The Blue Lake Walk at Jenolan Caves, NSW. Photos taken by myself & Hai with a Canon 70D
When most people think of Jenolan Caves, they often think of just that - a series of caves. But there is a little known gem just east of the Grand Arch and its called The Blue Lake.
This man made lake, created in 1908 for electricity generation, gets its name from the shimmery blue hue it emits. It is naturally colored by the refraction of light upon the limestone and bed-rock deposits.
To get here, you park your car in the designated Jenolan Caves carpark, after you have driven through the Grand Arch entry. After walking through the village, you make your way back out through the Grand Arch, turn to your left and follow the footpath to the Blue Lake.
I took an alternate route to get there, which includes the Carlotta Arch and enormous Devils Coach House. You can get to the start of the Carlotta Arch track from the village. The stairs sit opposite the cafe and it leads you uphill for about fifteen minutes. I huffed and puffed my way up there (I hate uphill climbs!) but it was worth the view. You will reach Carlotta Arch which offers a really impressive birds-eye view to the Blue Lake off in the distance.
To reach the Devils Coach House cave you continue on the main path and take the second right. It will lead you slowly downhill until you reach the ground. Turn right at the signpost marked 'Devils Coach House'. Now this will take your breath away. At 70m high, this cave is enormous and the natural light floods in to fill in the vastness. It features the naturally carved 'Plug Hole' at the roof of the cave and often you'll see abseliers entering to explore the Elder Cave.
You take the path that leads directly to the other side of the cave. Follow it and walk under the bridge cross the road and then you will find yourself at the Blue Lake.
You will see the Blue Lake within a few minutes of walking. The blue water shimmers and is really peaceful, hardly a ripple. It is said that you may see a platypus at dawn or dusk if you're lucky.
The Blue Lake Walk can be easily done in a 20 minute loop, however I decided to extend the hike and continued on to the River Walk. Instead of taking the bend to loop back, descend the metal bridge to the river. Follow the river until you reach the Hydro-electric Power Station and along the way you will cross suspension bridges.
At the Power Station there is a small camping site and we found some cute wallabies to feed our bananas to. The river leads to small man-made waterfall where you can sit and admire the view.
After a rest, you can return the way you came and pass the Blue Lake back to the Grand Arch. The River Walk is only 2.1km return so it only takes about an hour.
Walking back to the car, me and Hai picked up some hot chips to replenish our energy.
We packed up the Jeep and drove back up the mountain. Five minutes up we found a wallaby pack sitting on the side of the road. Myself being an animal lover we pulled over to feed them with our left over bananas.
Hai encouraged me to pet them and although some were timid and shy, most were happy for a pat. I really could not wipe the smile off my face!
The Blue Lake was really beautiful and is great for a Family Outing but those wallabies were truly the highlight of my day.
For more information visit the Jenolan Caves website linked here.