Jenolan CavesApprox. Time: 0 hours
Activity Level: Easiest

Jenolan Caves were known to the local Aboriginal population for many thousands of years as Binoomea, "Dark places". European involvement in the area began in 1838 with the first recorded discovery by a local pastoralist James Whalan. According to legend however, Whalan was not the first European to set eyes on the caves, with that honour going to James McKeown, an ex-convict and possibly an outlaw, reputed to have been using the caves as a hideout.

In the 1880's Jenolan began to emerge as a genuine tourist destination. Jeremiah Wilson, an extraordinary caver, had pushed to the end of the Elder Cave and in 1879 descended a shaft and rockpile to discover the Imperial Cave. This was soon followed by the discovery of the "Left Imperial" in 1880 (renamed the Chifley Cave in 1952 after Prime Minister J.B Chifley) .

Today Jenolan is the most popular tourist destination in country NSW, with over 250,000 visitors annually enjoying the wonders of the nine show caves, and an ever increasing number entering into the world of adventure caving.

Work at the caves continues with major upgrading of the show cave system and the visitor precinct. Over 160 years since the first Europeans travelling the valleys stumbled upon the vast openings of the Grand Arch and the Devil's Coachhouse the magic of Jenolan is still leaving its mark on visitors as a place as timeless as it is unforgettable.