Nettle Cave

Useful Information

Location: 182 km west of Sydney. Right side of Grand Archway.
Open: All year daily.
Fee: Included with any other tour.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: Electric.
Dimension: L=20,000 m, VR=200 m, A=790 m asl, T=16 °C.
Guided tours: self guided, digital handset available in English Deutsch - German Chinese
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.


1932 cave closed.
18-DEC-2006 cave opened to the public.


The Nettle Cave is an old show cave, open to the public since 1932. Now, right for Christmas, it has been reopend for self guided tours. The new technology used for the tour makes it a digital audio tour. A digital handset developed by Acoustiguide allows visitors to hear explanations of geological features and historical aspects in as much detail as they choose, while exploring at their own pace.

The tour is very easy, the path is level and on the self guided tours visitors have a lot of time. Relics from past tours, almost a century ago, are a little more strenuous old ladders and early electric lighting.

Nettle Cave has fine speleothems like stalactites and stalagmites. But the special sights are the stromatolites, fossils which are part of the surrounding rock, but here they are cisseled out of the rock by natural erosion. Those structures are formed by colonies of cyanobacteria, which form cauliflower like cones. Cut through the layering becomes visible, resembling the tail of a crayfish or lobster. Thats why they were called craybacks by early visitors.

Nettle Cave is entered from the Devil's Coach House, a huge natural bridge forming a 57 m high arch. It was named after the story of a camper who claimed to have seen the devil himself drive through the arch in a horse-drawn coach.