Canberra Day Trips: Yarrangobilly Caves

Canberra Day Trips 24 June 2017


Do something different and explore one of Kosciuzko’s National Park’s not-so-secret gems. With plenty to do, see and learn, Yarrangobilly Caves is the perfect Canberra day trip for any adventurer.

Yarrangobilly Caves encompasses six explorable limestone caves that are roughly 440 million years old. Inside, you’ll be blown away by the stunning karst system of stalagmites and stalactites. Outside, you can explore the picturesque walking paths along the river and even take a dip in the thermal pool.

Why you’ll love it

The stunning and geologically marvellous Yarrangobilly Caves is a unique destination with a lot to offer.

In the caves you’ll discover delicate stalagmite and stalactite formations made hundreds of millions of years ago. You can experience the largest cave, South Glory, at your leisure on a self-guided tour.

To see the other caves, you’ll need to join a guided tour. Tours run several times per day from the Yarrangobilly Caves Visitors Centre, and cost $22 per adult, $17 concession, or $55 for families. If you want to see a particular cave, call ahead on (02) 6454 9597 to confirm the tour times for that day.

You can also admire the native wildlife and breathtaking scenery on one of several short walks in the area.

The Yarrangobilly Caves River Walk is a 3km loop along the river to the thermal pool (pictured below), which maintains a year-round temperature of 27 degrees. According to signs in the area, this phenomenon is the result of rainwater seeping underground, where it is heated and forced pack through porous rock to the surface.

There are picnic tables, change rooms (no showers), toilets and a makeshift barbecues near the pool too.

yarrangobilly caves thermal pool

The 3.2km Castle Walk loop offers a scenic stroll along the river with opportunities to fish, swim or take photos.

Getting there

Yarrangobilly Caves is located in the Kosciuszko National Park.

From Canberra, take Monaro Highway to Cooma and continue onto the Snowy Mountains Highway until you come by Yarrangobilly Caves Entry Road. After approximately 6km, the unsealed road will take you to Yarrangobilly Caves.

When to go

Yarrangobilly Caves can be explored at any time of the year. The caves remain cold, while the thermal pool stays warm all year round. In summer you can enjoy the pristine waters and sunshine while winter invites you to see the blankets of snow.

If travelling between the June and October long weekends, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service recommends that you carry snow chains.

Keep in mind that Yarrangobilly Caves can become boggy when it rains. In extreme weather the roads to the caves may be closed. The is no mobile reception in the Yarrangobilly Caves area of the park.

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Key details

  • Duration: River Walk and Castle Walk take around 45 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes to complete
  • Distance from Canberra: 269km
  • Cost: the self guided tour of South Glory is $18 for adults and guided tours of the other caves are $22 for adults. Multi cave passes and family discounts are available. Parking at Yarrangobilly Caves is $4 per vehicle per day, unless you have a National Park Pass
  • Recommended for anyone with an interest in nature or geology who is relatively mobile
  • Don’t forget to bring: enclosed shoes, a jacket, and swimmers
  • More information: go to the National Park’s NSW website

Where’s your favourite destination in Kosciuszko National Park? Let us know in the comments below.

Header photo: Yarrangobilly Caves, from Snowy Mountains. Thermal pools photo taken by Lisa Martin.

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