The Jenolan Caves is Australia's most outstanding cave system. It has 11 spectacular show caves, pure underground rivers, natural arches and amazing formations. The caves are in a huge nature reserve forming part of the Blue Mountains World Heritage area.
They were known to the local Aboriginal population as 'Binoomea' for thousands of years. The Aboriginal word 'Jenolan' was adopted in 1884. European involvement officially began in 1838 but folklore has it that convict and outlaw James McKeown used them as a hideout before then.
These days there are self-guided tours and armed with audio handsets, cavers can hear all about them in twelve languages. Children's versions are available.
The drive to Jenolan was doubly rewarding for Jules. He doesn't mind a bit of caving and he is a long-time fan of Star Trek and if you are puzzled by the connection, an excited Jules told us there were Klingon Tours at the caves.
Star Trek debuted in 1966 and followed the interstellar adventures of James T Kirk and the crew of a 23rd century galactic exploration vessel the Starship Enterprise.
Its impact goes far beyond its longevity and profitability. Star Trek conventions have become popular, and fans have coined the term 'Trekkie' to describe themselves. Others prefer the term 'Trekkers'.
Klingons are a fictional warrior race in the Star Trek universe. The recurring humanoid villains from the 1960s television show have appeared in all five spin-of series and eight feature films. They have their own guttural language including some William Shakespeare and part of the Bible translated into their guttural tongue.
The Jenolan Caves Klingon Tour boldly goes where no other tour has gone before. It's the first legitimate Klingon in the world and word is spreading around the world. Klingon scholars from the United States translated the guide to make things a little easier for those curious but not fluent in the language.
The tour goes through several sections of Jenolan including the Grand Arch, Devil's Coach House and Nettle Cave. You are guided step-by-step in authentic Hol, the Klingon language. It takes around an hour and was the brainchild of Dan Cove and fellow Trekkie James Brady.
If you're not into Star Trek, there are plenty of other tours available. 'Myths, Legends and Ghosts', 'Aladdin' and 'Plughole' are a few on offer. There are also activities for all ages and fitness levels and a range of accommodation for all budgets.
Jenolan Caves, three hours west of Sydney.
Jenolan Klingon Tours are $30 for adults, $20 for children and $70 for families. They include a self- guided tour in Klingon language, a guided show cave tour and return visit offer of 50 percent off most cave tours, valid for 12 months. Tours operate every day.
Virgin Australia has one-way flights to Sydney:
- Brisbane and Melbourne $109
- Adelaide $139
- Perth $219
The fares are available for a limited time only so log on to www.vaustralia.com.au for further details.
Prices correct at 20.08.2011.
For further information
Ph: 13 6789
Jenolan Caves Road
Ph: 1300 763 311