Iconic NSW tourism destination Jenolan Caves will undergo a major $30.7 million upgrade to protect and enhance the World Heritage listed destination for generations to come, thanks to NSW Government funding.
Improvements to the world’s oldest open cave system precinct include a face-lift to decades-old infrastructure and additional habitat protection for Jenolan’s resident platypus population. A five-year draft Master Plan for the precinct has also been released for public comment. The draft Master Plan includes a commitment by Jenolan Caves Reserve Trust to undertake a feasibility study of aerial access options.
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said the planned works and draft Master Plan proposals will ensure the much-loved tourist destination is able to deliver high-quality nature-based visitor experiences into the future.
“Access to Jenolan Caves is via one road, which has been repeatedly impacted by severe wet weather and is currently undergoing emergency repairs to restore access as soon as possible,” Mr Toole said.
“Work on restoring access after landslips in July and further damage in October is underway, but it is clear safe all-weather access is required and that consideration be given to aerial access options to provide resilience for this world heritage listed location.
“The draft Master Plan proposes a feasibility study of future aerial access options to ensure ongoing access to this important site and its 250 caves and internationally acclaimed show caves.
“Jenolan Caves has welcomed visitors for more than 100 years and we want to ensure we can preserve and protect this special place and enhance the experience for all future visitors, safely and sustainably.”
A new gateway to welcome guests and provide access to the village centre is also outlined in the draft Master Plan.
Other plans include a redesign of the Grand Arch Precinct, new self-guided walks through the Nettle and Arch Caves and upgrades to walking tracks, buildings and camping areas.
Draft Grand Arch Precinct Master Plan is on exhibition from 19 December 2022 and can be viewed at www.jenolancaves.org.au