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Karst conservation reserves

Karst conservation reserves are outstanding cave areas that offer unique experiences, with their spectacular beauty and stunning surroundings. These areas provide important evidence of past life, such as relics and fossils, as well as evidence of atmospheric, hydrological and biological processes.

Read more about Karst conservation reserves

NSW karst environments are of outstanding national and international importance, and are recognised as having one of the most complex processes of cave evolution and development in existence. Many of these environments contain highly evolved plant and animal species which are unable to survive elsewhere. Some also have special meaning to Aboriginal people as past sources of food and shelter and as places for ceremony.

There are 4 karst conservation reserves in NSW – Jenolan Caves, Wombeyan Caves, Borenore Caves and Abercrombie Caves – and they’re all found in the rich countryside bordering the western side of Blue Mountains.

NSW karst environments were among the earliest protected areas in the world. Wombeyan Caves were reserved for the purposes of leisure and cave preservation in 1865, followed by Jenolan Caves in 1866, both preceding the declaration of the world's first national park (Yellowstone in the US) in 1872.

The following list shows all karst conservation reserves in NSW:

Karst conservation reserves

Yarrangobilly Caves, Kosciuszko National Park. Photo: Murray Vanderveer