{Back to the Beginning} Jenolan Caves

The Jenolan Caves are the most ancient discovered open caves in the world (according to Wikipedia). They are located west of the Blue Mountains, and the first recorded discovered of the caves was 9000 years ago.

In truth, I didn’t really think much of this trip before we went. Alice and Nadia had organised the trip and so I hadn’t really read much into the caves. I’ve been into caves before and seen stalagmites and stalactites . All very impressive and interesting. However what we saw on that night in the Jenolan Caves, was nothing like I’ve ever seen before, or could even imagine existed hidden away under those hills.  The photographs are good and I’m really happy with how they came out, but compared to actually being in the caves and seeing them in person, the photographs just don’t do it justice to how amazing they really were.

We booked onto the two hour Extended Orient Tour. We had a lovely tour guide who was really good and told us a lot about the history of the caves, as well as stories and tales of explorers who discovered parts of the caves. The point where she turned off all lights and plunged the caves into pitch darkness (and I mean pitch darkness, not a single drop of light), and told us the story of the explorer Jeremiah Wilson who once dropped his single candle and match and was lost in the pitch black cave for three days until he managed to find an exit. I don’t have any major fears, but being lost in a dark cave hundreds of metres underground, scares the sh*t out me! Thank goodness for modern day electricity, which was shortly restored and we carried on our way. I found the whole experience so interesting and really enjoyed learning about how each formation was made. I still find it crazy looking through these photographs, just how amazing nature can be!

Here are just a few photographs we took of inside the caves:

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^^ You would never guess hidden beneath the hills are all these amazing caves ^^

DSC_0198 DSC_0200DSC_0213 DSC_0203 ^^ Old ladders left behind by explorers ^^

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^^ Going deeper underground ^^

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^^ One amazing stalagmite! & The Pool of Reflections ^^

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^^ Shallow or deep? Who knows?! ^^

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^^ Eerie reflections ^^

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^^ A ‘Shawl’ formation in the Ribbon Cave ^^

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^^ These remind me of long dreadlocks ^^DSC_0257 DSC_0264

^^ The shapes these formations take are amazing and so complicated ^^

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^^ Perfect family of ‘column stalagmites’ ^^

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^^ The squiggly formations are called ‘Curling Helictites’ and are made when water slowly enters the caves through pores and cracks in the limestone ^^DSC_0289 DSC_0294 DSC_0297

^^ Flowstone in the Orient Cave ^^

DSC_0300DSC_0307 DSC_0304  ^^ Old metal rungs that once made up a ladder ^^

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^^ Looking up at the ceiling of the cave ^^

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^^ Like dripped wax over a little city ^^DSC_0314 DSC_0318 DSC_0321 DSC_0323

^^ Alice & Nadia being spooky ^^DSC_0322

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^^ Hello Mr Wombat! He was waiting for us when we emerged from the caves. It was the first one we had seen before, so we were very excited. They are bigger than I thought,  just like a big brown rock! But he was very friendly and allowed us to snap a few photographs before trotting off in search for a more peaceful grazing spot ^^

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