Yarrangobilly Caves are about 300 caves in a small karst area southwest of Canberra in Kosciuszko National Park in the Snowy Mountans. This area is 1.5 km wide and 14 km long and consists of 440 million years old Ordovician limestone. The caves were first discovered in 1834 by the stockman John Bowman. Most of the caves in the area were discovered by Leo Hoad, who worked as a guide at the caves from 1919 to 1946. He stayed at Yarrangobilly until the mid 1950s, when he moved to Tumut.
Six of the caves are open to the public, but only two with regular tours, two others with self guided tours and the last two only after appointment for groups. Really impressive and freely accessible is the large cave entrance called Glory Arch. All visits start at the Caves House and Information Centre, which also offers various other activities. The caves have 23,000 visitors per year .
There is also a Thermal Pool, a swimming pool filled with the 27 °C warm water from a thermal spring. It is estimated, that the water comes from a depth of more than 750 m, at an amount of 91,000 liters per hour. Unfortunately the pool is 700 m from the car park, down a steep trail into the valley, and the strenuous way back is a real drawback.
|1834||Glory Arch discovered by the stockman John Bowman and explored with bark torches.|
|1888||first accommodation building constructed.|
|1896||Thermal Pool built out of wood.|
|1901||Caves House completed.|
|1906||Thermal Pool enlarged and cemented.|
|1919||Leo Hoad became caretaker of the caves..|
|1946||Leo Hoad retired.|
|1966-1968||caves and Caves House closed and modernised by prisoners from Cooma Gaol. Caves modernized and new electric light.|