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Travelling with Children

You know your children and what works best with them. Regardless, a bit of local knowledge and a few ideas can help make the trip a lot more enjoyable for you and your children

Structure your day

A trip to Jenolan is a big day out. Avoid grizzly kids by having a few breaks here and there. Try to do the tour of the cave early in the day rather than having tired argumentative children later in the day bringing you embarrassment later in the day. If kids are nervous of the caves try taking them into the Coachhouse first and maybe do the self-guide Nettle. This will get them into the idea of the caves and you then build up to the 'big tour'. It also gives an idea how they will react

Break the journey

If you're travelling from Sydney expect to be in the car with the little dears for something like 3 hours. It may be better to break the journey so you can stretch your legs and the children feel they are getting something out of the day already. Consider calling in at Scenic World at Katoomba (parking is free). Grab some snacks at Blackheath and whilst you are there drive down to Govetts Leap. Finally, many children prone to motion sickness won't enjoy the decent into Jenolan. When you are about 10km away from Jenolan you will see a big blue sign welcoming you to the reserve. A couple of kilometres beyond this is the turnoff for the Jenolan Cabins. Drive up this road to the cabins then get out for a walk before heading down the road. There are toilets here and usually somewhere about are a mob of kangaroos

Careful about your choice of cave tour

Unless the children are relatively mature avoid Baal. Its an incredibly beautiful cave but its a tour that moves slowly and most of the time you are looking admiring the cave. Your children will be bored witless. Also the River Cave is a bad choice as they have to negotiate tall ladders. Nothing spoils a tour for you when you find your child froxen with fear on the ladder. If you have doubts, do the Imperial - its only an hour long and depending on the guide your children can run ahead and feel as though are the first ones to the next section

Use the toilet

There are no toilets in the caves. Admittedly with many children it doesn't matter how much you check beforehand, the need to go immedaitely skyrockets once they are in the cave and usually at the point furthest from the entrance. If you think your child may be one of these pack some ziplock plastic bags. When little Johnny can't hold it any longer, let the guide know and they will show you somewhere to stand whilst he (Johnny, not the guide) fills the bag. Note though this is your souvenir of the tour and you must take it out with you.

Eating

Children will eat great volumes of hot chips if you let them and Jenolan will sell them to you. You may prefer to pack your own meals for them though. There are coin operated BBQs if you want or plenty of places to have a picnic. This section of the website helps in this regards

Followup on your visit/cheap souvenir

If you want to reinforce key issues of your visit plus geta cheap souvenir try the following. Fill up a bottle with water from a tap at Jenolan. This water flows from the caves and is full of dissolved limestone. At home fill an old saucepan with the water and start it boiling. As the water boils away you will find the saucepan is coated in white crystal. This reinforces that there is dissolved calcium carbonate in the water which contributes to the growth of decorations in the caves