Blue Waterholes, NSW
7.0 km (2.5 hrs )
The Cooleman Plain Karst is an area within Kosciuszko National Park that is home to a number of gorges, springs, stream sinks and more than 100 caves. The centre of this area is the Blue Waterholes, the largest karst spring in Australia, with its distinctive blue colouring the result of the minerals dissolved from the limestone. Blue Waterholes is accessed from Long Plain Road which leads off the Snowy Mountains Highway near Yarrangobilly Caves. The picnic and camping area features picnic tables, wood barbecues and a toilet.
There are two main attractions at Blue Waterholes; the Nichols Gorge, a circuit to the south and west that explores two of the publicly accessible caves - Cooleman and Murray caves and Clarke Gorge, a walk following Cave Creek as it flows east through an impressive limestone gorge to Cave Creek waterfall. On this occasion I visited Nichols Gorge, with the highlight being exploring Murray Cave. This narrow cave extends a fair way underground and features some interesting formations including stalactites, stalagmites and flowstone. I was able to make it about 200 metres into the cave before the cave disappeared under water. Remember to take a torch of you intend visiting the caves and note that this will involve some climbing and scrambling over slippery rocks.