Revitalising Wombeyan Caves

The Wombeyan Caves Project is a major upgrade of the Wombeyan Karst Conservation Reserve, which will deliver improved camping, cabin accommodation and new amenities.

Lookout view Wombeyan Caves, part of The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area Colong Sector Wombeyan Karst Conservation ReserveThis picturesque valley is located 190 kilometres south-west of Sydney and west of Mittagong. This special place, located on the traditional lands of the Gundungurra, Tharawal and Pejar people, is known for its remarkable karst formations and is also a destination for family holidaymakers and day visitors.

The Wombeyan Caves Tourism Project will invest $9.6 million to deliver a significant tourism project that will revitalise Wombeyan Caves as a feature tourism destination in the Southern Highlands and Southern Tablelands regions of New South Wales.

The proposed revitalisation of the Wombeyan Caves precinct will inspire visitors to explore the outstanding natural and cultural heritage of the caves and the surrounding regions. Situated within proximity of Sydney and Canberra, it will appeal to those seeking a day trip or short break in this unique destination.

Infrastructure upgrades will improve onsite accessibility and better support the range of accommodation (camping and cabins) and nature-based activities offered at Wombeyan Caves. Improved services and amenities will increase the site's potential for events appropriate to this unique location.

The works proposed for Wombeyan Caves will support outstanding visitor experiences by:

  • improving visitor amenity with upgrades to day use facilities including office, kiosk, site interpretation, terrace areas and onsite washroom amenities
  • improving visitor accessibility and inclusive access around the site with upgrades to pathways, platforms, seating areas and wayfinding signage
  • refurbishing the Wombeyan marble stone-clad 'Barmah' community kitchen and dining building, and expanding outdoor picnic areas to reinforce the focal activity hub
  • developing event facilities and utilise the heritage powerhouse building for event space
  • revitalising existing accommodation precincts, including upgrades to amenities to better support current accommodation options as well as powered campsites.
  • creating pre-pitched camping areas for independent, tour operators and corporate groups bookings
  • improve campground access and infrastructure, to facilitate online bookings and define campsites.

Visitor experiences at the caves will be enhanced with proposed works to:

  • improve access to Victoria Arch, including an accessible viewing platform and information signage
  • improve railings, barriers, internal lighting and interpretive experiences within the caves
  • provide distinct event venues in a unique karst and bushland setting to host special events, festivals and performances.

People visiting Fig Tree Cave, Wombeyan Karst Conservation ReserveThe Wombeyan Caves revitalisation is expected to be complete by June 2023.

National Parks and Wildlife Service has worked with specialist landscape architects and building architects to develop the Wombeyan Caves Visitor Precinct Plan.

Tourist at the Visitor information Centre Wombeyan Karst Conservation ReserveWe will engage with Traditional Owners, community members, stakeholders and interest groups such as speleologists. Consultation will inform project planning, project delivery, ongoing operation of the site, and visitor services.

Those interested in the project are invited to register their interest and receive updates on the project.

Visitors enjoying Victoria Arch walking track, Wombeyan Karst Conservation ReserveThe NSW Government has committed to the largest investment in national park visitor infrastructure. More than $450 million will be invested in more than 200 visitor infrastructure projects across the national parks estate during this term of government.

National parks play a vital role in the resilience of the NSW public's health and statewide tourism as people seek out nature for exercise and recreation post-pandemic lockdowns.

The Wombeyan Caves project will revitalise and activate this iconic tourism asset in the Southern Highlands and Southern Tablelands tourism regions, delivering economic benefits and dispersing visitation outside Sydney.

Improving access and infrastructure for recreation, events and accommodation at Wombeyan Caves will provide jobs and opportunities for commercial operators and businesses to develop new visitor experiences, provide guided tours and provide services including supplying food and beverage packages and catering for events.

Kui KioskA call for Expressions of Interest for business opportunities at Wombeyan Caves will be advertised in early 2022.

When the Expressions of Interest is released, further information for applicants will be available through the NSW eTendering website.

To pre-register interest in the future Expressions of Interest opportunity, please email:

commercial.enquiries@environment.nsw.gov.au

People visiting Fig Tree cave, Wombeyan Karst Conservation ReserveOur national parks are managed to protect their unique values and provide for sustainable visitor use and enjoyment. This includes providing visitor experiences and, where appropriate, new visitor facilities, including tracks and trails.

We will conduct independent environmental assessments to examine the significance of likely environmental impacts of the proposal and identify means to eliminate or mitigate any impacts to the natural or cultural values of the site.

The proposed project is undergoing detailed design and assessment to ensure compliance with the park's plan of management. Stringent environmental, cultural heritage, and cost-benefit assessments involving our staff, key stakeholders, and other experts, ensure the project meets environmental, cultural, and economic aspirations.

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