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Where: Wombeyan Caves, NSW
When: Guided tours 1pm and
Cost: $20 Adults, $15 Children
Guided Tours; $15 Adults, $10
Children Self Guided Tours
Phone: 02 4843 5976
Venturing into Kooringa was much more
like what I had envisioned as I descended
down a narrow shaft into the smallest but
also the most beautiful of the Wombeyan
Consisting of a single chamber, it was
nonetheless as easy to spend an hour
admiring the cave’s many, densely packed
features as in the much larger Fig Tree.
Our expert guide, the slightly eccentric
but utterly fascinating John Mango pointed
out the sentinel, the grim reaper’s scythe and
perhaps most bizarrely, a pair of stone Levi
jeans perched atop a flowstone of crystal.
You’ll have to ask John about the Levi’s.
It’s just one of the countless stories you’ll
hear, which make the trip to the Wombeyan
Caves so fascinating.
Not as large as the Jenolan Caves in the
heart of the Blue Mountains, or as well
known as Carey’s Cave at Wee Jasper,
Wombeyan is without doubt one of the
local region’s most underrated attractions.
It may not have been a scene lifted
straight from an Indiana Jones film,
but for this less-than-intrepid writer,
stepping into the subterranean world for the
first time was an eye-opening experience.
As the door between me and the outside
world slammed shut, I was left in darkened
silence and the wonders of Wombeyan
stretched before me.
A roughly two-hour drive north of
Canberra, I’d been sent to check out the
well-regarded but relatively unknown
Grabbing the requisite park map and cave
entry token, I made my way to Fig Tree
Cave; the only one of five public caves at
the site visitors can pass through without a
Slightly disconcerted that my first caving
experience would begin through a token-
operated door and not through a large hole
in the ground as I had naively imagined, I
nevertheless turned the handle and crossed
Immediately, the temperature dropped
several degrees and the change in conditions
hit me like a commercial air-conditioner in
That, however, was my focus for only
a moment as I was confronted by the
stunning sight of the largest cavern in the
entire Wombeyan Cave network; the Opera
Occupying the massive space, the
limestone rock is carved into an incredible
array of shapes and formations that loom
out of the darkness.
At one point, a miniature castle appears
high above my head, at another a demonic
face seems to leer at me from between an
outstretched pair of wings.
The cave itself is beautifully presented and
a series of sensor lights artfully illuminates
the halls and galleries as you pass through.
If you’re lucky enough to tour the cave
on a quiet day, you’ll quite likely spend a
considerable time uninterrupted and the
only sounds breaking the silence will be the
echo of your footsteps.
The total walk from one end of the cave
to the other is around 400 metres and
will take you through a series of narrow
passageways into large openings that stretch
into the darkness.
Upon emerging back into daylight
through the magnificent Victoria Arch, I
was greeted by the beautiful surrounds of the
wider Wombeyan Reserve.
The reserve as a whole offers a lot beyond
just the caves and boasts facilities like hot
showers, flush toilets, boiling water and
Visitors also have access to facilities
including playing fields, tennis courts and 15
acres of mowed grass so it’s the perfect spot
to turn the kids loose for an afternoon.
There’s plenty of accommodation onsite
including ample campsites, as well as cabin
and dorm-style rooms.
For those looking to stay the day, food
options are fairly limited so visitors would
best be advised to bring a picnic lunch or to
make use of the electric barbecues.
The area also offers three marked
bushwalks, of which the pick for many
visitors is the Waterfall Walk, while the 3km
trek to the Limestone Canyon and Mares
Forest Creek is also popular.
There’s no doubt however, the caves are
the location’s number one drawcard.
Along with self-guided tours of Fig
Tree, guided tours are offered through
Wollondilly, Mulwaree, Kooringa and
Junction caves and run for between one and
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