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Canberra Day Trips: Wombeyan Caves

By Canberra Day Trips - 10 June 2017 0

Wombeyan Caves

Wombeyan Caves has a reputation as one of Australia’s most attractive cave systems, and rightly so. Set in a serene, beautiful reserve, the area is a perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle. And it’s not just caves you’ll find there – the surrounding bushland offers waterfalls, mountain lookouts, swimming spots and an abundance of flora and fauna.

The Wombeyan Caves are made up of a network of over 230 caverns formed in marble in the Karst Conservation Reserve. Interwoven among these are unspoilt creeks, a stunning waterfall, picnic areas and camping grounds.

The forest reserve is a sanctuary for several endangered species of wallaby, bird, possum and wombat. Although there are strict rules about interacting with wildlife, the local wildlife is increasingly tame, with many magpies and kangaroos coming within metres of visitors.

The tourist attraction is a perfect destination for a single-day visit, but also a favourite local weekend and holiday area.

“Take your time, relax and explore the magic that is Wombeyan’s underworld. Between tours, enjoy the free above-ground activities or a leisurely picnic lunch on any of the well-grassed flats.” Oberon Australia

Why you’ll love it

The Wombeyan Caves area is under the management of the Tourism Commission of NSW, so it’s well cared for.

The reserve is breathtakingly beautiful. Rows of willows and poplars growing by the creek are perfect for picnicking or camping. There are shady spots aplenty if you prefer resting under a tree to bushwalking or caving.

You’re free to explore the caves on your own, and the Figtree Cave is said to be NSW’s best self-guided experience. Guided tours through the Wollondilly, Junction, Kooringa and Mulwaree caves are available if you prefer not to go it alone.

If you’d like to stay longer to explore the area, the Wombeyan Caves campground is the ideal spot to spend a night or two. Bring your tent, caravan or camper trailer – all the amenities are there. There are also cabins and cottages to hire in the area.

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Getting there

Wombeyan Caves is in the Southern Highlands. Access from Canberra is via Goulburn. Take the Federal Highway to Goulburn, then head towards Taralga on the Oberon Road, for about 45km. Turn into Wombeyan Caves Road and drive for about 15km until you get to the reserve.

A word of warning – the last 25km of the access road is unsealed and rough. There are many curves and narrow stretches as the road descends to the Wollondilly River then up some rugged mountains, but the views are spectacular and well worth the bumpy ride.

When to go

The Wombeyan Caves are open to visitors year-round. The campground is busier during school holidays so avoid those times if you prefer less hustle and bustle.

Wildflowers are in full bloom in spring, while summer is the perfect time for a dip in a natural swimming hole. If you’re thinking about a longer getaway, winter is an ideal time for curling up for a night or two in front of a roaring fire.

Key details

  • Distance from Canberra: Around 180km
  • Duration: Approximately a two-hour drive
  • Cost: Cave entry prices vary, but start at under $20 for adults. Guided tours cost slightly more, and package deals are available
  • Recommended for: caving enthusiasts, bushwalkers, campers and nature lovers
  • More information: Visit Canberra or National Parks NSW

Have you been caving before, or explored the area near Wombeyan Caves? We’d love to see your recommendations and tips in the comments.

Header photo of Figtree Cave from Visit Canberra.

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