Jenolan Caves include both extensive tourist caves as well as wild caves. Some very pretty caves can be found here, and also a world of mud. Permits must be obtained for any caving at Jenolan, which NUCC will apply for before a trip. Wild caves visited here include:
Wiburds Lake Cave
Jenolan is approximately a 3-3.5 hour drive from Canberra (depending on the driver), approached through Goulburn on the Oberon road. A very steep descent into the Jenolan valley is at the end of the drive. There are several shortcuts through the pine plantations in the Shooters Hill area that usually turn into longcuts, especially at night. The road is also generally very good quality, unless you go through the pine plantations.
The usual accommodation is the Caver’s Cottage run by the Jenolan Cottage Association, which is available to caving clubs for a small fee. It is basic but comfortable, and includes a kitchen and bathroom, as well as bunk style beds (bring your own sleeping bag and pillow though). There’s no campgrounds from which Jenolan Caves are really accessible though, so the Cottage is in high demand with cavers. We never stay down at Caves House and the surrounding area, because it is very pricey for students! We regularly run NUCC trips to Jenolan, but also occasionally visit with SUSS (Sydney University Speleological Society), as it is one of their prime stomping-grounds.
Sadly, the Caver’s Cottage was destroyed by fire on New Year’s Day 2020. Its loss is a blow to all Australian cavers, as it was the base for so much exploration and so many fun trips. The future circumstances of trips to Jenolan is currently unknown, and we can only hope that a Cottage Mk2 will rise from the ashes!