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One cave, or two, with this tour? And which?! Or Wentworth?

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One cave, or two, with this tour? And which?! Or Wentworth?

Greetings! There is so much helpful information here already! Recognizing how personal travel is I still would welcome input for which cave option(s) offered by this company would be best. Looking at the weekday timetable for the caves it seems feasible to see two within the time constraints of the tour. (I wish they left earlier, to be at Jenolan upon opening, but at least for now, not...)

https:/…jenolan-caves

Is there a better option, from Katoomba, without a car, than this company? I will have arrived via train from Sydney the previous day, hopefully by mid-morning so I can use the HOHO bus for sightseeing for 3 Sisters, Scenic World, etc.

I should mention it will be late July, the middle of winter. Do these tours, at that time of year, need to be reserved far ahead? Depending on the weather, I could hike instead?

Your opinion: I love seeing unique geology but am not fond at all of being underground. I go if there is something I must see (i.e. cave paintings in France) but not for the lights or special effects/music and definitely not plug holes!! Would you go in the caves or to Wentworth, if you have done both, and which cave(s) from their list of 3, or why you wouldn't go?!

Many thanks!

Oz
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1. Re: One cave, or two, with this tour? And which?! Or Wentworth?

Hi,

I guess it comes down to your personal preferences. The caves that are open to the public at Jenolan are'nt 'wild caves" they have lights, stairs, walkways, guard rails and you go with a guide. I think over the years I've been in all the tour caves and my personal favorite is The River Cave. Spelunking it isn't :-)

jenolancaves.org.au/the-caves/…

Do you mean Wentworth Falls ? There are some great walks there. Two totally different experiences.

https:/…

Cheers,

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Wentworth Falls
Wentworth Falls
Blue Mountains, Australia
Brisbane, Australia
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2. Re: One cave, or two, with this tour? And which?! Or Wentworth?

There is no alternative public transport down to Jenolan, it is around 40 mins drive from Katoomba. There are tracks there for bushwalking ... the caves are not vastly dissimilar so one is "probably" enough especially if you are a bit claustraphobic.

Wentworth Falls is well worth a visit but again not easy without a car especially if you are time limited.

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Wentworth Falls
Wentworth Falls
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3. Re: One cave, or two, with this tour? And which?! Or Wentworth?

You won't find more interesting limestone caves than Jenolan. Their calcite formations are stunning. Rather than try and fit more than one tour into one day, try one of the extended tours: jenolancaves.org.au/the-caves/…

Timing is everything if going to Jenolan for the day. The road down there from Katoomba is very narrow and winding at the end, and is closed to upcoming traffic during the middle of the day.

The tours around the sights at Katoomba are popular, so booking at least before you get there from Sydney is advisable. You will be able to walk the sights instead - the weather won't be freezing, but the problem is that the train station is several kilometres from the southern escarpment where most of the sights are.

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4. Re: One cave, or two, with this tour? And which?! Or Wentworth?

Wentworth is a long long way from the Blue Mountains, where the rivers meet. Lovely spot. Most probably a days drive. Pity your trip is next year for with all the water flowing down the river right now is an ideal moment to visit.

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Blue Mountains
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5. Re: One cave, or two, with this tour? And which?! Or Wentworth?

I wonder...where are you staying in the mountains? Perhaps you can car share with other guests? That is a very high fare and I wonder what else you could do with the money.

You could do a day trip to Tarana with the XPT train (booking required), about 1.5 hours west of Katoomba and walk up to Evans Crown.

Seattle
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6. Re: One cave, or two, with this tour? And which?! Or Wentworth?

You have all been so helpful and I truly appreciate your insight! I am staying in a tiny rental just the right size for one traveler and will need to rely on public transport, although more costly.Two further queries: I found one very old review of the " Nettle Cave", but it's mentioned nowhere on the Jenolan website details. "Self-guided?" Does this mean it's at the entrance area? I would LOVE to see a stromatolite, even if it's "dusty"😃... second, how busy in late July will the caves be, as far as making reservations ahead of time, vs seeing how cold/rainy it is when I am there? More thanks for all your replies, I so appreciate your time!

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7. Re: One cave, or two, with this tour? And which?! Or Wentworth?

For Peter H: thank you! I checked out the link but without staying overnight and during weekdays it isn't possible. With the bus my options are the Lucas, Chifley and Orient. If I can see a stromatolite and even some of the formations I will be very happy. And maybe a platypus, according to the reviews if the walk? Wow!

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8. Re: One cave, or two, with this tour? And which?! Or Wentworth?

Nettle Cave was only recently re-opened after being closed for 74 years. It is definitely the cave to see if it is stromatolites you are after, see this story: whatsonsydney.com/events/places-of-interest/…

It is mentioned on the Caves' website, on its FAQ page: jenolancaves.org.au/visitor-info/…

This is what it says about Nettle:

Question: Can I do the Self-Guided tour without buying a ticket for a guided tour?

Answer: No. The self-guided tour of the Devil’s Coach House cave and Nettle Cave is complementary when you purchase your guided show cave tour. It is a ‘twilight cave’ environment, and does not explore the dark caves that you visit on your guided tours. To help you get the most out of your Nettle Cave experience, before you do the self-guided tour, on your smart phone or tablet, go to the App Store or Google Play Store, search for Jenolan Caves and download the Jenolan App. The app provides considerable information about the cave and can be downloaded in 13 major languages.

There is also a FAQ on the same page about pre-booking. They recommend you doing so if you plan to be there during school holidays or on a weekend. Note that NSW school holidays are from 1 July 2017 until 16 July.

Edited: 09 December 2016, 12:19
Seattle
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9. Re: One cave, or two, with this tour? And which?! Or Wentworth?

More thanks, Peter H! From you, and the other experts here, it really helped me with most effectively planning my time at and around Katoomba! I am SO happy to be able to see the stromatolite at the newly reopened Nettle Cave and will plan on taking my time with that and touring one of the other guided tour caves and pre-booking. I will also take the walk and hope to see a water dragon or a platypus, albeit my chances are probably slim in winter?

My daughter was able to visit Hamelin Pool for research last year. What a fascinating country and I can't wait to visit!

Oz
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10. Re: One cave, or two, with this tour? And which?! Or Wentworth?

Hi,

You rarely see the platypus only the "foot print" in the water where they have dived. If you are there at dawn or dusk and look down from a hidden elevated position your chances are much greater. If there are other walkers about moving along the tracks adjacent to the stream and pools there isn't much likelihood.

Good Luck,