Caves Road, Abercrombie River NSW 2795.
Off main road between Bathurst and Goulburn, 72 km from Bathurst and 122 km from Goulburn. 289 km west of Sydney.
Currently closed for repairs.
All year Thu-Mon 9-16:30.
During NSW school holidays daily 9-16:30.
Adults AUD 20, Children (5-15) AUD 13, Children (0-4) free, Seniors AUD 17, Family (2+2) AUD 50.
Belfrey Cave: Adults AUD 33, Children (8-15) AUD 25, Children (0-7) not allowed, Seniors AUD 30, Family (2+2) AUD 83.
Bushrangers Cave: Adults AUD 33, Children (6-15) AUD 25, Children (0-5) not allowed, Seniors AUD 30, Family (2+2) AUD 83.
Grove Cave: Adults AUD 20, Children (7-15) AUD 18, Children (0-6) not allowed, Seniors AUD 21, Family (2+2) AUD 60.
|Classification:||Karst cave Collapsed Cave Natural Bridge.|
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Dimension:||Archway: L=221 m, W=70 m, H=30 m.|
Archway self guided: L=1,400 m (total), L=200 m (cave), D=60 min, St=202.
Belfrey Cave: L=800 m (total), L=260 m (cave), D=60 min, Max=12, MinAge=8.
Bushrangers Cave: L=1,400 m (total), L=450 m (cave), D=90 min, St=324, Max=40, MinAge=6.
Grove Cave: L=70 m, D=50 min, St=46, Min=2, Max=12, MinAge=7.
The Guides, Abercrombie Caves & Reserve, Trunkey Creek, via Bathurst, NSW 2795, Tel: +61-2-6368-8603, Fax: +61-2-6368-8634.
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.
|6-OCT-1821||an article in the Sydney Gazette mentioned a cave, which most likely was Abercrombie.|
|1830||a fight between the Ribbon Gang and armed settlers, mounted police and an army regiment took place near the Caves.|
|1834||the first recorded tourist party visited Abercrombie.|
|1842||official discovery by Surveyor W. R. Davidson, caves called Burragylong Caverns, survey of the caves.|
|1843||report of a visit to the caves in The Sydney Morning Herald.|
|MAY-1843||the artist Conrad Martens made a number of sketches.|
|1844||the Caves were visited by William Charles Wentworth and Governor Fitzroy.|
|1854||gold was discovered in the area, which caused a huge increase in visitors to the caves.|
|1860s||caves now known as Abercrombie.|
|1870||increasing number of visitors from Sydney.|
|1880||dancing platform in the Archway built.|
|1888||temporary keeper employed to look after the caves which were suffering from graffiti and vandals.|
|1895||more than 1,000 people per year visit the caves.|
|1977||excavations in a shelter north of the Great Arch revealed stone tools and animal bones.|
|15-NOV-2022||damaged by flood, closed for repairs.|
|2023||scheduled reopening after repairs.|
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. They reported that 'a cave of considerable dimensions has been recently discovered in the neighbourhood of Bathurst'. 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 221 m long, 70 m wide and 30 m 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.
It seems the last two tours are currently not offered. As the park is closed due to necessary repairs after a flood in 2022, there might be updates after the reopening in APR-2023.