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Wombeyan Caves campground

Wombeyan Karst Conservation Reserve

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Learn more about why this park is special

Wombeyan Caves campground is in Wombeyan Karst Conservation Reserve. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Aboriginal connections

Rocky cliffs of Wombeyan Karst Conservation Reserve. Photo: Kevin McGrath

Wombeyan Karst Conservation Reserve is located within the traditional land of the Gundungurra People, with the word Wombeyan coming from local language meaning 'grassy valley between mountains'. It's believed that Wombeyan Caves were part of an Aboriginal travel route that coincided with seasonal availability of food and the caves may have provided reliable shelter. The Dreamtime myth of Gurrangatch relates to the forming of Wombeyan and Jenolan Caves. The caves are said to have been formed during a contest between Gurangatch, a mythical being that was part fish and part reptile, and Mirragan, a legendary tiger cat.

Life in the air

The mountains and forests of Wombeyan Karst Conservation Reserve. Photo: Stephen Babbka

Wombeyan Karst Conservation Reserve plays a special role in the conservation of some of Australia's precious native flora and fauna. The moist forest that surrounds the park's creeks are home to superb lyrebirds, the eastern whipbirds and flycatchers; look for lyrebird scratches around on the forest floor. Keep your eyes in the sky around the park's rocky outcrops for birds of prey, including brown goshawks and wedge tailed eagles. You'll have to look particularly carefully to see a tawny frogmouth; their camouflage is excellent- staying very still and upright- you might mistake them as part of the branch.

  • Mares Forest Creek walking track Tracking through a marble karst area along a stream, Mares Forest Creek walking track in Wombeyan Karst Conservation Area takes you to Tinted Cave.
  • Victoria Arch walking track A short walk on Victoria Arch walking track, in Wombeyan Karst Conservation Reserve, takes visitors through the bush to a remarkable natural formation.

On show

Reflected waters of Coronation cave, Wombeyan Karst Conservation Reserve. Photo: Steve Babka

The limestone caves of Wombeyan Karst Conservation Reserve are between 400 and 430 million years old. The geological processes that have created the magnificent cave system you see today continue to work their magic; you'll notice the impressive cave decorations including stalactites and stalagmites that are created by the infiltration of water into the caves. Take a guided Discovery tour to find out more about the history and geology of the caves.

  • Dennings Labyrinth Dennings Labyrinth, in Wombeyan Karst Conservation Reserve, is a guided tour through one of the park’s show caves.
  • Fig Tree Cave Be sure to take the self-guided tour of the impressive Fig Tree Cave while you’re at Wombeyan Karst Conservation Reserve. The cave decorations are a sight to see.

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • Eastern bentwing bat. Photo: Ken Stepnell

    Eastern bentwing-bat (Miniopterus schreibersii oceanensis)

    In colonies numbering up to 150,000, eastern bentwing-bats congregate in caves across the east and north-west coasts of Australia. These small Australian animals weigh around 13-17g and can reach speeds of up to 50km per hour. Eastern bentwing-bats use both sight and echolocation to catch small insects mid-air.

  • Common wombat. Photo: Ingo Oeland

    Common wombat (Vombatus ursinus)

    A large, squat marsupial, the Australian common wombat is a burrowing mammal found in coastal forests and mountain ranges across NSW and Victoria. The only other remaining species of wombat in NSW, the endangered southern hairy-nosed wombat, was considered extinct until relatively recently.

  • Brush tail possum. Photo: Ken Stepnell

    Common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula)

    One of the most widespread of Australian tree-dwelling marsupials, the common brushtail possum is found across most of NSW in woodlands, rainforests and urban areas. With strong claws, a prehensile tail and opposable digits, these native Australian animals are well-adapted for life amongst the trees.

  • Eastern common ringtail possum. Photo: Ken Stepnell

    Common ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus)

    Commonly found in forests, woodlands and leafy gardens across eastern NSW, the Australian ringtail possum is a tree-dwelling marsupial. With a powerful tail perfectly adapted to grasp objects, it forages in trees for eucalypt leaves, flowers and fruit.

Look out for...

Common brushtail possum

Trichosurus vulpecula

Brush tail possum. Photo: Ken Stepnell

One of the most widespread of Australian tree-dwelling marsupials, the common brushtail possum is found across most of NSW in woodlands, rainforests and urban areas. With strong claws, a prehensile tail and opposable digits, these native Australian animals are well-adapted for life amongst the trees.

Environments in this park

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Wombeyan Caves campground, Wombeyan Karst Conservation Reserve. Photo: Steve Babka