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Carlotta Arch walking track

Jenolan Karst Conservation Reserve


Also called Shaping Waters walk, Carlotta Arch walking track at Jenolan Caves offers a bird's-eye view of beautiful Blue Lake and is great for bird watching.

Jenolan Karst Conservation Reserve
0.8km one-way
Time suggested
30min - 1hr
Grade 3
What to
Drinking water, hat, sunscreen, suitable clothing
Please note
  • The section of road into Jenolan Valley is one-way from 11.45am to 1.15pm every day to allow coaches to enter Jenolan safely. Take Oberon Road if you’re leaving Jenolan between these times.
  • The weather in this area can be extreme and unpredictable, so please ensure you’re well-prepared for your visit.
  • Remember to take your binoculars if you want to go bird watching

Be astounded by the beauty of the world’s oldest cave system on the picturesque Carlotta Arch walking track, also known as Shaping Waters walk.

Part of the exquisite Jenolan Caves network in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, Carlotta Arch walking track leads you along a short, circular track and offers a stunning introduction to the reserve.

Beginning opposite heritage-listed Caves House, the track climbs steeply uphill and incorporates plenty of steps, so you'll need a reasonable level of fitness to complete it. It’s not a long walk though, and in no time you'll be face-to-face with the enormous freestanding limestone Carlotta Arch.

From under Carlotta Arch, you can experience a bird’s-eye view of the brilliant Blue Lake. Wander down into the massive Devil’s Coach House cave, and check out Grand Arch before returning to Caves House.

Visit any time of year to soak up the scenery, or go bird watching for lyrebirds and pretty little rock warblers. In warmer weather, you can spot Cunningham’s skinks basking in the sunshine, while wallabies and other native wildlife are often nearby.

As well as being a stunning spot to sightsee or relax after a day of caving, this majestic arch forms a sensational backdrop as a wedding venue.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info


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A family walk a boardwalk section of Bouddi coastal walk, Bouddi National Park. Photo: John Spencer/OEH.

Conservation program:

Jenolan environmental monitoring program

The Jenolan environmental monitoring program, created in 2008, uses special sensory equipment to measure tiny variations in air and water quality at different sites around the karst environment of Jenolan Caves. While still allowing visitors to explore the caves, this allows scientists to protect geodiversity, ensuring conditions stay stable for future generations.

Visitors inside Jenolan Caves, Jenolan Karst Conservation Reserve. Photo: J Lim

General enquiries

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Park info

See more visitor info
Stairs decend to Blue Lake, seen through a limestone arch, on Carlotta Arch walking track at Jenolan Caves. Photo: Kevin McGrath/DPIE