Jenolan Caves, NSW

As a child, I always dreamed of traveling to Sydney.  I wanted to visit the Sydney Opera House, hold a koala, and swim at the beach, and when I traveled from the US to Sydney, I had the chance to participate in all of these activities.  This vacation was definitely a highlight of my childhood and easily one of my favorite trips.  Because I was traveling with my family, I ended up visiting attractions that were not on my “Must See” list.  My mother wanted to visit the Chinese Garden of Friendship, and my father was adamant about attending a cricket game.  We went to both of these attractions and thoroughly enjoyed them.  My brother, however, was determined to visit the Jenolan Caves even though it was over 2 hours from Sydney.  We tried to talk him out of visiting the caves, but he was intent on seeing them.  To oblige my brother and be fair since everyone else was allowed to pick an entertainment attraction, we made the trip to tour the Jenolan Caves.

jenolan caves entrance

Photo by Mart Moppel on flickr.

On our ride to the Jenolan Caves and before our tour started, I complained heavily about having to be there because I would have much rather been on a beach.  My brother was certain we would enjoy the scenery and the chance to tour a cave, and unbeknownst to us, he was so right.  We selected to tour the Diamond Cave, and I have never been a part of anything so spectacular.  I had never been underground, much less in a cave, before so that was an adventure in itself, and seeing the crystal formations up close were just breathtaking.  My family and I opted to visit the Jenolan Underground River as a part of the Diamond tour, and I would highly recommend attending this part of the tour.  It’s fascinating to think how caves formed, and I am so glad the Diamond Cave tour was my first cave experience.

Inside the Jenolan Caves

Photo by Aaron Lai on flickr.

I would have stayed in the Diamond Cave all day looking at interesting formations, patterns, and passageways, and my parents practically had to pull me out of the cave.  After my brother and I begged and pleaded, my parents let us tour the Temple of Baal Cave too.  It was a different experience from the Diamond Cave, but I thoroughly enjoyed them both.  The Temple of Baal Cave was beautiful in a different way, and I still remember being mesmerized by the dramatic formations.  My favorite part of touring both caves was walking through the Dragons’ Throat (staircase) in the Temple of Baal Cave because it transported me to an entirely new place.  I would have gladly stayed in Australia and toured more of the Jenolan Caves, but sadly, our vacation ended.  When I left the Jenolan Caves, I became fascinated with caves, and I have toured several more since.

Before I toured the Jenolan Caves, I would have never believed that rocks could be so beautiful, but caves are actually amazing creations.  My brother still gives me grief over how much I ended up loving the tour of the Jenolan Caves even though I strongly opposed it before we toured it.  Whether you are staying in Sydney or another nearby area, a visit to the Jenolan Caves should most definitely be on your “Must See” list…even if you think you will not enjoy it.  Touring the Jenolan Caves was a highlight of my Australian vacation, and it is one my favorite memories with my family to date.


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