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Abercrombie Karst Conservation Reserve

“The caves at Abercrombie Karst are truly awe-inspiring. That, plus the beautiful surrounding bush and tranquil Grove Creek make this a fantastic weekend getaway.”

Set in a peaceful valley, Abercrombie Karst Conservation Reserve is a spectacular place to visit and a unique opportunity to experience the hidden depths of NSW. Abercrombie Caves boasts the largest natural arch in the southern hemisphere, as well as a number of other grand, richly decorated caves. Take the kids on a cave tour and go on a magical underground journey.

Re-live mining history and walk to historic Mount Gray, or head to the visitor centre where you can hire a gold pan and try your luck fossicking in the creek. Pack a picnic, walk to the magnificent Grove Creek Falls and take in the dramatic views – this is a great place to catch a memorable photograh. Try your luck trout fishing in the creek or enjoy a refreshing swim surrounded by bush.

With so much to do and see, why not stay overnight? Enjoy a night by the campfire at Ambercrombie Caves campground, or cosy cabins and open fireplaces at Arch Cottage.


Highlights
 

Why you should visit

Abercrombie Karst Conservation Reserve is a special place, here are just some of the reasons why:

Caves of time
Abercrombie Caves and the surrounding area is part of the traditional country of the Burra Burra group, who are part of the larger Wiradjuri tribe. The Burra Burra group knew about the caves, although no Aboriginal artifacts have been found in Arch Cave itself.  However, in 1977 a research team found stone tools and animal bones, inlcuding some from extinct animals, in a shelter north of the Great Arch.

Underground wonders
As early as 1821, the Sydney Gazette reported that 'a cave of considerable dimensions has been recently discovered in the neighbourhood of Bathurst'.  There’s no wonder that almost 200 years later the caves attract visitors from far and wide. The famous Arch Cave is 221 metres long, 60 metres wide at both ends and 30 metres high in the middle. It’s considered the largest cave of its type in the southern hemisphere. Join a cave tour and discover the incredible natural world underground.

Gold rush history
The caves also have a fascinating manmade history. In the early 1830s, a group of bushrangers known as 'The Ribbon Gang' were using the Arch as a hideout. Throughout the 1830s, people from the nearby properties started to visit the main cave and by the 1840s it was a popular spot. But the discovery of nearby gold in the 1850s resulted in a huge increase in visitors. For relaxation, miners would come to the caves on a Saturday evening to drink and dance the night away. There is even a time capsule embedded into the walls, which they will reopen in 2079.

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Getting there

 Car

From Bathurst:

  • Drive south on Vale Road which continues into Trunkey Road
  • Continue until you come to the T-intersection at Trunkey Creek and turn left onto Goulburn Road
  • The turnoff to Abercrombie Caves is on your left approximately 13km after the township of Trunkey Creek onto Caves Road

From Goulburn:

  • Drive north west from passing the townships of Crookwell and Binda
  • Approximately 10km after the township of Binda turn to the right towards Tuena
  • The turnoff to Abercrombie Caves is on your right approximately 16km after the township of Trunkey Creek onto Caves Road

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 Opening times

Abercrombie Karst Conservation Reserve is:

  • Open 9am to 4.30pm Thurs - Mon during school terms (closed Tues, Wed and Christmas Day).
  • Open 7 days during school holidays

 Close to

Abercrombie Karst Conservation Reserve is close to:

  • Bathurst  (75km)
  • Goulburn (125km)
  • Sydney (238km)

 Bike

Check out the Bicycle information for NSW website for more information.

Weather and climate

 Visiting through the seasons

There are lots of great things waiting for you in Abercrombie Karst Conservation Reserve. Here are some of the highlights:


Spring (Sept, Oct, Nov)

  • Pack a picnic and head off on the Grove Creek Falls walking track to enjoy a relaxing lunch with spectacular views of the waterfalls

Summer (Dec, Jan, Feb)

  • Step out of your tent and enjoy a refreshing swim in the pools of Grove Creek, then discover the natural wonders underground on a cave tour.

Autumn  (Mar, Apr, May)

  • Try your luck fishing for rainbow trout in Grove Creek and breathe in the crisp autumn air

Winter (Jun, Jul, Aug)

  • Explore the historic mining site at Mount Gray by day, then get cosy by the campfire at night.

 Temperature

Summer

  • The average temperature ranges between 8°C and 27°C
  • The area's highest recorded temperature in summer is 27°C

Winter ­

  • The average temperature ranges between -0.1°C and 12°C
  • The area’s lowest recorded temperature in winter is -1.1°C

 Rainfall

  • The wettest month on average is January, the driest is April.
  • The area's highest recorded rainfall is 268.4mm in one day

Safety

Abercrombie Caves

Phone: 02 6368 8603
Email: abercrombie.caves@environment.nsw.gov.au
Street address: Trunkey Creek NSW 2795
Opening hours: 9am-4:30pm, Thursday to Monday during school terms (closed Tuesday and Wednesday). Open 7 days during school holidays (closed Christmas Day).

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Abercrombie Caves, Abercrombie Karst Conservation Reserve. Photo: OEH/NSW Government