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Carlotta Arch walking track

Jenolan Karst Conservation Reserve

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Overview

Short but steep Carlotta Arch walking track, also called Shaping Waters walk, offers fantastic views of limestone formations and beautiful Blue Lake, at Jenolan Caves.

Where
Jenolan Karst Conservation Reserve
Distance
1km one-way
Time suggested
45min - 1hr 15min
Grade
Grade 3
Price
Free
What to
bring
Drinking water, hat, sunscreen, suitable clothing
Please note
  • This walking track is short but it's steep and has many steps, so a reasonable fitness level is recommended.
  • Self-guided Nettle Cave is accessed via the stairs and turnstile inside Devil's Coach House Arch.
  • Check with the ticket office for cave and walking track closures before you set out.

Carlotta Arch walking track is part of the Jenolan Caves network in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. Also known as Shaping Waters walk, it's easily combined with a self-guided tour of Nettle Cave.

The track starts opposite historic Jenolan Caves House and climbs steeply uphill behind the ticket office. Stop to catch your breath and soak in the views of Caves House nestled in the valley. Spot Cunningham's skinks basking on the rocks, wallabies, and pretty little rock warblers.

You'll soon be face-to-face with the enormous, freestanding Carlotta Arch. Steps lead from the lookout under the limestone arch to a lower viewpoint, with birds-eye views of the brilliant Blue Lake.

Head back to the main track, passing the Six Foot Track, to reach the steps that lead down into the next valley towards Devil's Coach House cavern. The track continues through this massive limestone chamber before meeting Jenolan Caves entry road. From here, walk through Grand Arch to return to Caves House. 

If you want to explore more, visit the free, self-guided Nettle Cave, accessed from inside Devil's Coach House, or connect with Jenolan River walking track. Majestic Carlotta Arch also 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
Stairs decend to Blue Lake, seen through a limestone arch, on Carlotta Arch walking track at Jenolan Caves. Photo: Kevin McGrath/DPIE