Arch loop track

Borenore Karst Conservation Reserve

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Overview

Explore Arch Cave along the easy Arch loop track, a short walk from the picnic area. Look for stalactites, stalagmites and columns in the cool cavern.

Where
Borenore Karst Conservation Reserve
Accessibility
Hard
Distance
0.7km loop
Time suggested
15 - 30min
Grade
Grade 3
Price
Free
Please note

  • Watch out for low roof levels or you may bump your head
  • Water levels in caves may rise very quickly during rain and thunderstorms. Always check the expected weather conditions before entering any of the caves. If rain is predicted, consider putting off your cave trip till another day.
  • The ground in the cave can be slippery, so take care, wear sturdy shoes and take a torch
  • The oil on our skin alters the way stalactites and stalagmites grow and can even change the colour of the rock, so please look but don’t touch
  • Please do not damage or remove rocks from the area
  • Find out how to make your own stalactite or stalagmite at home

The best way to explore the mysterious Arch Cave is on the Arch loop track. This easy walk starts and finishes at the Borenore picnic area, simply cross the footbridge from the picnic area and it’s just a short walk to the cave.

Take your time along the walk to check out the rock formations, they are quite striking close up and feature black, orange and yellow striped markings. Once you’re inside the caves, go slow to let your eyes adjust, or flick on your torch.

Look to the roof of the cave for the stalactites that cling tightly and to the stalagmites that grow upwards from the ground. Do you know what happens when the stalactites and stalagmites meet? They become a column; see how many you can count.

Spend as long as you like in the cave, from here, it’s just an easy walk back through woodland to the picnic area.

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/walking-tracks/arch-loop-track/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Arch loop track.

Track grading

Grade 3

Learn more about the grading system Features of this track
  • Time

    15 - 30min

  • Quality of markings

    Clearly sign posted

  • Gradient

    Short steep hills

  • Distance

    0.7km loop

  • Steps

    Many steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track, some obstacles

  • Experience required

    No experience required

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    Arch Loop track starts at Borenore picnic area, approximately 1km from the entrance

    Park entry points

    Parking

     Parking is available at the Borenore picnic area.

    Best times to visit

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

    Autumn

    Let your inner geologist loose among the limestone and see if you can spot the remnants of marble quarries and mines from the past.

    Spring

    Check out the wildflowers and birds in the endangered box gum woodland.

    Summer

    Escape the heat and step into magical Arch Cave while walking the Arch Cave loop track.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    15°C and 25°C

    Highest recorded

    38.3°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    2°C and 12°C

    Lowest recorded

    -5.6°C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    August

    Driest month

    April

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    98.6mm

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    Bushwalking safety

    If you're keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, always be prepared. Read these bushwalking safety tips before you set off on a walking adventure in national parks.

    Mobile safety

    Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency Plus 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 and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

    Accessibility

    Disability access level - hard

    Wheelchairs can access this area with some difficulty

    • Wheelchair access is possible across Boree creek and along a partially gravelled path to the base of the steps leading to the Arch Cave
    • Wheelchair access to Arch Cave is not possible
    • Wheelchair access to the woodland area may be possible with strong assistance as the walking track is across natural ground surface, note there are protruding rocks and a steep slope

    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 pets in parks policy for more information.

    Smoking

    NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

    Nearby towns

    Canowindra (41 km)

    In the red countryside of Canowindra, you can travel back 360 million years to see rare fossils in the amazing Age of Fishes Museum, where you'll encounter thousands of fossilised freshwater fish.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Molong (17 km)

    Follow the heritage walking tour of Molong in Country NSW to see the many fine 19th-century buildings. Wander through craft shops or art galleries and visit nearby historic villages such as Yeoval, Cumnock and Cudal.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Orange (16 km)

    The bustling city of Orange, with its many cafes, restaurants and shopping opportunities, has something for everyone, plus there's a huge range of places to stay. The real highlight is the town's food and wine, so bring your thirst and your appetite.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

    Arch loop track is in Borenore Karst Conservation Reserve. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

    Aboriginal connections

    Arch cave, Borenore Karst Conservation Reserve. Photo: Steve Woodhall

    The permanent flow of Boree creek and the reliable shelter of caves meant that this area was used for thousands of years by the Wiradyuri people. In fact, the name 'Borenore' is believed to be derived from two Wiradyuri words: bora which means ceremony and nora nora meaning shelf or overhanging rock. The reserve remains an important place for Aboriginal people today and protects a number of ancient sites, including Arch Cave which is highly significant for local Aboriginal women as a maternity site.

    From limestone to marble

    Verandah Cave, Borenore Karst Conservation Reserve. Photo: Steve Woodhall

    Marvel at the stalactites and stalagmites at Borenore Karst Conservation Reserve. The karst or limestone, as it is better known in the reserve, probably began life as limey mud and coral reefs some 390-400 million years ago when the area was located off the east coast of Australia. Around 12 million years ago, nearby Mount Canobolas spewed lava over the limestone, turning it into marble. Borenore marble, known as Borenore Red, was used in many public buildings in Sydney, including Transport House in Macquarie Street, and countless marble fireplaces.

    • Arch loop track Explore Arch Cave along the easy Arch loop track, a short walk from the picnic area. Look for stalactites, stalagmites and columns in the cool cavern.
    • Verandah Cave Take the easy walk from Borenore picnic area to Verandah Cave, where you can explore its limestone outcrops and pools of water in Borenore Karst Reserve.

    Mystical adventure

    Picnic area, Borenore Karst Conservation Reserve. Photo: OEH

    Home to the ancient Arch Cave, Borenore Karst Conservation Reserve harbours a whole world that thrives in the dark. Light up your head torch and marvel at the stalactites and stalagmites. Listen to the drips of water around you that keep the air moist, the perfect breeding ground for the mosses and lichen surrounding the entrance. The musky smell you will notice is the tell-tale sign that bats are about as the caves are a precious home to these protected species.

    • Borenore picnic area With a large grassy area, barbecues and picnic tables, Borenore picnic area is a great place for a family picnic. After lunch, take an easy walk to explore Arch Cave.

    Protecting the precious

    Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae), Borenore Karst Conservation Reserve. Photo: OEH

    Borenore Karst Conservation Reserve plays a special role in the preservation of some of Australia's precious native flora and fauna. A haven for birds, the park is home to thornbills, honeyeaters, kookaburras, magpies, treecreepers, weebills and more. Another special flying creature finding protection here is the eastern bent-winged bat, a threatened species that spends the winter hibernating in Tunnel Cave, before emerging in spring ready to migrate. Borenore Karst Conservation Reserve also contains the endangered box gum woodland vegetation community.

    • Verandah Cave Take the easy walk from Borenore picnic area to Verandah Cave, where you can explore its limestone outcrops and pools of water in Borenore Karst Reserve.

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