Beneath the surface

Enjoy an amazing experience at Jenolan Caves. Photo: Andrew Lotherington.
Enjoy an amazing experience at Jenolan Caves. Photo: Andrew Lotherington.

Explore everything there is to see, eat and do throughout the Central West.

The Central West is quite simply an breathtaking place. Full of fresh produce and food, crafts, activities and with an abundance of gorgeous natural scenery – there really is no other place like it.

From the underground wonders of Jenolan Caves and stunning historical buildings in Bathurst, to the rolling hills and wineries of Orange, there is always something to see, eat and do throughout the Central West.

See, Eat and Do – Central West 2018 provides an insight into just a few of the many amazing things that our region has to offer.

BEAUTY AND ADVENTURE IS CALLING

Located just 30km from Oberon on the fringe of the Kanangra Boyd National Park, the Jenolan Caves are the largest cave system in Australia that is open to the public. The spectacular caves feature some of the most amazing limestone formations in the world, and have been dated at  230 million years old making them the oldest in the world.

The are a wide range of activities to try when visiting Jenolan with options for those just looking for an easy walk, through to those after a more active adventure.

The Caves

Underground Adventures. Photo: Andrew Lotherington.

Underground Adventures. Photo: Andrew Lotherington.

There are nine show caves available to explore with a knowledgeable tour guide taking you through and explaining the formations and highlights of each cave. Most tours last between one to two hours with the cave staff available to help you decide which caves to visit based on age, fitness level and availability.

Jenolan Caves. Photo: Andrew Lotherington.

Jenolan Caves. Photo: Andrew Lotherington.

From the "Angel's Wing" in the Temple of Baal to the "Pool of Reflections" in the River cave, there is an abundance of beautiful and unique calcite crystal formations that leave visitors in awe.

Aside from the normal show caves there is also the option of night tours such as the "Off the Track" experience which gives you a look at areas of caves that are no longer used or have not been developed, ghost tours, and the ever popular adventure caves.

The adventure caves can involve a lot of climbing and crawling through caves including the Mammoth and the aptly named Aladdin, which rewards visitors with some amazing views for their efforts. The Plughole is also one to try with a short abseil, when weather permits, to get to the cave entrance.

Accommodation

 While visiting the caves it is a perfect opportunity to stay at Jenolan to spend some time relaxing and enjoying the tranquillity the bush has to offer. There are a good number of options for accommodation with a style to suit everyone.

The gorgeous Jenolan Caves House. Photo: Andrew Lotherington.

The gorgeous Jenolan Caves House. Photo: Andrew Lotherington.

From the Gate House Lodge, which is backpacker style and perfect for those on a budget, through to the grandeur of the heritage listed Caves House, there is a room for travellers, romantic couples, families or just someone looking for a weekend away.

Eating

After a cave tour or a bush walk there is always time to rest and sample the cuisine and beverages that Jenolan Caves have to offer. Located upstairs within Caves House, Chisholm's Restaurant offers a full buffet breakfast or succulent dinners in the evening. The restaurant features one of the last grand dining rooms in Australia and is a perfect opportunity to enjoy a mouthwatering meal in beautiful surrounds.

More than one way to enter a cave. Photo: Supplied.

More than one way to enter a cave. Photo: Supplied.

For lunches, drinks or snacks to keep those energy levels up there is the Caves Cafe. Newly renovated to provide guests with a wide selections of tasty treats along with first class amenities, the cafe is the ideal spot to quickly rest your legs before heading off on your next tour. Just remember there is a large amount of wildlife around who would love to share your food, however animals shouldn't be fed.

Something for everyone

A local resident at Jenolan. Photo: Andrew Lotherington.

A local resident at Jenolan. Photo: Andrew Lotherington.

Aside from the caves themselves there is plenty to see and do at Jenolan. You can enjoy some amazing bushwalks along the Jenolan River or up to Carlotta's Arch, and see plenty of local wildlife including platypus, lizards, endangered rock wallabies, wombats and a wide variety of bird life.

Other community groups also make use of the caves complex with concerts held in the grand arch, the six foot track marathon which are open for the public to be involved.

No matter what the temperature is outside, the temperature inside the caves is a constant 15 degrees Celsius, making a visit to Jenolan a good idea all year round. Jenolan Caves are open every day of the year with information and bookings available online at http://www.jenolancaves.org.au/.