Abercrombie Karst Conservation Reserve

Overview

Famous for its incredible limestone caves, Abercrombie Karst Conservation Reserve offers great bushwalking, waterfalls, and picturesque camping for the whole family. An Abercrombie Caves tour is an unforgettable experience.

Read more about Abercrombie Karst Conservation Reserve

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 photograph. 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. .

 

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/abercrombie-karst-conservation-reserve/local-alerts

Contact

  • in the Country NSW region
  • Abercrombie Karst Conservation Reserve and caves are open Thursday to Monday (closed Tuesday and Wednesday). The reserve and caves area open daily during NSW school holidays. Closed Christmas Day.

    • Abercrombie Caves office
      (02) 6368 8603
      Contact hours: 9am-4.30pm Thursday to Monday (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays). 9am-4.30pm daily during NSW school holidays. Closed Christmas Day.
    • Abercrombie Karst Conservation Reserve, Trunkey Creek NSW
    • Email: abercrombie.caves@environment.nsw.gov.au
      Fax: (02) 6368 8634
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See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Abercrombie Karst Conservation Reserve.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    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

    Park entry points

    • Abercrombie Karst Conservation Reserve See on map

    By bike

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

    Best times to visit

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

    Autumn

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

    Spring

    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

    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.

    Winter

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

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    8°C and 27°C

    Highest recorded

    27°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    -0.1°C and 12°C

    Lowest recorded

    -1.1°C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    January

    Driest month

    April

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    268.4mm

    Facilities

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    However you discover NSW national parks and reserves, we want you to have a safe and enjoyable experience. Our park and reserve systems contrast greatly so you need to be aware of the risks and take responsibility for your own safety and the safety of those in your care.

    Mobile safety

    Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + app before you visit; it helps emergency services locate you, using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park, you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

    Prohibited

    Pets

    Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the OEH pets in parks policy for more information.

    Smoking

    NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

    Nearby towns

    Blayney (49 km)

    Blayney, a small farming town in the heart of Country NSW, is a great base for exploring regional heritage sites. Many of the buildings in Blayney and surrounding townships are classified by the National Trust.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Bathurst (68 km)

    Within a 70-km radius of Bathurst are the spectacular limestone cave systems -Abercrombie and Jenolan caves - which you can explore safely on guided tours.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Goulburn (120 km)

    Named after Henry Goulburn - the British Secretary of State for the Colonies, Goulburn developed into a major centre for wool, and in 1863, it became Australia's first inland city. Today, the town is a rich hub of history, discovery and natural beauty.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

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

    Underground wonders

    Abercrombie Caves, Abercrombie Karst Conservation Reserve. Photo: Boris Hlavica

    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.

    • Archway Cave self-guided tour Take a self-guided tour of Archway Cave, which has the largest natural arch in the southern hemisphere. Its special features include the historic gold miners dance platform, built in 1880.
    • Belfry Cave tour This guided tour of Belfry Cave takes in the upper levels of the Archway. It's for true adventurous spirits – you'll be crossing a suspension bridge and climbing ladders just to get to there!
    • Bushrangers Cave tour Bushrangers Cave is named for the bushrangers who roamed the rugged Abercrombie Ranges in 1830, and used the cave as a shelter. Join this tour to find out more.
    • Grove Cave tour Are you feeling adventurous? If you are, join this guided tour of Grove Cave. It's made up of tight narrow passages, high ceilings and white walls. It's a challenging cave tour for small groups.
    • Grove Creek Falls walking track Grove Creek Falls is a must-see for visitors to Abercrombie Karst. This walking track offers magnificent waterfalls, bushwalking, fishing, fossicking and picnicking.

    Caves of time

    North Arch, Abercrombie Karst Conservation Reserve. Photo: OEH

    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.

    Bushrangers

    Abercrombie Karst Conservationa Reserve. Photo: Boris Hlavica

    In 1830 armed settlers, mounted police, and an army regiment fought it out with the Ribbon Gang near the caves. Ralph Entwistle, a convict servant, led a rebellion of convicts at Bathurst. His gang became known as 'The Ribbon Gang' because many of its members were said to have worn white ribbons in their hats.

    • Mount Gray walking track Mount Gray walking track carves a bushwalk to the relics of a historic heritage mining site, then to the magnificent waterfalls and scenic views at Grove Creek Falls.

    Natural wonders

    Abercrombie Karst Conservationa Reserve. Photo: Boris Hlavica

    The natural wonders of Abercrombie Karst Conservation Reserve will inspire you. Rare plant species such as laurel-leaf grevilleas and Chalker's wattle brighten the area with vibrant shades of yellow and red. Lucky visitors may also catch a glimpse of wildlife such as vulnerable peregrine falcons and sugar gliders lurking through the trees. Wallabies are also known to call Abercrombie Karst Conservation Reserve home, so be sure to keep an eye out.

    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.

    • Swamp wallaby, Murramarang National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

      Swamp wallaby (Wallabia bicolor)

      The swamp wallaby, also known as the black wallaby or black pademelon, lives in the dense understorey of rainforests, woodlands and dry sclerophyll forest along eastern Australia. This unique Australian macropod has a dark black-grey coat with a distinctive light-coloured cheek stripe.

    • Kookaburra. Photo: OEH

      Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)

      Of the 2 species of kookaburra found in Australia, the laughing kookaburra is the best-known and the largest of the native kingfishers. With its distinctive riotous call, the laughing kookaburra is commonly heard in open woodlands and forests throughout NSW national parks, making these ideal spots for bird watching.

    •  Superb lyrebird, Minnamurra Rainforest, Budderoo National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

      Superb lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae)

      With a complex mimicking call and an elaborate courtship dance to match, the superb lyrebird is one of the most spectacular Australian animals. A bird watching must-see, the superb lyrebird can be found in rainforests and wet woodlands across eastern NSW and Victoria.

    Environments in this park

    Education resources (1)

    What we're doing

    Abercrombie Karst Conservation Reserve has management strategies in place to protect and conserve the values of this park. Visit the OEH website for detailed park and fire management documents. Here is just some of the work we’re doing to conserve these values:

    Managing weeds, pest animals and other threats

    Pests and weeds have a significant impact to the ecosystems and habitats within Abercrombie Karst Conservation Reserve. Pest reduction of goats is an important part of the work NPWS does to protect the integrity of rare grevillea and acacia plants which exist within this reserve.

    Conservation program

    Regional pest management strategies

    Weeds and pest animals cause substantial damage to agriculture and our environment, so it’s essential we manage them in NSW national parks and reserves. Our regional pest management strategies aim to minimise the impact of pests on biodiversity in NSW.  We work hard to protect our parks and neighbours from pests and weeds, ensuring measurable results.

    Managing fire

    NSW is one of the most bushfire prone areas in the world as a result of our climate, weather systems, vegetation and the rugged terrain. NPWS is committed to maintaining natural and cultural heritage values and minimising the likelihood and impact of bushfires via a strategic program of fire research, fire planning, hazard reduction, highly trained rapid response firefighting crews and community alerts.

    Conservation program

    Hazard reduction program

    Managing fire-prone NSW national parks requires a three-pronged approach, including fire planning, community education, and fuel management. When it comes to fuel like dead wood, NPWS conducts planned hazard reduction activities like mowing and controlled burning to assist in the protection of life, property and community.

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