Jenolan Caves House (now Jenolan Caves Resort)
It would be easy to spend a few days or even a week at the Caves House which has a delightful old world charm. No discussion of the Caves is complete without reference to the Caves House which was built in 1898 by the State Government. The original building is 'modified Queen Anne style'. It was altered in 1909, 1914, and 1923.
Exploring the Caves
There are 22 major caves in the Jenolan system. Of these there are nine - the Imperial, Chifley, Jubilee, Lucas, Pool of Cerberus, River, Orient, Temple of Baal and Ribbon - which are 'dark caves' opened for guided inspection. The caves feature the usual range of features with quaint names like 'Gem of the West', 'Gabriel's Wing', 'Lot's Wife' and the 'Bishop and Three Sisters'.
But beyond the caves (and everyone who visits the site should inspect at least one cave) are excellent bushwalks.
Bushwalking in the Area
It is worth remembering that Jenolan is a 2430 hectare flora and fauna sanctuary and that walkers in the area are likely to see lyrebirds, wallabies, possums, kangaroos and, if they are lucky, wombats.
If you drive beyond the Jenolan Caves for another 33 kilometres you reach the Kanangra Walls, an extraordinarily beautiful area unspoilt by tourism which is located 197 kilometres from Sydney. The views from the Kanangra Walls Lookout towards the Grand Gorge and across to such magically named places as Mount High and Mighty, Mount Stormbreaker and Mount Cloudmaker, are arguably the best in the whole Blue Mountains. Difficulty of access has denied them the popularity of the lookouts around Katoomba and Leura. There is an interesting walk around the Tops. Only experienced bushwalkers should attempt the longer walks into the valleys.
Kanangra Boyd National Park
5 km west of Jenolan Caves a 26-km road heads south along Boyd Plateau into the rugged and scenic terrain of Kanangra Boyd National Park where you can indulge in bushwalking, fishing, photography, nature study and car touring.
The access road traverses Boyd Plateau and passes the Boyd River Camping Area before arriving at the Kanangra Walls carpark from whence the the short, easy, wheelchair-friendly Lookout Walk departs. It takes in two excellent lookouts - the first looks over the Kanangra Creek Gorge with Mt Cloudmaker to the north-east and the main ridge of the Blue Mountains beyond; the second takes in Kanangra Falls and the rugged ravines at the head of the gorge. From this latter lookout the Waterfall Walk takes you down into a gully to Kalang Falls.
The longest trail is the Plateau Walk which branches off the Lookout Walk before you reach the first lookout. It takes in the heath-covered plateau of Kanangra Tops from whence there are excellent views of Kanangra Walls, Mt Colong to the south and Pindari Tops to the west.
There are other longer overnight walks in the park, including one along the Unirover Track to Colong Caves, some undeveloped limestone caverns at the southern end of the park. To visit them you will need a permit in advance from the Oberon NPWS office.
A highlight of the park is the Kowmung River, one of the last wild untouched rivers in the state. It is particularly good for trout fishing. Bush camping is permitted anywhere in the park, as long as you are 500 m from any road.