Jenolan Caves is normally well-known for its grand archways and stalac-whatevers, but if you’re short on cash and you live in the Central West, you can go on a walk that will take you to see actual blue water. Not murky brown, not yellow ochre, blue.
My first impression of the Blue Lake River Walk was that there were signs everywhere.
“Don’t swim in the blue lake.”
“Don’t climb on the weir.”
“You shall not pass!”
Sign #1: Don’t walk on the Weir
As the Blue Lake comes into view, a sign forbidding me to walk on the “Weir” appears. I do not know what a Weir is, but I assume it is these flimsy looking boards. I try to test the boards, and quickly work out that the signs are pretty damn accurate
Have a look at that blue water. That is some good looking water. #nofilter
Sign #2: Don’t swim in the blue lake.
If you go on a walk with the title “Blue Water”, you expect there to be swimming. This sign made our hearts sink.
However, although they put this sign up at the beginning of the walk, if you continue on you will come across the coldest brown Australian water you will ever step into. It comes directly out of the caves, and it feels like you are swimming in a fridge.
We celebrate the discovery by imitating the explorer statue in Machattie park.
* We are posing like this ironically.
If you want a bit more adventure you can actually jump off the rock, or slide off the waterfall (we did both) as the water is relatively deep. Always test the water though, or be ready to become a negligence case that law students will laugh at (Jenolan Council v Idiot).
Sign #3: Only one person can walk across this bridge at a time.
The one place on this walk that deserves a sign, is this death bridge. It is visibly rusty, and when you walk across it you really feel like you are a Donkey on a bridge. We completely didn’t see the sign until we were completely across, but we regret nothing.
The view was both terrifying and mesmerising.
If you want a safe walk that you are guaranteed to be protected by signs every step of the way, this is the walk for you.
I can see why they chose this as a popular tourist destination though. None of the photos have a filter, the trees are actually that green. The light actually shines through the trees at just the right angle that allows you to see the star-shaped leaves gently waft down the trees in a dreamy halo. The water is fresh and gurgly and not at all rank and swarming with mosquito larvae.
In short, take this walk if you want to experience the Australian Bush as a kind loving mistress, rather than a harsh nagging wife.
Behold, soft mossy logs that spring softly when you step on them.
Water that gurgles like a laughing baby.
Water, water everywhere, running through your feet.