Blue Mountains News
Jenolan Caves Reopens after Bushfires
Jenolan Caves are open every day of the year, including Christmas Day, and they think that the recent bushire crisis was the first time that they have ever been closed. In 1957, a bushfire came to the rim of the valley, but history isn't clear about whether the caves actually closed. Due to fuel shortages during WW2, Jenolan considered closing. And during the flu pandemic after WW1, Caves House was turned into a hospital, but the caves stayed open. So this bushfire was a benchmark event for their weird and wonderful history.
"We were very fortunate to survive the bushfire, which came right into our valley, across the Grand Arch, destroying our fire shed and 3 staff cottages. If not for thorough preparation and the efforts of volunteer firefighters, all would have been lost. Since then, everyone has worked very hard to restore services, access to Jenolan and lighting in the caves. Smoke made it's way into the caves, so as you can see from the image above, we've been hard at work cleaning to get them back to their best!" said Carolyn Melbourne, Marketing Coordinator at Jenolan Caves.
"This Saturday, we also reopened The Caves Café, Chisolm’s Restaurant and Jeremiah’s Bar. Most of our guest accommodation, including heritage-listed Caves House, also reopened."
February is always a peaceful month in our mountain valley - so cool underground - a blissful escape from summer heat
2 IMPORTANT THINGS
- For the time being, the last few kilometres of Jenolan Caves Road are closed, so you must come and go via Edith Road only. It’s 20km longer, steeper, narrower and very winding, with several tight hairpin bends – OK for experienced drivers and good brakes. Go slow. Watch for wildlife.
- Please book your cave tours online, as this will help us know how many cars will be using the detour.
The picturesque detour swings close to the little town of Oberon. Stop and explore. Also, the longer trip is your incentive to stay overnight at Jenolan - really slow down and step back in time.
Although bushwalks, Nettle and Devil’s Coach House caves are still closed, you can stroll along the impossibly Blue Lake and spot platypus. Water dragons too are out and about in February.
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