Katoomba to Canberra via the Jenolan Caves

Published: August 15th 2019
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This morning we set off to visit the Jenolan Caves. Only 27 Kilometres away from Katoomba, as the crow flies, but 74 kilometres by road! On our way we made a quick stop at Govetts Leap Lookout near Blackheath. The falls here are known as the Bridal Veil Falls or simply, Govetts Leap. One more stupendous view of a rugged Blue Mountains valley, this time the Grose Valley.

Back on the road we made it to Jenolan Caves nearly an hour before our scheduled cave tour at 11.30am. The weather associated with the polar vortex dumped snow on this part of the world last weekend closing the road to Jenolan Caves. Knowing that there could still be a bit of snow and ice by the road we decided to allow plenty of time for the trip. There was a bit of snow by the road, especially where it had been pushed to the side by snow clearing vehicles and patches of snow in the paddocks, but nothing that hampered our trip.

With our tickets purchased online we checked in at the guide office and found out where we should be at the appointed time to meet the guide. We still had plenty of time to spare and there was the smell of bacon in the air so we decided to go into the cafe for bacon and egg rolls. We have eaten so much bacon on this holiday. One of the guides recommended the hot chocolate so I ate a bacon and egg roll AND washed it down with a hot chocolate! Just as well I was about to climb 912 steps in and around Lucas Cave!!

At 11.30am we met our guide Tanya near the entrance to Lucas Cave. After a quick rundown on the rules - no food, no drinks other than water, no selfie sticks or tripods and no touching the caves surfaces - we started up the stairs to the entrance. Tanya assured us that most of the stair climbing would be completed by the time we made our way inside.

The structures inside Lucas Cave were very varied and impressive. There were examples of most of the structures associated with limestone caves: straws, stalactites, stalagmites, columns, flow stone and shawls. And on today’s tour we experienced a little something extra. We arrived in one of the larger chambers of the cave and Tanya said that a member of our group had an announcement to make. The next thing we knew there was a young guy down on bended knee asking his girlfriend to marry him!! She said Yes and there was a resounding round of applause for the young couple. Aawww.

After we exited the cave we made our way around to the Blue Lake which Tanya had pointed out to us from near the cave entrance and recommended that we visit while in the area. Since it was such a short walk to the lake we had a quick look to admire its aquamarine waters.

We gave the Caves Cafe some more patronage buying sandwiches for lunch before continuing our journey. We had a crimson rosella today who was very interested in sharing our lunch with us, but there were sign up everywhere saying ‘Do Not Feed the Birds’ ... so we didn’t.

It was a beautiful afternoon to be on the road as we were lucky enough to have fine, sunny weather again today. We passed a lot of farms along the way. There were some cattle, but they were well and truly outnumbered by sheep. Bernie said something about lots of merino sheep which triggered something in his memory banks about the BIG Merino in Goulburn. He must’ve retained this from when I was reading out the list of ‘big things’ on the first day of our holiday.

So of course we had to stop in Goulburn to visit the BIG Merino. We needed to stretch our legs and take a comfort break anyway! It was pretty obvious straight away that this is the biggest big thing that we have visited during this holiday. There is a merino gift shop adjacent to the ram so we popped in for a quick look. The fine merino and merino blend garments on display were gorgeous, but oh so pricey. We managed to make it out with a couple of greeting cards and a hat.

After a short stretch on the Hume Highway we turned off onto the Federal Highway towards Canberra, passing along the shore of Lake George on the way. At the moment there is little to differentiate Lake George from other farmland that we passed today. The lake goes through phases of filling and evaporating and when it is dry, or mostly, dry farmers run the stock on it. Today we could see cows, sheep ad kangaroos grazing on the lake bed. As we approached Canberra a full moon was rising which looked rather spectacular.

We checked into the Motel Kurrajong for the last two nights of our holiday and hauled all the baggage from the car to our accommodation for the last time. The next time we unload the car we will be back at home.

The restaurants nearby were a bit on the pricey side so we ventured out to the Canberra Club which is only a couple of hundred metres from the hotel. Reasonable food at a reasonable price ... and we didn’t have to get dressed up.

The girls really are on a roll with two more wins tonight in the Bolivia Challenge.

Steps: 10,058 (7.24kms)

Additional photos below
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