Jenolan Caves

Orient Cave


Useful Information

Location: 4655 Jenolan Caves Road, Jenolan Caves NSW 2790.
182 km west of Sydney.
(-33.8194780, 150.0222708)
Open: See mandatory online booking.
[2023]
Fee: Adults AUD 60, Children (4-15) AUD 42, Children (0-3) free, Family (2+2) AUD 184.
[2023]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave
Light: LightLED Lighting
Dimension: L=20,000 m, VR=200 m, A=790 m asl, T=16 °C.
Guided tours: D=90 min, L=470 m, St=358, Max=26.
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

1904 discovered by James Carvosso Wiburd, Jack Edwards, and Robert Bailey.
28-DEC-1917 opened to the public.
1954 Binoomea Cut built.
2009 reopened after renovation.

Description

Orient Cave is entered through Binoomea Cut, an artificial tunnel built in 1954. Binoomea is a word of the local aborigines meaning dark hole in the ground.

The cave was first explored and named by James Carvosso Wiburd and Jack Edwards. They were educated men and named the cave after things they knew from books. The three main chambers were called Persian Chamber, Egyptian Chamber and Indian Chamber because of The Voyages Of Sinbad.

The Batsend Chamber was named after a typical effect during the first years. Before the Binoomea Cut was built, groups used to approach from the River Cave. Large numbers of bats would fly ahead in their attempt to avoid them, until they reached this area and had no other way than to turn around. It was the end for the bats, which turned around to fly back approaching the groups.

The highlight is the Persian Chamber, virtually every square centimetre covered by stalactites, stalagmites, and shalws in all shades of brown and orange. The 30 m high chamber contains the Pillar of Hercules, the tallest stalagmite at Jenolan, 10 m tall. At the base is a formation with a wide range of helictites, which is called the Curiosity Shop. Another extension is the Egyptian Chamber and contains the second-largest shawl at Jenolan.

The trail continues through a hole in the floor down a shaft. On the descent a small chamber named the Jungle is passed through. According to legend the discoverer James Wiburd identified so many animals in the shapes of the speleothems that he called the whole chamber Jungle, as a shortcut. The animal names of the speleothems are long forgotten.

The nearby Indian Chamber hosts the Indian Canopy, which is the logo of the Jenolan Caves Reserve Trust. There are rimstone pools on the floor, which are called Crystal Basins. They are normally empty though, only after heavy rains they may contain water.

The cave was completely renovated in 2008 and 2009 with new walkways and lighting. The new light uses LEDs to reduce the radiation of heat, which damages the cave. The renovation cost AUD 580,000 and was funded by the State Government.