25 March 2024

After $9 million upgrade, two years of work, the wonder that is Wombeyan Caves resurfaces

| Sally Hopman
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Inside caves

The new viewing platform inside the Wombeyan Caves, near Goulburn. Photo: NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

One of the region’s most popular natural wonders, Wombeyan Caves, has reopened to the public after two years – and a more than $9 million upgrade by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Wombeyan Karst Conservation Reserve, near Goulburn, is home to one of the state’s most remarkable cave systems, with ancient rock formations dating back more than 430 million years.

Long recognised for its environmental significance, Wombeyan was the first area in Australia reserved for the protection of caves back in 1865.

Supervisor of Caves with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, David Smith, said work to revitalise the caves began in July 2022 and was completed in September the following year but the official opening was delayed because the access roads suffered flood damage and required extensive repairs. It reopened on 15 March of this year.

“The upgrade by NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service is designed to ensure the ongoing conservation and enhanced care of Wombeyan’s unique karst environment while allowing sustainable visitation,” Mr Smith said.

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“It provides modern facilities that will attract new and old visitors to enjoy a unique nature-based tourism destination in the Southern Highlands and Southern Tablelands region of NSW.”

There are four main caves for visitors to explore, with guided tours available in Wollondilly, Kooringa and Mulwaree caves, showcasing unique cave decorations and stalactites, stalagmites and helictites.

A family-friendly self-guided tour of the Fig Tree Cave, featuring colourful chambers and unique cave coral, is also available for visitors.

Mr Smith said the significant upgrade improved the accessibility of the site for visitors.

“Guests can now enjoy a new accessible viewing platform at the spectacular Victoria Arch near the Fig Tree Cave, visitor centre, kiosk and picnic area, upgrades to camping amenities including additional powered sites and improved road access and parking,” he said.

People walking up steps in cave

The Wollondilly Cave is now more accessible for visitors following the Wombeyan Caves upgrade. Photo: NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

“Improved services and amenities have increased the site’s potential to facilitate events at Victoria Arch and the wider precinct in the future.”

Visitors can now also stay at Wombeyan Caves with cabins and camping options available including tent, caravan and motorhome sites. It is also expected to become a popular day-trip destination with an abundance of native wildlife, a scenic walking track and many grassy picnic spots for visitors to enjoy.

The Wombeyan Caves project was funded through the NSW Government’s Regional Growth, Environment and Tourism Fund, with the upgraded facilities expected to support the Southern Tablelands visitor economy by bringing in more visitors from Australia and overseas.

More information about the Wombeyan Caves is available on the NSW National Parks and Wildlife website.

Original Article published by Sally Hopman on About Regional.

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