Jenolan Caves

The Jenolan Caves Blog

The Bittersweet History of a Decadent Delight

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on June 24, 2020
Nowadays, when we order High Tea, we can usually choose from an assortment of tea or coffee, hot chocolate or even maybe sparkling wine! But in the past, tea boiled down to social status.

How to Make Peach Melba

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on June 15, 2020

A Powerful Drive to Explore the Unknown

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on June 10, 2020
184 years ago, Jenolan Caves were almost inaccessible. But humans are driven by a powerful need to explore the unknown, to experience what no one else has, and take away lifelong memories.

Miss Chisolm - Legacy of a Lovely Lady

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on June 3, 2020
Why does legend have it that a long-dead Scotswoman wanders the halls of Caves House and keeps an eye on Chisolm's Restaurant in particular?

The Dame Nellie Melba Mystery - Did She or Didn't She?

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on May 28, 2020
It has long been rumoured that one of the greatest opera divas that the world has ever known also sang at Jenolan Caves. Was it ever more than a rumour?

1922, When the Queen of Crime Visited the Dark Mysterious Underworld

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on May 22, 2020
Agatha Christie - To all those who lead monotonous lives in the hope that they may experience at second hand the delights and dangers of adventure.

Jenolan Caves House – the Honeymoon Hotel

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on May 18, 2020
Research of Jenolans honeymoon history has highlighted some wedding traditions that were considered important a century ago.

Memories of the 50’s – A Young Kiwi’s Trans-Global Adventure

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on May 7, 2020
While Jenolan Caves is closed for the pandemic, we have focused on the old days and stirring up fond memories. Wendy Turton contacted us because in 1950 her father worked at Jenolan for 2 months. Jenolan was the first leg of his huge adventure, a two-year working, cycling and hitch-hiking holiday that took him across the globe. Now at 92, we get to share his story...

Keeping Unique Heritage Alive at Jenolan Caves

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on May 5, 2020
Tiny and quaint, the old Jenolan Caves Post Office, is a relic of a simpler, bygone era. But the effort to protect the little building has brought together many committed people over the years, and has highlighted the importance of keeping alive mementos of a rich heritage.

Jenolan’s Brush-Tailed Rock Wallabies Win the Struggle to Survive

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on May 3, 2020
First tamed by doting staff and visitors, then hunted and decimated by predators, now Jenolan's colony of rare Brush-Tailed Rock Wallabies are thriving.

Cooking Lesson - Make it With Mark – Hollandaise Sauce

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on April 28, 2020
Eggs Benedict is a simple dish - toast, ham (or variations such as bacon, smoked salmon or spinach), and a poached egg, covered with creamy Hollandaise Sauce. But you can't just throw it together. Practice and patience are required to make a perfect Hollandaise Sauce from scratch. To learn how, watch MAKE IT WITH MARK.

You Don't Still Use Candles Do You?

Posted by David Hay & Carolyn Melbourne on April 17, 2020
Jenolan Caves was the first cave system in the world to have electric lighting and the first place in Australia to have hydro electricity. These amazing technological innovations have not only brought people together, but made it possible for people to view Australia's most spectacular caves.

Bats in our Belfry – Jenolan’s Underground Church

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on April 16, 2020
This Easter, popular Underground Church was cancelled due to COVID-19. What! You didn't even know about Underground Church?

NEW - The Governor's Getaway

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on March 12, 2020
Usually Jenolan, Australias most spectacular cave system, is open every day of the year, even Christmas. But in December 2019, it had to close for the first time in 101 years, when bushfire swept through the valley. Then in February, it had to close again, after a massive flood washed through Caves House hotel and the ticket office, bringing down tonnes of rock from the surrounding hills. Amazingly, it was a case of deja vu. Back in 1919, the exact same thing happened a bushfire, followed by a massive flood. Back then, to top it off, the destructive flood was followed by the Spanish Flu pandemic. Now, after a huge clean-up, we have reopened and are planning great experiences, such as The Governors Getaway.

Jenolan’s Weirdest Cave Experience – The Jersey

Posted by David Hay on November 26, 2019
As todays visitors to Jenolan explore the Imperial and Imperial-Diamond Caves, they pause at a steep and mysterious staircase that ascends from the pathway and appears to vanish far above their heads. A trick of the electric light makes it seem that these stairs lead to daylight above. But instead, they lead into a tomb-like labyrinth, the Jersey Cave.

The Webb Family of Bathurst and Jenolan Caves

Posted by David Hay on August 16, 2019
In a tiny alcove near the jawbone of a Tasmanian Devil, in the Imperial Cave, are two small names. These are of Edmund Webb and Catherine Webb, of Bathurst, who were intimately connected with early cave exploration.

1900 – Caves and Coal - Politics Makes Strange Bedfellows

Posted by David Hay on August 8, 2019
Deep within the farthest reaches of Jenolan Caves, there is a chamber called Cooks Cavern. Who was Cook? Not a cave explorer as you might expect. Modern visitors are shocked to learn...

“Superior to Anything Hitherto Found”

Posted by David Hay on May 17, 2019
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.

'I am in no position to rebuild' The destruction of old Caves House - 1895.

Posted by David Hay on March 4, 2019
On the night of March 13, 1895, when all was quiet, in the darkness of the autumnal night, a disastrous fire broke out. With the buildings all made of wood, the conflagration rapidly took hold.

A Flooded Sanctuary!

Posted by David Hay on January 18, 2019
At Jenolan Caves, guides are often asked if the caves 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 pounds. It was a tremendous amount of money in 1919, worth around $150,000 today. How did such a disaster happen?

1860 Descent into the Blackest Midnight Darkness

Posted by David Hay on December 20, 2018
Even today, with technological aids such as mapping and digital survey equipment, caving is an inexact science. Cave exploration is still a case of wriggling down a hole and hoping to find something! In 1860 it was far more dangerous!

Over 200 Species Recorded at Jenolan Bioblitz

Posted by Anne Musser on December 20, 2018
At Jenolan, the main activity is exploring caves. So as visitors are often in a hurry, the enormous array of wildlife in the area around the caves tends to be overlooked. However, recently, Jenolan hosted a BioBlitz, organised by K2W Glideways, a local environmental organisation. In the full weekend of exploration, over 100 nature enthusiasts managed to spot and record a whopping 200 and more species.

His Lordship's 1896 Jenolan Adventure

Posted by David Hay on November 26, 2018
Jenolan Caves, near Oberon, NSW, first became a magnet for curious visitors in the early 1800s. These days, many thousands of visitors, from all over the world, can easily drive to the spectacular Jenolan Caves, through the Blue Mountains, along scenic, winding country roads. But in the old days, crossing the Blue Mountains was long and difficult, as this story illustrates.

Jenolan Caves BioBlitz - Its time to nurture your inner wildlife scientist

Posted by ary Bonet & Anne Musser on September 21, 2018
Ever wondered what goes bump in the night? Ever wanted to recognise one wallaby from another? Perhaps you have a budding environmentalist in the house, or plans for retirement as a would-be field naturalist? Well, your opportunity to exercise your inner wildlife scientist has arrived.

$8.5 Million for Jenolan Projects

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on April 26, 2018
Jenolan Caves is celebrating the news of a much needed $8.5 million grant! Deputy Premier, Hon. John Barilaro MP and Member for Bathurst, Hon Paul Toole MP made the exciting announcement on April 24 at the caves.

Random Act of Kindness

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on July 11, 2017
Pay it forward! You never know what the effect might be of a simple act of generosity.

A Walk in the Woods is Good for your Soul

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on April 20, 2017
May is a lovely time of year in the Blue Mountains, with perfect weather for enjoying the many bush tracks. The Blue Mountains is a famous bushwalking destination and Jenolan Caves has several excellent above ground walks, which cost nothing to enjoy.

C'est Magnifique, N'est Pas?

Posted by David Hay on January 24, 2017
In the closing stages of WW1, to thank its Australian allies, France sent a goodwill delegation to Australia (including Jenolan Caves). The delegation was headed by a 70 year old veteran of the Franco Prussian war, General Paul Marie Cesar Garald Pau.

The Quest for the Ring

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on November 18, 2016
Last week, a distraught young woman came into the Guides Office at Jenolan Caves and said that she had lost her engagement ring in the Blue Lake. The backpacking couple had only been engaged 2 days!

The Firepoker Challenge at Hartley Historic Village

Posted by Ron Fitzpatrick on October 26, 2016
Would you like to try your hand at the time-honoured art of blacksmithing?

2 Night Escape Itinerary

Posted by Administrator on October 20, 2016

Join the Search for Old Photos of Jenolan's Leffel Wheel

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on October 19, 2016
Do you have an ancient photo of Jenolan Caves’ Leffel Wheel or the associated infrastructure that sat on the bank of the Jenolan River from 1889 to 1906? If so, we would love to see it, because precious little of it remains to this day.

Koalas Spotted Near Jenolan Caves

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on October 18, 2016
Koalas have been photographed near Jenolan Caves.

Agatha Christie at Jenolan Caves, June 1922

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on September 16, 2016
New book, 'Agatha Christie The Grand Tour', reveals that the great British crime writer actually visited Jenolan Caves in June 1922, toured 2 caves and stayed the night in Caves House!

Delicious New Menu at Chisolms Restaurant, Jenolan Caves

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on September 16, 2016
Jenolan Caves historic restaurant, Chisolm's, has a sensational new menu!

Jenolan Caves - Where Science Rocks

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on August 16, 2016
From August 16 to 26, at the Australian Museum Science Festival, teachers and students can find out how much science they can learn at Jenolan Caves.

The Norman Invasion of 2016

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on August 16, 2016

1950s Jenolan Caves Photos Found

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on August 16, 2016
Souvenir photos of Jenolan Caves, from the 1950s, have been found, and donated to Jenolan.

Kidney Kars at the Kaves

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on August 16, 2016
On Saturday, August 13, 70 cars from The Kidney Kar Rally visited Jenolan Caves for lunch in Chisolm’s Restaurant, upstairs in Caves House.

Square Poop and Winter Wildlife in the Blue Mountains

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on July 8, 2016
Even in Winter, the area around Jenolan Caves is home to native birds and wildlife. Only a short walk from the caves, especially early morning, late afternoon and when fewer people are around, you are likely to spot wild animals and many birds.

Win a Blue Mountains Holiday worth over $4,000!

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on April 18, 2016
Win a seven day Ultimate Blue Mountains Holiday Experience valued at $4,400!

Strollin at Jenolan

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on April 14, 2016
Why is strollin' at Jenolan so good for you? From Internet research, we have compiled a long list of reasons.

Go Ye Therefore Into All the World

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on March 30, 2016
Dwayne Jeffries shared the Easter message at Jenolan's annual Underground Church.

Fire poker challenge forges friendships

Posted by Ron Fitzpatrick on February 23, 2016
More than 60 people took part in the Firepoker Challenge, under the tuition of Blackheath metal artist Ron Fitzpatrick and his Lithgow-based colleague Steve Cunningham, between Christmas and New Years Eve.

Spellbound Underground

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on February 15, 2016
One moment, deep underground, the man was gasping, sweating and shaking. Next moment, he seemed...spellbound!

Gain First Hand Insight into Ancient Aboriginal Culture

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne & David Hay on December 5, 2015
Starting December 13 and continuing through the NSW school holidays, visitors to the Jenolan Caves, in the Blue Mountains of Australia, have the opportunity to learn about the Gundungurra, the local ancient Aboriginal culture, first hand.

Underground Ecstasy

Posted by Lisa Sampson on December 5, 2015
Find out what happened when a member of an unusual fan club entered the underground Cathedral Chamber.

Tiny Sleeping Village Awakens

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on November 11, 2015
About 40 minutes north of Jenolan Caves sits the historic village of Hartley, one of the finest collections of historic buildings in Australia. In 1869, after the town was bypassed by the railway, Hartley sank into a deep slumber. But now, thanks to state government funding, the beautiful little town is undergoing a reawakening, with delightful surprises for the curious.

Crying Happy Tears

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on October 15, 2015
Something about the Jenolan Caves inspires marriage proposals. But in the course of their work, cave guides have to take such unexpected things in their stride.

Stones & Bones Treasure Hunt

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on September 18, 2015
During the NSW school holidays Jenolan Cave’s popular kids-only tour, Bones & Stones is running every day at 2pm. We have interviewed one of our long term cave guides, for answers to some frequently asked questions.

Are You a Day Breaker or a Night Crawler?

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on September 15, 2015
Free during the NSW school holidays, Jenolan Caves is offering new morning and evening guided bush walks - Day Breakers and Night Crawlers. They are designed to give overnight guests the chance of spotting some of the native birds and animals that thrive in the Jenolan Karst Conservation Reserve.

Toot! Toot! All Aboard for Jenolan Caves!

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on July 8, 2015
At Valley Heights, you can step into history - an authentically restored First Class Buffet Carriage from the original 'Caves Express'. This really is a 'hidden gem'!

The RW Mystery

Posted by David Hay & Carolyn Melbourne on June 18, 2015

Basking in the Sunshine of Royalty

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on May 29, 2015
The king slept here! Yes it's true, although at the time, he wasn't the king yet.

She Didn't Bat an Eye

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on April 14, 2015
Would you keep your cool if a bat flew down your shirt?

Kissed by a Nun

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on March 11, 2015
Overexcited nuns, polar bear taggers and ghosts! The tour guides at Jenolan Caves have great stories.

Mysterious Origins of a Blue Mountains Icon

Posted by David Hay & Carolyn Melbourne on February 20, 2015
Who started the 1895 fire that destroyed the original hotel at Jenolan Caves? Why, in 1897, did the New South Wales Government replace it with a grand hotel, seemingly in the middle of nowhere?

Ghost or Geological Phenomenon?

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on January 22, 2015
Long time cave guide, Geoff Melbourne, tells how he believes he had a conversation with a ghost in Jenolan Caves. But could it have been a geological phenomenon experienced in 'haunted' locations all over the world?

Insight into the Oldest Culture in the World

Posted by David Hay & Carolyn Melbourne on December 17, 2014
For only 4 days in January 2015, visitors to the Jenolan Caves, in the Blue Mountains of Australia, have the opportunity to learn about the Gundungurra, the local ancient Aboriginal culture, first hand.

5000 Year Old Christmas Present for Jenolan Caves

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on December 11, 2014
An honest citizen recently returned a piece of broken stalactite crystal to Jenolan Caves. Staff were overwhelmed by the gesture. Why was it a big deal? A rough estimate makes the piece 5,000 years old. How do we know that?

Ecotourism the Focus of International Conference

Posted by Carolyn Melbourne on November 19, 2014
Recently, Jenolan Caves hosted 98 delegates for the International Show Caves Association 7th Congress. Delegates came from 18 countries. Regardless of their location, when a cave system, or other natural wonder, opens to the public, similar challenges arise - how to protect its features and delicate ecosystems while continuing as a profitable tourist attraction and educational venue.

Caves House Secret Art Collection

Posted by David Hay & Carolyn Melbourne on November 5, 2014
Jenolan Caves House, one of the most iconic Blue Mountains hotels, contains a collection of historic photographs and a smaller but interesting collection of modern, Australian paintings, by Blue Mountains artists. Visitors to Jenolan Caves can easily view these collections.
Jenolan Caves Apps
4655 Jenolan Caves Road, Jenolan Caves, Blue Mountains NSW. Ph: 1300 76 33 11 or +61 2 6359 3911
Sydney Bucket List2011 Winner - Australian Tourism Awards

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