, weddings and Christmas carols.
We arrived at the Wellington Caves (352 kilometes north west of Sydney) almost three in the afternoon from Orange, New South Wales and straightaway went to the ticketing counter to get a tour guided schedule but unluckily we got the last schedule for that day which was at half passed four in the afternoon, a one hour tour.
It was warm at that time temperature was at mid thirty; we were sweating while having some ice creams and waiting for the time to enter the cave. The Wellington Caves are a group of limestone caves and we were to take the Cathedral cave famous for its huge stalagmite known as Altar Rock which is 32 metres in circumference at its base and over 15 metres.
Finally, we got the time slot running and to our surprise we had a young lady as our tour guide, being here on a part time job. We were around ten in the group, quite easy to control and guide not like when we were on a guided tour in Jenolan caves, thirty people in that group before.
The entrance to the cave is carefully built with stairs down for the safety of its visitors while at Jenolan Caves the stairs are ascending both are fully lit and controlled by the tour guides.
The cave was spectacular, the more when we arrived at the site of the Altar Rock, amazingly beautiful! The lights are focused at an angle where its beauty are more defined and awesome. Here, we were given enough time to take photographs. This visit was during our getaway to the Central Tablelands of New South Wales two years ago, summer time.
This shows that the place was once roamed by gigantic animals thousand years ago. Fossils and other relics were found here.