Lucas Cave Tour
Tour Length : 1.5 hours
Number of steps : 980
Tour Size : 60 people
Difficulty : Able to be undertaken by most visitors. The guides know most people aren't fit so they deliberately take it slow with lots of pauses so most people tend to forget the steps after the first few stops
General Tips : Young children won't enjoy the steps plus the length of the tour can be a bit demanding on them. If you are carrying a very young child think about an easier cave. Try to get a tour early in the day or late in the afternoon as these have less people on them
Summary : The Lucas Cave exposes the visitor to a wide range of features throughout the tour. The tallest chamber, the widest chamber, beautiful decoration and the underground river are all seen on this tour. For visitors who have not been to Jenolan before this tour is a good starting point. Once they have sampled what Jenolan has to offer the visitor is in a better position to decide what other tours to go on. The cave was found in 1860 by George Whiting and Nicholas Irwin. The efforts of politician John Lucas to protect the caves resulted in the area being declared a reserve for their preservation in 1866. For this reason the cave was named the Lucas Cave in recognition of his contribution.
Concerts are regularly staged in the cave. Below is a video of a performance in the cave.
Points of Inspection
Anteroom - For many people this is their first taste of what a cave is like. Usually the guides will give everyone a chance to catch their breath by explaining how caves form and the types of formations that are about to be seen on the rest of the tour.
Cathedral - This is the tallest chamber at Jenolan, measuring just over 54m high. The formations in this area take their names from the features that are normally seen within a cathedral. The highlight is when music is played to sample the underground acoustics. Marriages are frequently performed within this chamber.
Slide - Folklore tells of how early visitors were placed upon sacks and sent sliding down this large passageway, descending by the light of a candle. At the bottom of the Slide is the Exhibition Chamber which is the largest chamber at Jenolan, being about the same area as a small football field.
Broken Column - At one time this column would have reached from the roof to the floor but subsidence of the rockpile which forms the floor has caused it to break in half. The platform from which the Broken Column is viewed gives one of the best vistas across the Exhibition Chamber.
Mafeking Chamber - This chamber was found 40 years after the Lucas Cave was found. It was discovered when guides squeezed their way up through a rockpile. This is the prettiest section of the cave.
Terraces - When this area is reached the tour has started to make its way out of the cave. The Terraces are a series of beautiful cascades of flowstone. View can also be had back across the chamber towards the Broken Column
Underground River - For many people, this is the highlight of the tour. Whilst the river may appear to be a large pool of water it is in fact part of the underground river that formed this cave. It is a beautiful blue-green colour and flows 20m below a bridge that the tour crosses.
Bone Cave - At one time many animal bones littered this chamber but early visitors unfortunately took these with them. For many visitors the highlight of this area is the mass of coloured lights. It is a short walk from this area back to the surface and the edge of the Blue Lake.
To see how close the Cathedral is to the surface watch this video