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Sorrel in her rent-a-cave.
Sorrel in her rent-a-cave.
Dinner is nearly ready.
Mad Hatter's swing!


Thursday, January 31, 2002
We've given you 5-star bed and breakfasts, lodges and resorts, but have we given you a fully-serviced, rentable cave?

Mark O'Carrigan has lived in the Blue Mountains for most of his life. For 25 years, he has been a leather worker; the past 15 years making hats — something he now does from his home.

About 20 years ago, Mark was exploring the valley and following a herd of wild goats when he came upon a wondrous cave. A place of superb acoustics and vastness, the cave fascinated Mark so much that he purchased it 10 years later and, like a modern day troglodyte, sometimes lived in and commuted from his hidden place.

Mark spent three years making the cave suitable for habitation and now he is proud to offer Hatter's Hideout, the only rentable, fully serviced cave in the Blue Mountains.

The cave is just 500m from Mark's home, but you cannot see it. A National Park-approved walking track takes you there in just 10 minutes, though stopping to take in the beautiful gully views is sure to make the journey longer. There is a flight of metal stairs taking you down 25m to the entrance of the cave.

It is about 25m high, wide and deep, and is semi-circular, rather like a Sydney Opera House sail. A Coachwood tree at the mouth of the cave offers protection from adverse weather and three large rock formations called "pagodas" also act as weather shields.

You can pitch a tent if you wish, but most campers prefer to unroll their swag for the night. There is a kitchen sink, composting toilet out the back, plenty of tables and chairs, an icebox, meat safe, solar lighting and a barbecue.

Mark tailors activities to suit individual visitors to Hatter's Hideout. He can arrange a peaceful and quiet stay for small groups; it is perfect for rock sports, weddings in nature's most beautiful setting, luxury camping and acoustic concerts. You just need to take a sleeping bag, clothing and food, though Mark can arrange gourmet food upon request.

The cave has been described as cosy and protective and during the day it is light, open, airy and dry. At night, moonlight filters through, or 12v halogen lights provide soft lighting.

The Narrabeen sandstone walls have Aboriginal handprints and paintings and to help preserve them, and to make visitors more comfortable, Mark keeps dust to a minimum.

He can also help you arrange a bushwalk in a private rainforest under towering escarpments, go on a four-wheel-drive nature tour and you can watch him make his functional and amusing leather hats and artworks.


The Blue Mountains, two-and-a-half hours west of Sydney.


Hatter's Hideout cave accommodation starts at $50 per person, including a tent.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.

More information

Hatter's Hideout bookings and enquiries: 02 6355 2777

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