Best Jenolan Caves- Orient and River Caves

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Cant’ work out which are the best Jenolan Caves to visit? I have been here twice and done quite a few tours. Many people take the Lucas Cave tour as it’s a good all rounder, which is true but for something even more impressive you can’t go past the Orient and River Caves.

Best Jenolan Caves

Bookings – Orient Cave

Bookings- River Cave

Located 174 km from Sydney via the Blue Mountains, the drive will take around 2.5 hours.

Firstly, both caves offer a very different and unique experience.Whilst the Orient is known as the most beautiful of all the caves here, the River Cave obviously has an impressive river system to explore.

All the caves can only be accessed via an organised tour so I suggest booking before hand to guarantee your spot. Otherwise you’ll have to take whatever is available on the day.

best Jenolan caves
A quaint setting before heading to the caves.

Two of the Best Jenolan Cave tours

The Orient Cave

Intricate and highly decorated, you’ll be stunned at it’s elaborate chambers.

The tour starts outside a locked tunnel entrance and we are given a quick orientation to how this cave came to be discovered. Founded on August 1st, 1904 and opened in 1917, the cave was once very hard to access. So a tunnel system using explosives was carved out in order to gain access.

best Jenolan caves
The man made tunnel allows visitors to access the Orient cave .

We are first shown just how dark the caves are when the lights inside are turned off. It’s hard to describe what the blackest of black really looks or more importantly feels like.The eyes don’t adjust and you loose all sense of your surroundings.You start to imagine how tough the first explorers had it with only candle light to guide them throughout. OK, that’s enough, turn the lights back on already!

We head into the next chamber, the Persian chamber and it’s jaw dropping from all who are there to witness it. What a mammoth amount of detail to take in.

best Jenolan caves
Quite the feast for the eyes.

The stair ways are well set up and we get to see everything from many different vantage points.

This is where you’ll find the biggest stalagmite in all of Jenolan, the mighty Hercules. At 9 metres in height, it’s a standout feature.

best Jenolan caves

The Persian chamber is by far the best chamber on this tour and is commonly thought to be the best of all caves here.


Other chambers on this tour include the Egyptian, the Jungle, India and Chrystal basin.

The Orient is a relatively easy cave to navigate as it has only a few hundred steps. It’s considered easy for fitness levels.

best Jenolan caves

best Jenolan cavesSteps: 358

Tour times: Monday to Friday 1.30 pm & and weekends 11.30 am and 1.30 pm

There are only 26 participants allowed so booking ahead is considered the best option.

For prices and bookings- click here. 


The River Cave

This is where you get to see the gorgeous turquoise pools that make this cave a highlight.

Discovered in 1903, the River Cave is one of the more challenging to take. With two near vertical ladders to navigate, it is important not to wear short skirts.

best Jenolan caves
one of the easier ladders to navigate.

Showcasing the gorgeous Pool of Reflection, you’ll be mesmerized at it’s beauty. The color is stunning as lights are placed in strategic points to really enhance the water and the cave itself.


best Jenolan caves
The Pool of Reflection was the highlight of the River Cave

The Minaret is another feature stalagmite within. It’s glossy appearance looks like one giant pillar of candle wax.

Another cool feature is the Grand Column in the Olympia chamber toward the end of the tour. From here we exited via the Mud Tunnels.

best Jenolan caves
Grand Column

The cave may not have the most impressive detail but the river is just simply stunning. For this reason it is best paired with another cave.

Steps: 1298

Time: 2 hours.

Participants 25.

So there you have it, two of the best Jenolan Cave tours with detail and uniqueness.

For prices and bookings- click here. 

Other Jenolan Caves Tours include:


Tips before you go

The caves are a steady 15 degrees Celsius regardless of time of year. Wear layers but note it’s not overly cold as there are no outside elements like wind or rain to make it feel colder.

Make sure you allow plenty of time to arrive as the road is quite slow going in due to the windiness of the area. Caravans are not permitted past a certain point as it’s pretty tight going in and out.

Again, if you can book ahead then do so otherwise you’ll most likely have to take the next cave tour available.

There are facilities on site such as a hotel, restaurant, cafe and small souvenir shop. There are  toilets but not in the caves themselves.

Take your camera but tripods and selfie sticks are not allowed as per website details.

All photos were taken on a Sony Mirror-less camera. We were able to take a small tripod into the Orient cave which was approved by the guide. 




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