Wombeyan Caves are unique cave formations located 70 km from Mittagong in Southern Highlands. The caves form a series of Sub-terranean channels offering amazing underground exploration for cave lovers. The caves are very well maintained and can be explored with a group tour organized by Wombeyan Karst Conservation Reserve Office managed by NSW Parks.
There are two alternative routes to approach Wombeyan caves if you are travelling from Sydney or the surrounding area. The route from Mittagong is currently closed due to roadworks (as of April).
The road from Wollondilly Lookout onwards is unsealed and not suitable for 4x4 vehicles. Make sure to keep yourself updated on road conditions at the NSW PARKS website. The road is currently under repair after the rains and flooding in early 2022.
The unsealed road between Mittagong and Wombeyan Caves
Most telecommunication networks have very few signals on the road because of remoteness and isolation. Make sure to travel as a group and do not risk driving a sedan on unsealed roads. There are a number of narrow turns and re-inforced roads that have streams flowing over them.
Views from Wollondilly Lookout
The atmosphere is magical and you will observe unique butterflies and species of birds. The pristine wilderness is definitely to be explored.
The road from Goulburn traverses through scenic NSW country landscapes with rolling hills and farmsteads. A safe route is to drive from Sydney to Goulburn and exit northwards towards the city of Tarlo and Taralga. These are old country towns with a small population and some historical buildings. The drive is very scenic and enjoyable. I suggest stopping over at the roadside cafes to enjoy coffee and chat with locals.
The historical town of Taralga between Goulburn and Wombeyan Caves
The smalls towns are mostly agricultural with a small city centre along the main road, an old church and a hotel that serves as a watering hole for the local crowd. The weekends bring a bit of activity.
The road turn-off from the main road towards Wombeyan caves is relatively isolated with distant farmsteads. A part of the road near Wombeyan Caves is unsealed but well-maintained.
The views from the top of the hill as you drive towards Wombeyan Caves Karst Camping grounds are amazing.
Wombeyans Caves Campgrounds are very popular with family holidaymakers. Very well-managed campgrounds have self-maintained units as well as massive campgrounds surrounded by pine trees and streams. You will see occasional resident kangaroos and wallabies running around the campground area.
The cabins at the campgrounds can accommodate up to 6 people and are fully furnished with basic amenities. The cabins can be booked on the NSW PARKS website.
Bookings for the cabins can be made by calling National Parks Contact Centre on 1300 072 757.
Various camping site locations are available including tents, vehicle tents, caravan sites and camper trailer sites to suit your equipment and tent type. The sites are well equipped with electricity, public toilets with showers, telephone and BBQ facilities.
If you enjoy the idea of sleeping out in the open, Wombeyan Caves Campgrounds are definitely a great location in the wilderness of Central NSW.
The tours can be booked at the NSW Park office at the campgrounds. Two tours were available at the time I visited the camp. One tour was 1.5 hours long and starts at 1 pm. The other tour was scheduled for 2 pm. These historical caves were discovered in 1860 accidentally by a farmer. The caves were explored in subsequent decades and later proclaimed in 1865 as limestone caves. These caves date back to 430 million years which makes them one of the oldest limestone caves to be explored in the world.
The assembly point of the tour is on the top of the hill overlooking the booking office. After a brief orientation, the tour guide takes the group to the gated entrance of the caves. A narrow step of stairs leads to the underground chambers. The temperature underground stays at 15c and is quite pleasant. The caves are lit with dim lights along the walkways.
Through millions of years of water dripping through the caves, amazing rock formations including stalactites and stalagmites are built on the floor and ground. Some waterdrops could be heard dripping from the top of the roof creating strange effects. The tour is 800 m long and takes you down the different steps of stairs and narrow passages.
Some of the chambers have massive domes carved out of falling rocks and create a magical effect with the lights. The caves and very well-maintained through time as the visitors are coming to these covers for over 100 years.