Abercrombie Caves


Useful Information

Location: Off main road between Bathurst and Goulburn, 72km from Bathurst and 122km from Goulburn. 289km west of Sydney.
Open: All year daily 9-16:30.
Closed 24-DEC, 25-DEC.
Archway by Night by arrangement and advanced bookings only.
[2010]
Fee: Archway self guided: Adults AUD 15, Children (5-15) AUD 10, Children (0-4) free, Seniors AUD 10, Family (2+2) AUD 40.
Bushrangers Cave: Adults AUD 27, Children (5-15) AUD 20, Children (0-4) free, Seniors AUD 20, Family (2+2) AUD 65.
Archway guided: Adults AUD 20, Children (5-15) AUD 15, Children (0-4) free, Seniors AUD 15, Family (2+2) AUD 50.
Grove Cave: Adults AUD 20, Children (5-15) AUD 15, Children (0-4) free, Seniors AUD 15, Family (2+2) AUD 50.
Belfrey Cave: Adults AUD 27, Children (5-15) AUD 20, Children (0-4) not allowed, Seniors AUD 20, Family (2+2) AUD 65.
Archway by Night: Adults AUD 35, Children (0-4) not recommended.
Seniors price for Pension Card Holders only.
[2010]
Classification:  Karst cave,  Natural Bsridge.
Light: electric
Dimension: Archway: L=221m, W=70m, H=30m.
Guided tours: Archway self guided: L=1,400m (total), L=200m (cave), D=60min, St=202.
Bushrangers Cave: L=1,400m (total), L=450m (cave), D=90min, St=324, Max=40.
Archway guided: L=800m (total), L=200m (cave), D=60min, St=132, Max=30.
Grove Cave: L=70m, D=50min, St=46.
Cathedral Cave: D=90min.
Belfrey Cave: L=800m (total), L=260m (cave), D=60min, Max=12.
Archway by Night: L=1,600m (total), D=120min, Min=10, Max=25.
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography:  
Address: The Guides, Abercrombie Caves & Reserve, Trunkey Creek, via Bathurst. NSW. 2795. Tel: +61-2-6368-8603, Fax: +61-2-6368-8634. E-mail: contact
Barry Cubitt, Senior Guide.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
Last update:$Date: 2015/08/30 21:52:00 $

History

 
6-OCT-1821an article in the Sydney Gazette mentioned a cave, which most likely was Abercrombie.
1830a fight between the Ribbon Gang and armed settlers, mounted police and an army regiment took place near the Caves.
1834the first recorded tourist party visited Abercrombie.
1842official discovery by Surveyor W. R. Davidson, caves called Burragylong Caverns, survey of the caves.
1843report of a visit to the caves in The Sydney Morning Herald.
MAY-1843the artist Conrad Martens made a number of sketches.
1844the Caves were visited by William Charles Wentworth and Governor Fitzroy.
1854gold was discovered in the area, which caused a huge increase in visitors to the caves.
1860scaves now known as Abercrombie.
1870increasing number of visitors from Sydney.
1880dancing platform in the Archway built.
1888temporary keeper employed to look after the caves which were suffering from graffiti and vandals.
1895more than 1,000 people per year visit the caves.
1977excavations in a shelter north of the Great Arch revealed stone tools and animal bones.

Description

The Abercrombie Caves were probably discovered around 1820, in 1821 an article in the Sydney Gazette mentioned the discovery of a huge cave in the area. However, there is no possibility to identify the cave from the article and so it is only an educated guess that this was Abercrombie. The cave was the hideout of some bushrangers (outlaws) known as The Ribbon Gang, led by the disgruntled convict Ralph Entwistle. The gang started to afflict the area in September 1830, but in October 1830 they were tracked down and after a bloody battle the bushrangers entered the Arch of Abercrombie Cave, which was called The Bridge at that time. They escaped through an exit hole, but were caught the next day. Two members of the gang died from wounds, the remaining ten were hanged on 02-NOV-1830. It seems long trials were not very popular at that time.

This is the first account of the caves, and probably because of the bloody history the caves became popular during the next years. At first primarly people from the surrounding properties visited the caves, then gold was discovered and gold diggers visited the cave and built the stage in the Archway for Saturday evening dances. And then the number of visitors from Sydney increased, and the caves became real show caves with the employment of a temporary keeper.

In Abercrombie Reserve more than 50 caves are known today. The highlight is the Abercrombie Archway or Archway Cave, a  Natural Bridge 221m long, 70m wide and 30m high. It is the largest natural arch in the southern hemisphere, representing the ruins, the last remains of a collapsed cave system. Many other parts of this cave system still exist, accessible primarily from the arch. The various guided tours concentrate on different parts of the main passage.


See also


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