There is a sense of excitement and anticipation when you step underground and venture deep beneath the surface.
At Yarrangobilly Caves you have this feeling as you explore these wonderful limestone caves that have been fascinating visitors and explorers for over 100 years.
Inside the caves it is a different world. Here stalactite icicle formations hang precariously from the cave ceiling hoping to one day meet its fellow attraction, the stalagmite, which grows upward ever so slowly from the cave floor.
Mineral deposits and water droplets help develop both and when they finally meet they form a pillar. But there is much patience needed as it has taken many thousands of years for these formations to become a reality.
While the journey is made easier these days with walkways, steps, hand railings and lighting, it was a different story over 100 years ago when the caves and tourism first crossed paths.
Yarrangobilly Caves was discovered in 1834 and since the early 1900’s has been charming visitors and explorers, becoming a major tourist destination.
South Glory Cave is a self-guided 470m long cave with automated lights allowing you to view at your own leisure by following the path. This is the largest cave and houses vast high chambers and a grand entrance via the Glory Arch.
Jersey Cave houses the impressive Cleopatra’s Needle, a four metre high stalagmite that stretches towards the ceiling. Jersey also has some of the most stunning decorations of all the caves including rare displays of black and grey flowstones and ventures deep underground via its 217 steps.
Jillabenan Cave is the smallest and oldest cave with very impressive coral caves. The cave is only 73m long with 15 steps and is accessible for wheelchairs.
Scheduled guided tours can be booked for Jersey and Jillabenan Caves. North Glory Cave and Smugglers Passage, Castle Cave and Harrie Wood Cave have tours available during busier Christmas and Easter holiday periods.
The caves are an ideal day trip that include a beautiful river walk and wildlife spotting, plus the soothing thermal pool. The pool is heated year round via a thermal spring to a temperature of 27 degrees and is ideal for a swim, so pack your bathers. The pool is accessed via a steep walk close to the caves.
Inside the caves the temperatures are cool so pack an extra layer. Runners or hiking boots are advised when accessing the caves as you will be up and down stairs and some pathways may be wet.
The majestic fully renovated Caves House is an idyllic place to stay if you want to fully immerse yourself in the grandeur of the early 20th century. Bookings in advance are recommended.
No matter if you are staying at the house for the weekend, or just a caves tour day trip, you should self-cater for lunch and dinner as the caves visitor centre only has snacks available.
Yarrangobilly Caves is located in the north end of Kosciuszko National Park off the Snowy Mountains Highway.
The heritage listed Caves House is a magnificent place to stay at Yarrangobilly.