This week, The Past Present shifts attention at Jenolan Caves from the caves themselves, to the visitors who have flocked to the caves for over 100 years.
In the 1880s Jenolan Caves emerged as a true tourist destination, which attracted many visitors from far and wide. In 1879 the Imperial Cave was discovered by Jeremiah Wilson, and in 1880 the Left Imperial (now known as the Chifley Cave) was explored. With more caves having been explored, and pathways, and even electric lighting (which was introduced in 1887), it became easier still for visitors to view the spectacular caves. Soon enough accomodation was needed to house the increasing numbers of tourists. The first formal accomodation was built in the 1880s, but was partially destroyed by fire. Before this visitors camped in the Grand Arch. The current Caves House, which we see today, was built in 1893 and provided comfortable accommodation for the visitors who flocked to the spectacular natural wonder. By 1900 Jenolan was not only well known, but was a thriving tourist destination, despite many of the most well known show caves not yet having been discovered!
Come back next week for the final instalment of The Past Present Jenolan Caves series, to find out about how the caves were explored, and about the discoveries of some of the most famous caves!