When people think of Australian caves in New South Whales they usually think of the Jenolan Caves, but there are plenty of other amazing caves which don’t get enough love. Specifically the Wombeyan Caves in the Wombeyan Karst Conservation Reserve.
The Wombeyan caves are about a 3 hour drive from the Sydney CBD. The drive is long and the last 30 or so kilometres is unsealed road, making the the last bit of the journey painfully slow and rocky! So be sure to have a suitable car to drive up there. Although the trip is mostly boring, there are some great scenery along the way and we promise you will be rewarded once you are there!
To gain entry to the caves, you will need to drop by Kui kiosk to buy a pass to get into the caves. There are three options available:
Junction Cave only
Entry to Junction Cave is by guided tour only: $22 per adult, $17 child/pensioner, $20 senior, $55 family (2 adults and children up to age 16).
Visit the self-guided Fig Tree Cave plus enjoy a guided tour of your choice. $30 per adult, $23 child/pensioner, $28 seniors, $75 family. Valid for Wollondilly Cave, Junction Cave, Mulwaree Cave, or Kooringa Cave in Wombeyan Karst Conservation Reserve.
Visit the self-guided Fig Tree Cave plus enjoy 2 guided tours of your choice. $40 per adult, $30 child/pensioner, $35 seniors, $90 family. Valid for Wollondilly Cave, Junction Cave, Mulwaree Cave, or Kooringa Cave in Wombeyan Karst Conservation Reserve.
What we did
We opted for the explorer pass and checked out Junction and Mulwaree cave, but didn’t get a chance to drop by Fig Tree Cave. Unless you are a cave fanatic, we suggest just checking out Junction cave and spending the rest of the afternoon picnicking with the Kangaroos.
Junction cave was our favourite. Discovered in 1897, the cave is was refurbished for its centenary in 1997. In the cave you will see amazing stalactite and stalagmite formations that has been crafted over million of years by mother nature herself. Junction cave is particular famous for its rich colours and specifically its large shawl formation which looks like bacon. Yes, cave bacon.
Mulwaree cave was the second cave we visited. It was quite different from Junction because it has more waxy features, is much longer, features more stalactites and is more wet. Although we didn’t enjoy it as much because we were caved out, we did appreciate how pretty and expansive it was.
A visit to the Wombeyan caves is a great day trip if you are into something a little different. The caves are a sight to see, plus there are tonnes of Kangaroos around. The reserve is also great for a BBQ or a picnic!
photography in caves
Cave photography can be quite daunting because the areas are usually very dark and rough to be in. However with most commercial caves, there are lights installed to both light up features and guide the way.
However even with lights, you will find that you will still be starving for it! The best way to deal with this is to bring a tripod and expose for longer. Alternatively you can also bring a flash, but you find that it is sometimes not powerful enough to light the whole area and can be quite annoying for other people in such a dark environment.
Caves can be quite tight and out nowhere, expand into large caverns. So a make sure you bring your most wide and fastest lens to capture the varying scenes. Speaking of large areas, it can be sometimes hard to convey a sense of scale when the subject is big. So if you have a friend or something to contrast the vastness, make sure you include it in your image.