Chifley Cave Tour
Tour Length : 1.0 hour
Number of steps : 421
Tour Size : 40 people
Difficulty : This tour is relatively straight forward in that the bulk of the steps are at the start. Most people who do the tour have forgotten about those steps by the time they leave the first chamber. If you have had a hip operation or have a heart complaint this isn't a great tour to do. On the other hand most people will do it with no second thought.
General Tips : Coloured lights aren't used much at Jenolan but in the Chifley they are used in two sections. If you like coloured lights do this tour. Its also a good one for children as you do a lot of walking (or so it seems) so they feel like they have done a great journey through the mountain,
The Chifley Cave is one of the shorter tours at Jenolan and is a good choice for people with children. There are two locations on the tour which are illuminated with coloured lights. Also the tour does not retrace its path at any point so kids are unlikely to get bored. The cave was found in 1880 by Jeremiah Wilson and extended in 1881. A manmade tunnel was opened in 1923 allowing this tour to be conducted as a large loop. The cave was originally known as the Left Imperial but was renamed as the Chifley in 1952 in honour of Ben Chifley who was both Prime Minister of Australia and the local member for the electoral district that Jenolan was in at the time.
Points of Inspection
Margarita Chamber - The cave is entered by passing through the start of the Imperial Cave. The first chamber that is inspected is the Margarita. It is named after the wife of Lieutenant-Colonel Cracknell who lit this cave with electric light in 1880. This was the first cave anywhere in the world to be lit by electric light.
Madonna Cave - By climbing up from the Imperial Cave in 1880, Jeremiah Wilson entered the cave by way of this chamber. It is named after a stalagmite in the centre of the chamber resembling the Madonna and child.
Lucinda Cave - Folklore says that when Jeremiah Wilson discovered this section in 1881 he was so impressed by its beauty that he named it after his wife Lucinda. It is one of the most beautiful sections of the Chifley.
Katies Bower - A popular story tells of how a young girl called Katie Webb was lowered on the end of a rope to discover this part of the Chifley Cave. It is viewed from a low level platform before an ascent is made to a higher level platform.
Flitch of Bacon - Originally tour groups turned around in Katies Bower and returned the way they had come but in 1923 a tunnel was opened up allowing a quick return to be made to the Grand Arch, the starting point of the tour. It provides a good closeup view of some very delicate cave formations.