Jenolan Caves

Chifley Cave

Useful Information

Location: 182 km west of Sydney
Open: All year Mon-Fri 12:30, 15:30, 16:30, Sat, Sun 12:30, 15:30, 16:30.
Additional tours during NSW school holidays and on some long weekends.
Fee: Adults AUD 27, Children (6-12) AUD 18.50, Children (0-5) free, Family (2+3) AUD 65.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System LightColoured Light
Dimension: L=20,000 m, VR=200 m, A=790 m asl, T=16 °C.
Guided tours: D=60 min, St=421.
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.


1880 discovered by Jeremiah Wilson.
1880 opened to the public.
1923 tunnel cut to Grand Archway.
1952 renamed Chifley Cave.
2004 new light systems with energy saving lamps.


Chifley Cave was discovered by Jeremiah Wilson, the first keeper of the caves. It was first named Left Imperial Cave and was renamed Chifley in the mid 20th century, as a tribute to the memory of the Rt. Hon. J. Ben Chifley MP, Prime Minister of Australia and local member for the electoral district until 1949.

Chifley Cave is said to have been the first cave in the world to be lit with electric light. Early experiments with electric light in caves were carried out by Lieutenant Edward Cracknel in this cave in 1880. However, this light was not permanent. Jenolan caves were electrified seven years later, but not Chifley Cave.

This is one of the shorter tours at Jenolan, a one way tour with two locations with coloured light. We guess thats the reason why it is recommended for families with children. The first chamber of the cave was named Margarita Chamber after the wife of Lieutenant-Colonel Cracknell. The next is Madonna Cave, the branch where Jeremiah Wilson entered the cave the first time in 1880. It is named after a stalagmite in the centre resembling Madonna with child. We continue to Lucinda Cave which Jeremiah Wilson discovered the next xear, 1881, and named it after his wife Lucinda because of its beauty. Katies Bower was the turnaround point of this tour until the exit tunnel was built in 1923. It was discovered by Katie Webb, a young girl who was lowered on a rope and discovered this branch. At the end the cave is left through the tunnel into the Grand Arch.