For many, there is no argument; Yarrangobilly is the best caving area in NSW. So why don’t we go there more than once or twice a year? Because it’s so far away! Usually the site of holiday or long weekend trips, ‘Yagby’ is full of large, well-decorated caves, and has heaps of potential for finding new things. It’s also in a beautiful setting, with a magnificent limestone gorge and a thermal pool.
How to get there
Follow the M5 towards Melbourne. Take the turn-off for Tumut and drive along the Snowy Mountains Highway south, following the signs to Yarrangobilly. The campground is by Cotteril’s Cottage which is on the right hand side of the road just after a bridge over a creek. It is a couple of kilometres before the turnoff for Yarrangobilly Caves House, so if you see a sign for the Caves House you’ve gone too far.
We generally camp near the cottage.
On the Snowy Mountains Highway in Kosciuszko National Park past Tumut, about a 6-8 hour drive southwest from Sydney.
COLD!!! Some of the caves have been known to sport ice formations in winter. The lower section of Eagles Nest is particularly notorious for being around 5 degrees Celsius. Thermals are definitely essential. The caves can get quite muddy too.
There is a basic campground with pit toilets and a streamway (not drinkable) but no other facilities. You will need to bring your own camping gear, stove, food and water.
Petrol money ~$30-60 return.
What to bring
Check with your Trip Leader as facilities and trips vary.
LOTS OF WARM CLOTHES.
- Oh, and your Caving Gear.
- All food and water (there are no stores nearby).
- You may need all camping gear. If you are going in colder months (basically, any time except summer – we have seen heavy snow in April and October) you should make sure your sleeping gear in particular is warm.
- Some of the caves are quite pretty and require you to remove your outer clothing before entering some areas. If it a good idea to have a spare pair of clean-soled sandshoes/ Volleys for these sections.
- Lastly, don’t forget your swimming gear – a daily swim in the thermal pool (and the very un-thermal river for some) has become a SUSS tradition.