Ribbon Cave Tour
Tour Length : 1.5 hour
Number of steps : 394 Steps
Tour Size : 8 people
Difficulty : This tour is a very easy tour, helped to a large extent by the small group size. Whilst more steps than the Orient it is actually easier for those people self conscious about holding up a group as it is more of a simple stroll and they don't need to feel as though they are holding up a tour group of 25.
General Tips : This is a tour for those people who have done one or two caves previously and want to indulge themselves. Long time visitors to the caves often rank the Ribbon as one of their favourites as it is a very pretty cave and with such a small group it becomes very much like a private tour. It is not recommended for young children as they will be frustrated at the slow pace.
The Ribbon Cave was originally called the Eastern Branch of the Orient Cave. A tour of the cave commences with an inspection of the Orient, albeit a briefer inspection than is normally conducted on that tour. The full length of the Orient is traversed (except for the Well) before the tour commences of the Ribbon. It is an extremely well decorated cave although the decoration is of the finer variety with few large decorations. Most tours will include a trip to inspect the Empress Grotto which is partway between the River Cave and Orient Cave.
Points of Inspection
Whereas the other cave tours stop at various platforms to view the cave, the Ribbon is a long tunnel with few places where the group can stand together to discuss the cave. As stated above, it is approached more as a leisurely stroll through the cave than a structured inspection. For this reason below are given a description of some of the features of the cave
Orient Cave - The full length of the Orient Cave is traversed on this tour. Guides will usually show parts of this cave as part of the tour, especially if requests are made. Note though that if other groups are present in the Orient then the Ribbon tour will pass by quickly to focus on the Ribbon Cave itself
Lake George - a basin once filled with water but now dry, crystal has grown over the top of part of it with much spar crystal below
Bat Skeleton - Resting on a sheltered ledge is a perfectly preserved bat skeleton. A number of bat skeletons embedded in crystal exist at Jenolan although this would be the best of them.
Lilypad - in many parts of this cave is evidence of water having been pooled with the result of crystal growth around the edges of the passage. In some places it has been likened to paper wasp nests whilst in other areas stalactites that had their tips immersed in this pool have been left with large disks of crystal surrounding them
The Shrine - A beautiful cluster of columns, stalagmites and stalactites at the end of the cave which always makes a brilliant photo.