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To Jenolan Caves or Not to Jenolan Caves?

Chicago, Illinois
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To Jenolan Caves or Not to Jenolan Caves?

Hello Everyone!

I'll be in Sydney for 6 days in November. I'm planning a day trip to the Blue Mountain area and I'm trying to figure out if doing an overnight trip, instead of a day trip, and going to the Jenolan Caves is worth it. Right now I'm not planning on hiring a tour. I was planning on taking the train to Katoomba and wander around the area on my own, utilizing the hop on hop off bus. If I work in going to the Jenolan Caves, I would likely book accommodation in Katoomba, spend day 1 in and around the area, then day two spend on a few tours at the caves, then hop the train back to Sydney.

At this point, I'm just not sure if I want to lose a day in Sydney (and possibly forfeit a day trip to Hunter Valley) to work in a trip to the caves. Is it worth it to see them? Or is it overhyped? There seems to be mixed reviews on this forum, so I'm trying to gauge whether it's a "must see" or more of a "it was kind of cool". Since I'm in the Sydney area for just a short period of time, I want to make sure I maximize my time and see as much as I can. Any advice or thoughts would be so nicely appreciated!

Thank you in advance!

Brisbane, Australia
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1. Re: To Jenolan Caves or Not to Jenolan Caves?

I love Jenolan, but for a 6 day trip I'm not sure I would do it. If it was possible to drive you could fit the caves and a fair bit of the mountains in but using public transport it really would take a lot of time.

Concentrate on Katoomba and it's magnificent scenery, I lived there for 9 years, don't expect warm Spring weather.

Darwin, Australia
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2. Re: To Jenolan Caves or Not to Jenolan Caves?

To be honest, nothing is a must see if it doesnt interest you to start with. What do you really want to do :}

If it was me- I like wine- I would go to Hunter Valley- but then I like stocking up on wine and spending a day trundling around , having a picnic and then a nice dinner at night drinking more wine., Do a winery tour, eating more nice cheese etc.

Melbourne, Australia
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3. Re: To Jenolan Caves or Not to Jenolan Caves?

G'day Irish,

Long time, must have been quietly scheming your holidays haha...

Tough tough question, and I think you'll get a distinctly divided response - for and against.

So I'm gonna promptly sit on the fence. Personally (really emphasise *personally*), I would make 100% sure that you've ticked off everything else on your Sydney 'to do' list. It's just me, but if I had six days, I'd definitely do the Blue Mountains, but wouldn't put Jenolan Caves above some other areas. It's an entire day, and looking at the larger picture (your whole holidays) that one day could be moved elsewhere. I'd even consider Blue Mountains + Canberra, before Jenolan Caves, and cram Sydney 'city' attractions/activities into three days.

If I can recall our last thread ping pong, you were considering Great Ocean Road and possibly include wineries in Victoria - is that still 'on'? I'm only asking as that may influence your decision about Hunter Valley.

I'm sure others will have good thoughts on the 'for' Jenolan Caves. I agree with able and hami

Just my $0.02

Edited: 28 March 2014, 06:01
Chicago, Illinois
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67 posts
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4. Re: To Jenolan Caves or Not to Jenolan Caves?

Hi Everyone,

Thanks so much for the feedback. I think you confirmed what I already knew but was not sure I wanted to admit is that a trip to the caves might not be best in terms of maximizing time seeing some of the other things on my "list".

I think the caves look amazing, and I would really be interested in seeing them, but I was really concerned about giving up a day in the Sydney area. I misspoke before that I actually only have FIVE full days in Sydney, as fly out on the morning of the 6th day.

I'm definitely going to embark on a day trip to the Blue Mountains by train for a day. That is a "must" on my list for sure. So thank you for all the feedback. It has definitely been valuable to my planning.

And yes, KVE, I've been busy reading guidebooks and doing my research offline! I like to come in with a question somewhat educated before I just depend on you experts from TripAdvisor to plan my holiday for me! :)

Darwin, Australia
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5. Re: To Jenolan Caves or Not to Jenolan Caves?

Irishautumn - so refreshing to read that you like to research before you post!!! Enjoy your trip, I'm sure you will love it all.

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: To Jenolan Caves or Not to Jenolan Caves?

<<I think the caves look amazing, and I would really be interested in seeing them, >>

They are. We don't really have a lot of options for caves around where I live, so I think Jenolan is quite wonderful and have been there four times.

The way I have done it in the past is to spend a night at Katoomba and rent a car for the day to do the 60 minute drive down to the caves (quite a journey in itself - do the drive down the road to the caves on Google Streetview!)

http://goo.gl/maps/3GseL

However, KVE is exactly right - you have limited time and only you know what is going to be a priority experience for you. You'll have to make the call whether or not you have time for this experience in the overall plan. Me? I'd put it on the list. Love the place.

Sydney
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7. Re: To Jenolan Caves or Not to Jenolan Caves?

I love Janolan Caves. I have been to the caves numerous times and never tire of them. However, if you only have 5 days in Sydney, it might be best to spend the other 4 in Sydney and 1 in Blue Mountains. But if it is between Janolan Caves and Hunter Valley, Janolan Caves win hands down IMO. Hunter Valley is just a wine region and not the best wine region IMO.

8. Re: To Jenolan Caves or Not to Jenolan Caves?

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