Jenolan Caves

Grand Arch


Useful Information

Location: 182km west of Sydney
Open: no restrictions
Fee: free
Classification: ExplainKarst cave
Light: electric/not necessary
Dimension: L=127m, W=55m, H=24m.
Guided tours: -
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography:  
Address: Jenolan Caves Reserve Trust, P.O.Box 1495, Bathurst. NSW 2795.
Littlebourne St, Kelso (Bathurst) NSW 2795, Tel: (063) 32 5888 (office), Fax: (063) 32 9399
Jenolan Caves, Jenolan Caves. NSW 2790, Phone: (063) 59 3311, Fax: (063) 59 3307
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1838 discovered.

Description

Image: The Grand Arch, Jenolan. Public Domain.

The cave system of Jenolan has a natural meeting place or base camp, the impressive Grand Arch. Here is the start of most cave tours which lead into the various branches of the cave system. It is a main passage, huge enough for a road and for concerts, but it is also only a cave ruin, as only some 130m of this passage still exist. The rest has collapsed and forms now a valley, where the Cave Lodge is located.

The Grand Arch is one of only half a dozen caves on Earth with a road built through. This road connects the town Oberon with the Great Western Highway A32 and is called Jenolan Caves Road, as it is actually only for the visitors of the cave. The winding and narrow road is 80km long, but at least it is paved. On the western side is the Jenolan Caves House, on the eastern side is the beautiful Blue Lake.

The cave is frequented by visitors on their way to he cave tour, so it is used by vehicles and pedestrians. Pedestrians are advised to be careful in the narrow parts, where they have to walk on the road. There are benches if you have to wait, and there is one of the extremely rare cave toilets! The builders were quite consequent: while the toilet has walls, doors, and all the infrastructure you expect, it has no roof. So you can have a nice look at the cave ceiling 20m above while you're at it.

At one point the arch is 50m wide, so it also offers enough space for concerts and other events. During the last years the ABBA tribute band ABBAs BACK performed several times here. Concertgoers are advised to dress warmly and bring a folding chair.