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Monday, December 6, 2010

Amazing Australian Jenolan caves

The Jenolan Caves is an outstanding caves in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia; 175 kilometres west of Sydney. They are the most celebrated of several similar groups in the limestone of the country being the oldest discovered open caves in the world.

They include numerous Silurian marine fossils of great interest and the calcite formations, sometimes pure white, are of extraordinary beauty. The cave network is enormous - over 40 km of multi-level passages - still undergoing active exploration. Several kilometres of the caves have been rendered easily accessible to paying visitors and are well lit.

Large portions of this extensive cave system are accessible only to cavers, especially those areas along the underground river system; but, there are ten caves at Jenolan that have been developed for regular tourism. The huge Jenolan Reserve is a National Park, located in the World Heritage Blue Mountains Area; where sign posted bush trails often enable tourists to glimpse shy Australian birds and native wildlife, including kangaroos and platypus.

The Jenolan Caves was also a big winner, with The Magic of Jenolan receiving gold in the tourist attractions, silver in ecotourism for its The Ancient Underworld and silver in heritage and cultural tourism for Written in Stone. It got great confidence in Jenolan, it’s one of the State’s great wonders. Mr Cove said it was the fourth year Jenolan had entered the awards and it had done better than ever. It helps to build visitor numbers from the current 230,000 annually. Mr Cove said about 75 per cent of visitors was domestic – many from Sydney – while 25pc came from overseas.

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