Things You Didn’t Know About Lucas Cave in the Blue Mountains

Things You Didn’t Know About Lucas Cave in the Blue Mountains

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 05/03/2015

Reading time: 4 mins

Explore one of the Jenolan Cave’s most picturesque chamber, featuring a fascinating history and incredible limestone formations!

Amidst the iconic Blue Mountains, there is a glorious hidden wonderland nestled under the jagged mountain clifftops. A world that sprawls underground in chambers and ante-rooms, featuring glistening stalagmites, limestone arches, and even concealed rivers.

These are the Jenolan Caves, the oldest open caves in the entire world, estimated to be 340 million years old. The caves are made up of a whopping 40km of passages, with a large section of the system is so deep and narrow that they have never been seen by humans.

The large collection of caves all boast different names and properties, from a silky-smooth Blue Lake where you can catch a glimpse of the odd platypus or two, to the Dimond Cave, renowned for its white crystal formations similar to a diamond. But undoubtably, one of the most famous and visited is Lucas Cave!

Facts about Lucas Cave

  • It was named after a politician

    The cave chamber was found in 1860 by George Whiting and Nicholas Irwin, being one of the first few caves discovered by Europeans. It was first dubbed, the New Cave, later dubbed the ‘Lucas Cave’, after the politician MP John Lucas, who was passionate cave lover. He worked tirelessly to protect the entire Jenolan cave system, resulting in them to be declared a reserve in 1866, which was one of the very earliest places to come under Australian government protection.

  • It’d be great for concerts

    Also dubbed the Cathedral room, and rightly so, as this cave exhibits high ceilings and widest caverns in all of the Jenolan system. Large groups can easily fit in this massive cave chamber, strolling about the area in awe. The acoustics in this cave could rival even the best opera houses in the world, and if you weren’t thousands of metres below the ground, you might think you had just entered into a weird and wonderful cathedral.

  • Be very afraid of the dark

    As you can imagine, if it weren’t for the lights dotted throughout the formation, Lucas Cave would stand in suffocating darkness. With no light coming from above ground, it’s hard to comprehend just how dark it would be. Well, apparently it would take you 45 minutes before you lost all sense of balance and you’d have to lie down.

  • The exquisite ‘white lace’

    Not as you might think, the ‘white lace’ in Lucas Cave actually refers to the sheets that hang in the narrow walkways between rooms. For the most part, the limestone that characterises the cave is a yellowy-brown colour, but this is only the case for rocks that have been touched by the human hand thanks to the oils in our skin. Untouched limestone is pure white, giving an ethereal tint to the whole experience.

  • There are some interesting features

    Stalagmites and stalactites come in many strange shapes and sizes, and a number of the adornments in the Lucas Cave have been given names based on their appearance, like the bride, groom, and mother-in-law, and the elephant and dog. Perhaps the Lucas Cave’s most famous feature is ‘the Broken Column’, which displays a truly unforgettable limestone formation.

  • It was the Spa of the olden-days

    Back in the 1850s, Lucas Cave was considered to have magical healing properties and numerous visitors would turn up at the chambers in their Sunday best to cure themselves of all sorts of ailments. Without lights then, they’d have to carefully explore with only the glimmer of a candle.

Related article: Which is the Best Blue Mountains Tour?

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.