Australia’s iconic Jenolan Caves shuts down ‘indefinitely’ as landslides and floods rip apart the only road into the tourist hotspot
- Popular tourist icon Jenolan Caves closed after torrential rain caused landslips
- Pictures of Jenolan Caves Road show foundations washed down mountainside
- Torrential rain and flooding has battered Australia’s east coast in the last week
- Management of UNESCO heritage site said officials to asses if road can reopen
Australia’s world heritage listed Jenolan Caves has been closed to tourists indefinitely after record breaking rains and flooding destroyed the only access road.
The spectacular limestone caves in the Blue Mountains, three hours drive west of Sydney, are one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country.
Pictures of Jenolan Caves Road at Five Mile from this week show landslides have removed huge patches of earth from underneath the winding stretch of asphalt, leaving the safety barrier dangling precariously in the air.
Transport for NSW will assess the road in the next two weeks and complete emergency repairs
The road to UNESCO listed Jenolan Caves in the Blue Mountains of NSW has been closed after torrential rain caused major landslips (pictured)
The limestone caves (pictured) are one of the most popular natural tourist attractions in Australia
The road remains closed between the townships of Hartley and Jenolan.
‘Given the damage caused to Jenolan Caves Rd in both directions due to extreme weather, Transport for NSW has advised that access into Jenolan Caves will be closed for the foreseeable future,’ the cave’s management posted on Monday afternoon.
They added as there is no alternative access route, the entire tourist precinct has been closed up to and including April 5 while authorities assess the damage.
‘We will work together with Transport for NSW to assess the full impact and determine a recovery plan and timings to get both the road and precinct back open.’
The cave’s management said authorities would assess the road damage (pictured) and decide whether the road can be reopened after repair work
The caves feature 40km of subterranean caverns an passageways lit up by LED lighting (pictured)
If the road is deemed unsafe by Transport for NSW, the precinct could be closed to tourists indefinitely.
‘We understand it will be disappointing for a lot of our guests that were hoping to visit us over the next couple of weeks. Jenolan Caves offers … a voucher valid for up to three years or a refund for cancellations for experiences that have been pre-paid.’
A spokesperson for Jenolan Caves told Daily Mail Australia that when and if the road reopens will be up to Transport for NSW, though they were ‘not aware’ of any damage to the caves themselves by the torrential rain.
The UNESCO World Heritage listed site which includes 40km of subterranean caverns and passageways are the most ancient discovered open caves in the world.
People commenting on the update from Jenolan Caves said they agreed the road had to be closed for safety and was in need of an upgrade.
‘Sad that you now have this to deal with after being in lockdown last year.’ one person said.
‘A complete road upgrade is definitely needed. I know it won’t be easy,’ another said.
‘Of course the only option is to close the road. I feel for all the staff who put so much work and dedication into the caves,’ a third said.
Megalong Road at Old Ford Reserve in Sydney Blue Mountain earlier this week as floodwaters raged through the area (pictured)
‘It has been a precocious goat track converted for road traffic and it was only a matter of time for the slip to occur,’ added a fourth.
A once-in-a-century rain event has battered Australia’s east coast over the last week causing flooding, widespread evacuations, landslips, and Sydney’s main dam to overflow.
A Transport for NSW spokesperson said crews would carry out emergency repairs and assessments on Jenolan Caves Road when safe for them to do so.