Jenolan Caves

McKeowns Valley Track

Length: 4 km round trip

Time:1 - 1.5 hours return
Difficulty: moderate (grade 3)  This path includes many stairs.

Enjoying Nature

This walk starts near Carlotta Arch, near Car Park 2. Between Car Park 2 and Carlotta Arch, you will find some stairs going down to the McKeown's Valley. Take the stairs all the way down, and turn left.

You may spot lyrebirds and wallbies along the track. Follow the track until the narrow valley open out into an area called the 'Old Playing Fields', where you may see kangaroos or echidnas.

Early visitors used The 'Old Playing Fields' for recreation, particularly cricket. 

Turn back after the 'Old Playing Fields', and retrace your steps all the way back to Carlotta Arch.

History

The McKeown's Valley track follows a dry creek bed. In 1837, local pastoralist, James Whalan, followed this dry creek bed, in search of his oxen bows and horses that had been stolen by ex-convict, James McKeown. Imagine his surprise when he found the huge caves instead!  Read more about it here.

In Jenolan's early days, before roads were built, the only way down into the valley was on foot or horseback, along this dry creek. Jame Whalan's younger brother, Charles, used to bring the curious this way into the valley. Later, our first 'Keeper of the Caves', Jeremiah Wilson, did the same, until the zig zag road was finished in 1878. Read more about it here.

Early staff and visitors to Jenolan used the 'Old Playing Fields' for recreation, especially for cricket. A cricket pitch was maintained for many years and can still be found under dirt and leaves.  Read more about it here.

Before you reach the 'Old Playing Fields' you will stroll by a long, high wire fence. In 1965, to protect the brush-tailed rock wallabies from predators, a substantial electrified enclosure was built. But it has not been used since 2007, when the captive wallabies were released into a fox-free Jenolan Valley, where they have since thrived. Today there are over 100 brush-tailed rock wallabies in the wild in the Jenolan Valley, carefully monitored by National Parks and Wildlife.  Read more about it here.

4655 Jenolan Caves Road, Jenolan Caves, Blue Mountains NSW. Ph: 1300 76 33 11 or +61 2 6359 3911

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