Abercrombie Karst Conservation Reserve
Arch Cottage has everything for a relaxing weekend. It’s great budget accommodation, where you can bushwalk and see Abercrombie Caves.
|Where||175 Caves Road, Abercrombie River, NSW, 2795 - in Abercrombie Karst Conservation Reserve|
|Facilities||Barbecue facilities, drinking water, electric power, balcony, outdoor furniture, kitchen, plates and cutlery, pots and pans, heating, washing machine|
|What to bring||Bed sheets, blankets, pillows, pillow cases, towels, firewood|
|Bookings||Book online or call the National Parks Contact Centre on 1300 072 757.|
Arch Cottage is a self-contained three-bedroom house set within the bush above the famous Archway at Abercrombie Caves. It makes a great base for families or friends wanting to explore.
Sitting on the veranda and looking out over the bush, take in the grandure of the largest natural limestone bridge in the southern hemisphere. If not content to just look at it, why not join one of the cave tours and discover the incredible formations up close.
Alternatively, go bushwalking on Mount Gray or Grove Creek Falls walking tracks to see beautiful waterfalls and picturesque bushland along the way.
After a day of exploring, retreat to the comforts of this cosy cottage, then enjoy a home-cooked dinner and a glass of wine by the warmth of the fireplace.
For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/camping-and-accommodation/accommodation/arch-cottage/local-alerts
- National Parks Contact Centre
- 7am to 7pm daily
- 1300 072 757 (13000 PARKS) for the cost of a local call within Australia excluding mobiles
- Abercrombie Caves office
- Thursday to Monday, 9am to 4.30pm. During NSW school holidays, 9am to 4.30pm daily. Closed Christmas Day.
- 02 6368 8603
- 272 Caves Road, Abercrombie River 2795
- in Abercrombie Karst Conservation Reserve 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.
All the practical information you need to know about Arch Cottage.
Getting there and parking
Abercrombie Karst Conservation Reserve is located in Central-West NSW, 1 hour south of Bathurst and 1.5 hours drive north of Goulburn. Enter the reserve and follow Caves Road until you see the turnoff to Arch Cottage, about 1km before you reach the visitor centre and campground.
- Sealed roads
- 2WD vehicles
- All weather
Parking is available at Arch Cottage for 1 vehicle.
Best times to visit
There are lots of great things waiting for you in Abercrombie Karst Conservation Reserve. Here are some of the highlights.
Enjoy the cosy rooms and open fireplace at Arch Cottage and breathe in the crisp autumn air.
Pack a picnic and head off on Grove Creek Falls walking track for a relaxing lunch with spectacular views of the waterfalls.
Step out of your tent and go for a refreshing swim in the pools of Grove Creek, then discover the natural wonders underground on a cave tour.
Explore the historic mining site at Mount Gray by day, then get cosy by the campfire at night.
Weather, temperature and rainfall
8°C and 27°C
-0.1°C and 12°C
The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day
There is an outdoor fireplace. Please bring your own firewood.
Water is available at the cottage, but it must be boiled before drinking.
The cottage has a verandah.
The fully-equipped kitchen has a microwave, toaster, kettle, electric stove, oven and dining table.
Plates and cutlery
Pots and pans
There is solid fuel stove heating. Firewood is only supplied for the combustion heater during the cooler months.
There is a coin-operated washing machine and dryer next to the visitor centre.
Maps and downloads
Disability access level - no wheelchair access
There is no wheelchair access to Arch Cottage.
- You'll need a valid ticket or token to enter the caves. Cave entry is allowed during normal business hours; 9am to 4.30pm Thursday to Monday or daily during NSW school holidays.
- Amplified music is permitted but please be considerate of other visitors.
You can use a generator at Arch Cottage.
Flying a drone for recreational purposes is prohibited in this area. Drones may affect public enjoyment, safety and privacy, interfere with park operations, or pose a threat to wildlife. See the Drones in Parks policy.
This area may be a declared Drone Exclusion Zone, or may be subject to Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) rules for flying near airports, aerodromes and helicopter landing sites. See CASA's Drone Flyer Rules.
Commercial filming and photography
Spear fishing is not permitted.
Firewood may not be collected from the park.
NSW national parks are no smoking areas.
Arch Cottage is in Abercrombie Karst Conservation Reserve. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:
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, near Abercrombie Caves, is a bushwalk to the relics of a historic mining site. It continues on to the magnificent waterfalls and scenic views at Grove Creek Falls.
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.
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.
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 tour Explore Archway Cave, Abercrombie's most famous feature. It's the largest natural arch in the southern hemisphere.
- Belfry Cave tour This guided tour of Belfry Cave takes in the upper levels of the Archway at Abercrombie Caves. It's for adventurous spirits – you'll cross a suspension bridge and climb 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 guided tour at Abercrombie Caves to find out more.
- Grove Cave tour Feeling adventurous? If you are, join a challenging guided tour of Grove Cave at Abercrombie Caves. It's made up of tight narrow passages, high ceilings and white walls.
- Grove Creek Falls walking track Grove Creek Falls is a must-see for visitors to the Abercrombie Caves area. This walking track offers magnificent waterfalls, bushwalking and picnicking.
Plants and animals protected in this park
Eastern bentwing-bat (Miniopterus schreibersii oceanensis)
Eastern bentwing-bats congregate in caves across the east and north-west coasts of Australia, in colonies of up to 150,000. 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 (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 (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 (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.