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Most people nowadays would have a meltdown if they were going to stay in a place that had no phone service and no WiFi.
But that’s part of the beauty of staying at a place as remote as the Yarrangobilly Caves House.
I was a little apprehensive about it driving down into the picturesque Yarrangobilly Valley for our 3 night stay at Yarrangobilly Caves House.
But, as soon as I stepped inside our restored 1917 accommodation, I knew we had come to the right place for a digital detox retreat.
It was a return to days spent connected to the nature, which you’re presently surrounded by, rather than your phone.
I didn’t miss the world one bit. After the first day, I came to the conclusion, the world probably didn’t miss me much either.
But this remote life is not for everyone. If you’re thinking of visiting the Yarrangobilly Caves House and not sure if it’s right for you, then read on to hear about our experience.
Where is Yarrangobilly Caves?
Yarrangobilly Caves House is located within the remote northern section of Kosciuszko National Park in the New South Wales region of Australia.
It’s known for its Yarrangobilly Cave system, which extends for12-kilometres along the Yarrangobilly River valley.
The property is located down a 5km one-way gravel road off the Snowy Mountains Highway, 88km from Tumut and 114km from Cooma.
There are park use fees needed to access Yarrangobilly Caves House, which is $4 per day per vehicle. Purchase your entrance fee at the Yarrangobilly Caves Visitor Centre upon arrival, and keep the receipt to show the accommodation.
The nearest Airport is Canberra Airport, which is 108 miles from Yarrangobilly Caves House.
The nearest supermarket is 49.7 miles away in Tumut, and the nearest store is 24.9 miles away.
What to Do at Yarrangobilly Caves House
If you’re thinking you might be bored spending three days in a remote location with no WiFi and no mobile phone reception, then think again.
As it turns out, there’s a lot you can do with that time.
We baked brownies, which we enjoyed in our sunroom, or the terrace.
And we did enjoy them, sitting around as a family eating and talking, listening to the sing song of the birds, and watching the kangaroos hop on by.
We weren’t shoving it down as a quick 3pm sugar pick me up at the computer. Being offline meant we could savor every moment and enjoy the smaller things in life.
We played chess (Kalyra’s rules), read books, danced and played games in the common living areas.
Went to bed at a decent hour after a couple of hours writing, once the kids had gone to sleep. It is incredible how much writing you can get done, when you are not distracted by the blinking lights of the internet.
Cooked wholesome meals in the kitchen. I love cooking when you have a kitchen decked out like this one. Sharp knifes, pans that cook pancakes perfectly, and lots of space.
Normally, you would be sharing the 1917 wing of heritage house with other guests. It can sleep 24 people.
It’s set out similar to a hostel more than a guesthouse, with shared living areas and kitchens that feel more like cooking stations with several stovetops and chopping space, but, it’s modern and clean with a heritage taste and much more luxurious than a hostel.
We got LUCKY.
There were no other guests staying in the 1917 wing of Yarrangobilly Caves House. The girls adored having this gigantic home to ourselves, and having lots of places to play hide and seek, find secret stairwells, and play the piano in the Blue Room.
I was so happy to have the sunroom all to myself. On those chilly Snowy Mountain days, this is the place to be.
Things to do during your stay
Aside from just exploring the property and enjoying its amenities, you can check out the nearby public areas and also book cave tours/get ticket assistance to explore the surroundings.
Nestled in the Snowy Mountains, you are well-placed to explore some wonderful nature sites.
You can check out the Glory Caves. The most famous of which is the North Glory Cave, which is a lofty cave chamber with an arched entrance and a domed roof ceiling with a hole through the middle, known as the Glory Hole, which casts a light into the entire cave.
North Glory Cave is only accesible by guided tour and features a stunning crystal cave interior with sparkling features.
Then there is the South Glory Cave, which is on the other side of the cave system and can be explored by yourself.
You can also take guided tours of Jersey and Jillabenan Caves, two other magnificent caves in the area. Jersey Cave is one of the most colourful cave systems of the Yarrangobilly Caves, whereas Jillabenan Cave is a small and easily accessible cave – perfectly suited for families with small kids.
If you’re done with caves, you can take a refreshing walk along the Yarrangobilly River walk, which is a loop walk along the river that takes you past the Yarrangobilly Caves thermal pool.
The thermal pool is a hot spring outdoor swimming pool fed by a local natural spring, which is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the magic of nature. It’s also open year-round.
Whilst walking along the river, keep your eyes open for native wildlife by the river. You can often see lyrebirds, blue wrens, crimson rosellas and king parrots nesting in the trees. Sometimes you can find platypus in the river, but they are more active around dawn and dusk.
If you’re visiting in the winter, you are just a 30-minute drive from Selwyn Snowfields, where you can enjoy skiing from the Selwyn Snow Resort.
There are also trails for hiking and cycling near the property.
What Facilities Are at The Yarrangobilly Cave House?
There Yarrangobilly Caves House has three types of accommodation. There’s the single-story 1902 section of the Caves House, divided into east and west wing.
You can book out one of the wings or the entire section.
Then there are the lodge-style accommodations, which offer private rooms with a shared bathroom with a shower, a shared lounge area and access to a kitchen and dining room.
There is also a self-contained apartment and self-contained cottage with their own private kitchens, private bathroom, lounge and balcony.
Also available on-site is are barbecue grills and picnic area where you can enjoy meals in the summer. There is no restaurant, and limited supplies, so you need to bring your own food and what you need for the entire trip with you (this is the only negative thing about this place).
The property provides towels, linen, free toiletries, and laundry facilities. Children are welcome but unfortunately there is no option for extra beds or infant beds.
Our Check-in/ Check-Out Experience
Checking in was really easy as we had made a reservation prior to arriving. Because there is only enough room for 24 guests, you do need to book beforehand to make sure there is availability for you and your group.
We simply needed to show our booking confirmation and show you have paid the mandatory fee to cover the entrance to the national park (which is charged per vehicle) and is not included in the accommodation fees.
If you didn’t pay for this at the visitor center you can pay at the accommodation.
Check in time is from 3.00pm and check-out time is 10.00am.
Final Thoughts on Visiting Yarrangobilly Caves House
So there you have it, this is what you can expect when staying at Yarrangobilly Caves House, and as you can see, it’s an experience that is completely unique and refreshing in today’s world.
On our last day, we sat in the sun on the balcony, and then in the second floor sunroom with coffee and cake, basking in the glorious afternoon sun.
“I don’t want to leave here.” Craig said. “I’ve really enjoyed not being online.”
It’s amazing how much time you reclaim when you disconnect.
Website: To get all the info click here.
More Snowy Mountains Travel Tips
Are you looking for more inspiration about the Snowy Mountains? Then these other guides may be helpful to you…
- Thredbo YHA Hostel – Budget Accommodation in the Snowy Mountains
- Things to see and do on a Snowy Mountain Drive
- What to Do at Yarrangobilly Caves – Snowy Mountains
Disclaimer: we stayed as guests of NSW National Parks, but all thoughts, ideas and opinions in this guide are our own.