Special Offer

Discover geology at Yarrangobilly Caves

Yarrangobilly area in Kosciuszko National Park

Overview

All tours and events are closed due to the current fire situation. Re-opening dates will be confirmed after February 2020. Every rock tells a story! Come and experience Yarrangobilly Caves on a special guided tour through geological time. This is a fun tour for all the family.

Where
Yarrangobilly area in Kosciuszko National Park
Accessibility
No wheelchair access
Grade
Medium. Suitable for all ages. Moderate level of fitness required.
Price

Adult $37 per person. Concession/child $28 per person. Family $96 for 2 adults and up to 2 school-age children.

Entry fees

Park entry fees apply for vehicles without a Kosciuszko National Park day pass or NPWS All Parks annual pass.

Meeting point
Yarrangobilly Caves Visitor Centre
Bookings
Bookings required. Phone Yarrangobilly Caves Visitor Centre on 02 6454 9597 to book. Full payment required at time of booking. Collect your tickets from the Visitor Centre at least 30 minutes before the tour begins. No refund possible – spaces on this tour are very limited (maximum 25 people, minimum 10).
Availability
Available during school holidays and on request.

Chat to a geologist, participate in hands-on experiments and learn some tricks of the trade for identifying rocks. Examine fossils of long-extinct plants and animals.

Bring along a geological photo or a rock specimen and discover its story. Learn to read the rocks and recognise fossils of long-gone animals. Find out what kind of environment these animals lived in and what they looked like when they were alive. Discover how the landscape at Yarrangobilly has changed rapidly in fairly recent times and why former river beds now sit on top of our hills.

See what the word 'karst' (the name of a landscape formed on limestone) refers to, and look at some of its many different surface expressions. The region also has a rich mining history – find out why.

Then apply your new skills on a special guided tour through spectacular North Glory Cave. It's all written in the rocks. This is time travel with a twist!

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

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 https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/guided-tours/discover-geology-at-yarrangobilly-caves/local-alerts

Bookings

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Discover geology at Yarrangobilly Caves.

Getting there and parking

Yarrangobilly Caves is in the northern precinct of Kosciuszko National Park. To get there:

From the Monaro Highway:

  • At Cooma, take the Snowy Mountains Highway and continue for approximately 110km.
  • Turn left into Yarrangobilly Caves Entrance Road
  • Follow the unsealed road for approximately 6km to Yarrangobilly Caves

From the Hume Highway:

  • At Gundagai, take the Tumut exit and follow Gocup Road to Tumut.
  • Continue on Snowy Mountains Highway south for approximately 75km
  • Turn right into Yarrangobilly Caves Entrance Road
  • Follow the unsealed road for approximately 6km to Yarrangobilly Caves

Parking

Parking available at Yarrangobilly Caves.

Maps and downloads

Accessibility

Disability access level - no wheelchair access

Not wheelchair-accessible.

Visitor centre

Learn more

Discover geology at Yarrangobilly Caves is in Yarrangobilly area. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Unique landscapes

Jersey Cave decorations, at Yarrangobilly Caves in Kosciuszko National Park. Photo: E Sheargold/OEH

Yarrangobilly’s karst landscapes were created from a belt of limestone laid down about 440 million years ago. Almost all cave formations can be seen here, from stalactites and stalagmites, hollow straws and delicate helictites, to shawls, cave coral, and massive flowstones. Karst environments are nature’s time capsules, preserving evidence of climate change, floods, droughts, fires, animal and human activity. Over the years, Yarrangobilly's caves have hosted researchers from universities, nuclear science organisations and the Snowy Hydro. You can now visit Harrie Wood Cave, which was closed from 2006-2016, to learn how stalagmites have growth rings, and find out about about climate change monitoring.

  • Discover geology at Yarrangobilly Caves All tours and events are closed due to the current fire situation. Re-opening dates will be confirmed after February 2020. Every rock tells a story! Come and experience Yarrangobilly Caves on a special guided tour through geological time. This is a fun tour for all the family.
  • Jersey Cave All tours and events are closed due to the current fire situation. Re-opening dates will be confirmed after February 2020. Step back in time on a guided tour of Jersey Cave. You'll be awed by some of the most colourful and diverse decorations at Yarrangobilly Caves in Kosciuszko National Park.
  • Jillabenan Cave All tours and events are closed due to the current fire situation. Re-opening dates will be confirmed after February 2020. Take a fascinating guided tour of Jillabenan Cave. It's the smallest and most accessible of the Yarrangobilly Caves in Kosciuszko National Park, but it’s packed with incredibly delicate formations.
  • Mill Creek Swallet adventure caving tour All tours and events are closed due to the current fire situation. Re-opening dates will be confirmed after February 2020. Do you enjoy adventure caving? Challenge yourself on this guided caving tour at Mill Creek Swallet cave in Yarrangobilly, Kosciuszko National Park.
  • River Odyssey adventure caving tour All tours and events are closed due to the current fire situation. Re-opening dates will be confirmed after February 2020. Are you up for a challenge? River Odyssey is a great introduction to the adventure of wild caving. You don't have to be experienced to take part. See Yarrangobilly Caves in a whole new way.
  • South Glory Cave All tours and events are closed due to the current fire situation. Re-opening dates will be confirmed after February 2020. Take a leisurely self-guided tour through the lofty chambers of South Glory Cave. Absorb the wonders of the largest cave in the Yarrangobilly area of Kosciuszko National Park.
  • WilderQuest Bake and bushcraft at Yarrangobilly All tours and events are closed due to the current fire situation. Re-opening dates will be confirmed after February 2020. Would you like to learn basic bush skills and cook your own food on a campfire? Join the WilderQuest crew in exploring the natural world of Yarrangobilly.
  • WilderQuest Little caves for little kids All tours and events are closed due to the current fire situation. Re-opening dates will be confirmed after February 2020. Test your climbing, crawling and balancing skills on this Kosciuszko WilderQuest adventure! We'll explore some of Yarrangobilly's smaller wild caves, and the creek and forest between them.
  • Yarrangobilly Castle Cave tour All tours and events are closed due to the current fire situation. Re-opening dates will be confirmed after February 2020. Experience a genuine caver's journey into the dark underground. Book now to trek along Yarrangobilly River and explore secluded Castle Cave, with a trusty head torch and guide by your side.
  • Yarrangobilly Harrie Wood Cave tour All tours and events are closed due to the current fire situation. Re-opening dates will be confirmed after February 2020. Yarrangobilly's Harrie Wood Cave has reopened after being closed for the last 11 years for cave research. Join this specialised guided tour in Kosciuszko National Park to find out more.
  • Yarrangobilly North Glory Cave tour All tours and events are closed due to the current fire situation. Re-opening dates will be confirmed after February 2020. Explore the immense cave formations of North Glory Cave in Yarrangobilly Caves, Kosciuszko National Park.
Show more

Explore above and below ground

Yarrangobilly Caves Visitor Centre, Kosciuszko National Park. Photo: Elinor Sheargold/OEH

No visit to Yarrangobilly is complete without a visit to its marvellous caves, so stop by the Yarrangobilly Caves Visitor Centre to get your tickets and tour times. The largest, South Glory Cave, allows you to explore at your own pace on a self-guided tour. Jersey and Jillabenan Caves offer guided tours that run 3 or 4 times daily - Jillabenan even boasts wheelchair-access. The visitor centre can also help with tours of other caves, meetings, weddings, custom tours for groups or students from 10 to 100 people. With caves, tours, walks, and the natural mineral waters of the thermal pool to tempt you, you’ll need to stay a few days. Book your own lovingly restored wing or a great-value room at Caves House. Enjoy the creature comforts of Lyrebird Cottage, or set up camp at Yarrangobilly Village campground, just off the Snowy Mountains Highway.

  • Yarrangobilly Caves thermal pool walk Take the short Yarrangobilly Caves thermal pool walk and enjoy a swim in the spring-fed natural pool. It's easily combined with a picnic, bushwalk or cave tour in the Yarrangobilly area of Kosciuszko National Park.
  • Yarrangobilly Caves Visitor Centre Yarrangobilly Caves Visitor Centre is your one stop destination for information on cave tours and tickets, and top tips on where to stay and what to do in the Yarrangobilly and northern areas of Kosciuszko National Park.

A wonderland for wildlife

The endangered smoky mouse. Photo: Linda Broome/OEH

Karst environments are complex ecosystems containing highly specialised plants, animals and micro-organisms. The dense shrubs around Yarrangobilly River provide protection for the endangered smoky mouse, as well as being great for bird watching. At night you might be lucky to see a possum or sugar glider, forest bats, tawny frogmouth owl or even an endangered sooty owl. Don’t be put off if you see algae or even springtime tadpoles in the thermal pool. Algae and weed provide a breeding site for eastern banjo frogs, aka pobblebonks, because of their banjo-like ‘plonk’ or ‘bonk’, meaning the water is clean and healthy. School students can learn more about Kosciuszko National Park’s ecosystems and important biodiversity on a school excursion.

  • WilderQuest Bake and bushcraft at Yarrangobilly All tours and events are closed due to the current fire situation. Re-opening dates will be confirmed after February 2020. Would you like to learn basic bush skills and cook your own food on a campfire? Join the WilderQuest crew in exploring the natural world of Yarrangobilly.
  • WilderQuest Bug hunt: Yarrangobilly Caves All tours and events are closed due to the current fire situation. Re-opening dates will be confirmed after February 2020. Come on a fun adventure exploring Kosciuszko's natural world through a magnifying glass. Find out where the bugs are hiding around Yarrangobilly Caves and discover amazing things about them.

Discover Aboriginal culture

Learning about Aboriginal culture from NPWS rangers, Birrimal Waga Amphitheatre, Tumut. Photo: Murray Vanderveer/NPWS

Yarrangobilly is the perfect place to experience the rich Aboriginal culture of the Wolgalu People. Join a NPWS Aboriginal ranger to see the tools and techniques of the Traditional Owners of this unique landscape. Take part in hands-on activities like string making, or learn how to start a fire without matches. Wolgalu culture tours run on select dates during school holidays, and start from the picnic area near Yarrangobilly Caves Visitor Centre (bookings essential).

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • 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.

  • Eastern water dragon. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

    Eastern water dragon (Intellagama lesueurii lesueurii)

    The eastern water dragon is a subaquatic lizard found in healthy waterways along eastern NSW, from Nowra to halfway up the Cape York Pensinsula. It’s believed to be one of the oldest of Australian reptiles, remaining virtually unchanged for over 20 million years.

  • A juvenile platypus saved by National Parks and Wildlife staff. Photo: M Bannerman/OEH

    Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus)

    One of the most fascinating and unusual Australian animals, the duck-billed platypus, along with the echidna, are the only known monotremes, or egg-laying mammals, in existence. The platypus is generally found in permanent river systems and lakes in southern and eastern NSW and east and west of the Great Dividing Range.

  • Superb fairy wren. Photo: Ingo Oeland

    Superb fairy wren (Malurus cyaneus)

    The striking blue and black plumage of the adult male superb fairy wren makes for colourful bird watching across south-eastern Australia. The sociable superb fairy wrens, or blue wrens, are Australian birds living in groups consisting of a dominant male, mouse-brown female ‘jenny wrens’ and several tawny-brown juveniles.

  •  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.

  • Swamp wallaby in 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.

Plants

  • Billy Button flowers at Peery Lake picnic area. Photo: Dinitee Haskard OEH

    Billy buttons (Craspedia spp. )

    Billy buttons are attractive Australian native plants that are widespread throughout eastern NSW in dry forest, grassland and alpine regions such as Kosciuszko National Park. The golden-yellow globe-shaped flowers are also known as woollyheads. Related to the daisy, billy buttons are an erect herb growing to a height of 50cm.

Environments in this area

Kosciuszko National Park. Photo: Murray van der Veer