Jenolan Caves

Imperial Cave


Useful Information

photography
Nellie's Grotto, Right Imperial Cave, Jenolan Caves, Australia. Public Domain.
photography
Madonna, Imperial Cave, Jenolan Caves, Australia. Public Domain.
photography
Underground River, Imperial Cave, Jenolan Caves, Australia. Public Domain.
Location: 4655 Jenolan Caves Road, Jenolan Caves NSW 2790.
182 km west of Sydney.
Open: See mandatory online booking.
[2023]
Fee: Imperial Cave: Adults AUD 46, Children (4-15) AUD 33, Children (0-3) free, Family (2+1) AUD 100.
Imperial-Diamond Cave: Adults AUD 52, Children (4-15) AUD 37, Children (0-3) free, Family (2+1) AUD 113.
[2023]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave
Light: LightLED Lighting
Dimension: L=20,000 m, VR=200 m, A=790 m asl, T=16 °C.
Guided tours: Imperial Cave: D=60 min, L=1070 m, St=258.
Imperial-Diamond Cave: D=90 min, L=1270 m, St=418.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:
Address: Jenolan Caves, 4655 Jenolan Caves Road, Jenolan Caves NSW 2790, Tel: +61-2-6359-3911, Tel: 1300-76-33-11. E-mail:
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

1879 discovered by Jeremiah Wilson.
1975 archaeologic excavation revealed bones of Tasmanian devil and Wallaby.
2004 new light systems with energy-saving lamps.

Description

photography
Wombat Skeleton, Imperial Cave, Jenolan Caves, Australia. Public Domain.

This tour shows two caves, Imperial Cave and Diamond Cave. Actually, there are two different tours, one showing only Imperial, and one showing both caves. Diamond Cave tour adds half an hour to the one-hour Imperial Cave tour. Both caves are extremely level, with only a few steps and thus ideal for elderly or disabled people. There is also an optional branch down a 66 step spiral staircase to the northern Jenolan Underground River.

The tour follows a passage with various formations, there is no big chamber on the whole tour. Therefore, this tour focuses on speleothems, which are diverse and abundant. There are calcite crystals, shawls, rimstone pools, and more. This is expressed in names like Shawl Room, Crystal Cities, Diamond Cave, and Fairies Bower. The most spectacular formation is Crystal Cities.

There is a skeleton of a Tasmanian devil on display, which were found in this cave in 1975. It tells that this animal once lived in Australia, not only in Tasmania as today. Another skeleton of a wombat is probably much younger. How it found its way into the Imperial Cave is unclear, but it couldn't get out again. Because it is so deep within the cave system, it is probable it fell through a shaft and was not able to climbv out again. It is also possible that the animal was already dead and was washed into the cave as a carcass during a flood.

The Imperial cave has a connection down to ShowcaveRiver Cave, the lowest show cave, at the level of the groundwater. This is at the moment the only show cave which actually offers a view of the cave river. It seems that many years ago boat tours were offered on the cave river.