About Ted - Ted was for over 30 years a science teacher for NSW Department of Education.  For the first half of his Science teaching career he taught at Nepean High and during those years took students on excursion to places of interest such as the Lapstone outcrop of the ancient Nepean River gravels and to Jenolan Caves.  After leaving Nepean High he transferred to South Coast High schools for an extended period and then finally to Bowral High, from where he retired after another 6 years.   His interest regarding the Jenolan Caves goes back to his childhood.  While a student at Sydney University Ted was employed as a casual Caves Guide at Jenolan.  He continued in such a position throughout his teaching career. At retirement from teaching Ted was permanently employed by the Jenolan Caves Trust as a guide, a position which he holds to-day.






( This describes materials which have been prepared by

Ted Matthews, caves guide at Jenolan.

Contact Ted at:  tedwin43 "@" )


ACKNOWEDGMENT:    Photos on this webpage are an illustrative selection of what may be had

in the products obtainable from Ted Matthews, caves guide.    Others too, of course, have been 

involved in research, presentations put on Jenolan Caves, caving trips, and so on.  Fuller

acknowledgments are within the products.   There is a Jenolan Caves Historical

and Preservation Society [JCHAPS] which welcomes new members.

(This photo is of a Favosites coral.)


Jenolan Caves is an amazing place, as the photos on this page (by Ted Matthews) may give some idea of.  These are just a very small sample of the great diversity of interesting geological things which can be seen there.

Contact Ted directly for further information or enquiries, or to obtain below-mentioned items.


- Limestone is precipitated from (sea-) water, with much help from life forms.

- Long afterward fresh (rain) water interacts with it again.

- Reflected in it all, says Ted (in 'Limestone caves and water'), are:

-- The collected memories of brave acts of discovery, or indeed

-- The gentle ferrying of past and present souls into a world beyond.


Reflections in underground river (This pool is often referred to as the "Pool of Reflections).




Below are listed the series of presentations/compilations made by Ted Matthews, a long-time guide at Jenolan Caves.

Please send all enquiries, orders of feedback direct to Ted at:

tedwin43 "at"

Should you experience any difficulties in contact Ted directly, please then refer instead to LachlanHunter via:

john.mail "@"

or write to LachlanHunter, P.O. Box 121, Burwood, NSW 1805


You might also be interested to contact the Jenolan Caves Historical and Preservation Society (JCHAPS). 



Ted at different times has written presentations or posters concerning:

* Aspects of Jenolan   ( A comprehensive long-playing video/DVD, 1.41 Gb)  


* Bedding in sedimentary rocks (explains what bedding is, and how it forms)

* The fossils at Jenolan Caves (fossils researched by Ted and by 'Dr Dan' Catchpole)

* Limestone caves and water (begins the consideration of cave formation mechanism)

* The Orient cave (visit by JCHAPS on the centennary of discovery - 30th July 1904/2004)

* Temple of Baal (contains many views of Jenolan's history)

* Dry Spider Connection (cave exploration description - guides Ted Matthews and Grant Commins)



The Dry Spider trip party



 Dry Spider - Spaces can be tight


Down, down .. till there is found, a river underground




* Cave Formation in Folded Limestones (204 slides)





Regarding the video "Aspects of Jenolan", this covers the area from the discovery of the caves onwards:  

Charles Whalan  snr, the father of the Charles Whalan jnr who was one of the main original explorers/discoverers of the Jenolan Caves, was born in 1772. He was convicted in Westminster England in 1787 of catching trout in water belonging to a neighbour and was transported to the Colony of New South Wales. On the 11th February 1793 he joined the New South Wales Corps.  This was to some an alternative to remaining a convict.   On 19th March 1803 he married Elizabeth Berry from Hertfordshire.  In 1800 he was appointed to command the Governor's Guard of Light Horse.  In 1820 he formed an exploration party into the Burragorang Valley.  Hence Charles snr was an early explorer even before the Blue Mountains were crossed.  Charles and his wife Elizabeth retired to his land grant at Macquarie Park at Prospect.  In 1839 he died at the age of sixty seven. His remains are in a family vault at St Johns Parramatta. (Ref. Ralston - Golden Ages of Caving).   After Charles Whalan jnr (and others) had discovered the limestone at Jenolan and it caves, his son Edwin Whalan became one of the first honorary guides of the Jenolan Caves.

Jeremiah Wilson was the eldest son of of William and Rebecca Wilson, born in October 1839 at Enniskillen, Northern Ireland.  This family migrated to Australia in 1842 and shortly after became farmers at Bullock Flat (Oberon).  Jeremiah's interest in the caves was no later than 1856, when it is known that he entered the Elder Cave. 

Jeremiah was appointed as the first keeper of the caves on 12th January 1867. On 10th January 1868 he married Lucinda Beattie at O'Connell and they created the farm Lucindale on Fish River Creek.  In 1879 he built a small accommodation house at Jenolan which was to be the predecessor of the later Caves House that was built by the Government.   The Lucinda Chamber in the Chifley Cave is named after Mrs Wilson.

A Frederick J. Wilson was Caretaker of the caves from 1896 to 1903.   He discovered the passage from the Grand Arch to the Balcony in 1897, providing access to the Lucas.   In 1900 he the Mafeking chamber in the Lucas cave.


Wiburd's full name was James Carvosso Wiburd and he was nicknamed  "Voss".   He was the Caretaker of the caves from 1903 to 1932.  Upon his retirement his post was re-filled as 'Superintendant of Caves'.   Wilburd was an avid explorationist at the caves and is credited as the discoverer of the River, Cerberus, Orient, Baal and Ribbon Caves.  He was born in Bathurst on 21st November 1866, the son of Elizabeth and James Wiburd.  He married Mary Matilda Fraser in 1889.  His children were Carvosso, born in 1894 and Hazel, born in 1896.  He was first appointed to the guiding staff at Jenolan in 1885.


Early guides, exploring


Adapting a "pickle box", supported by drums;  and Wiburd afloat, to explore underground river, the "River Styx"

   And establishing lighting


 And a hundred years later on - A re-enactment


Much of  the contents is also integrated into the single large PPT (297 Mb) presentation "Cave formation in Folded Limestones"  which is focussed on the origin of the caves at Jenolan, or caves in bedded limestones more generally.    Ted developed a theory of his own on how argillaceous interbeds and dolomitic clayey intervales might control the development of caves, particularly at Jenolan Caves.  His proposal in the presentation states that "the clay material of the interbeds has been a major facilitative factor in the creation of many limestone caves such as those in eastern Australia".


Jenolan's ghosts:   Believe it or not, this was once a large pelecypod (cf. giant/large clam).   (Photo: Ted Matthews)

And a 'fuzzy', yet undoubted, gastropod.   The molluscan shells of aragonite typically do not

preserve as well as the calcite shells of corals and other fossils.



Corallum (maybe Mazaophyllum ??) in a possible rudite bed.    (Photo: Ted Matthews)

A megacrystal cavity.   One of various such features known.    (Photo: Ted Matthews)


Diagonal-running view of a band of brecciation.

Some coarse breccia seen in a roof view.


The lower and less-adorned passageways   (Photo: Ted Matthews)


Cave diving:   Today, the floor of The Temple of Baal at Jenolan lies some 20m above the natural water table.  The dome of that

chamber is 46m high, floor to ceiling.  Divers have reached a depth below Mammoth Cave, at Slug Lake Jenolan,

equal to twice the height of this dome.     (Photo: Ted Matthews)



Caymanite lens at Cayman Brac, Cayman Island.  (Photo: hurricanecrab)

Cayman Brac, Cayman Island.  (Photo: hurricanecrab).  Note distinct zone of cavitation.  Is this a recent higher sealevel effect, or what?  It also appears to be a matter of different formational susceptabilities(?).  Around most of the coast of Cayman Brac there is said to be a Pleistocene 'raised beach' named "Ironshore Formation".  The The 125 Ka sea level was approximately 6 m above present-day sea level.



Some of the cavities at Cayman Brac are sizeable.  None are particularly extensive.

View of cliff face on south coast of Cayman Brac, showing Cayman Formation (CF), Brac Unconformity (U/C), and Brac Formation (BF) with typical grey weathered surfaces and lack of obvious bedding planes.  (Photo: Brian Jones).


Caymanite evident at Cayman Brac only when the weathered rock is broken into.

 Thus the boundaries of bodies of caymanite may be obscure.  (Photo: nhcruiser)



Some extremely angular particles incorporated in cayman islands caymanite;  suggesitve of subaerial sediment source.


The caymanite of the Cayman islands is dolomitised and occurs in the Miocene Cayman/Bluff Formation.  It comprises white to red and black infillings of moulds and small cavities in the limestone.  The dolomitization at Cayman Brac is thought to have happened 2-5 million years ago ( Suzanne M. Pleydell, Brian Jones, F. J. Longstaffe, H. Baadsgaard, Dolomitization of the Oligocene-Miocene Bluff Formation on Grand Cayman, British West Indies, Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 1990, 27:1098-1110).  Thus the caymanite has nothing to do with the current cavities as shown above.  It is thought to have originated from sediments transported by storms onto a highly permeable karst terrain.  The water with its sediment load then drained into the subsurface through joints and fissures.  The depth to which these waters penetrated was controlled by the length of the interconnected cavity system ( Brian Jones, 1992.  Caymanite, a cavity-filling deposit in the Oligocene-Miocene Bluff Formation of the Cayman Islands.  Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 1992, 29(4): 720-736 ).

New South Wales may have been the first place, or one of the first, where the name "caymanite" has been extended to features of possible similar origin as seen in Palaeozoic limestones.   Late Eocene marine cavity filling sediments of caymanite-type, deposited at sea-level and broadly conformable with host rock were recognised in Hungary in 1997 ( Sedimentary Geology , Volume 123, Issues 1–2 , January 1999, Pages 9–29 ).

This sort of red non-fossiliferous "unusual looking" limestone as pockets within the NSW Palaeozoic limestones of the 'Central West' had been a puzzle for many years - e.g. in the Westwood Limestone (* Day 1951) north of Ilford besides the main road to Mudgee were seen seeming solution cavities filled or partially filled with fibrous calcite as well as extensive masses of red lime mud in trough-like bodies.  The largest exposure seen there of the latter was 24 ft long by 2 ft thick (but bottom not exposed).  That limestone is an inlier surrounded by Permian and its age and relationships are unknown.   Other limestones with such reddish 'internal' beds known in them include the Apsley Limestone (Devonian) near Wellington, limestrone in the Nubrigyn Formation (minor, vertical crack-filling), and the Borenore Limestone (Silurian) near Orange.  Small caymanite bodies were noted in the Jenolan Limestone in the 1970s, and much larger patches noted in the 1980s by Armstrong Osborne who applied that name "caymanite" to this lithotype.   Osborne has also found it at Colong Caves (noted in "Rethinking Eastern Australian Caves").

* Day, Alan, A., 1951.  The Geology of the Sofala-Ilford district, N.S.W., B.Sc. Hons. thesis.

Caymanite mapping by Armstrong Osborne.

( Caymanite at a mud tunnel section of River Cave was interpreted by Osborne et al. 2006 as palaeokarst.

In the mud tunnels the Caymanite is intersected by an outcrop of dated clay (335 Ma - sample J174.)

[ R. A. L. OSBORNE, H. ZWINGMANN, R. E. POGSON3 AND D. M. COLCHESTER, 2006.  Carboniferous clay deposits from

Jenolan Caves, New South Wales: implications for timing of speleogenesis and regional geology.  Australian Journal of

Earth Sciences (2006) 53, 337-405.  (Figure 7 (a) Detailed map and (b) section of the Mud Tunnels, River Cave

showing the location and relationships of samples J174 and J206). ]


"Shown is a display of the material which Osborne ’95 interpreted as ‘caymanite’. Caymanite is used by Jones ’92 to

describe marine carbonate turbidites. The name relates to carbonate rock of similar appearance

and structure found in Cayman Is. (often carved, sold for decoration)"



Photos of Caymanite (the thin-banded material).    (Photo:  Ted Matthews)



Tourism:   An endless flow of tourists visit the Jenolan Caves.


The upper, drier, caves are extensively decorated by speleothems.

Tourist caves - The River, Imperial Cave, Chifley and Temple of Baal caves.


The growth of speleothems.     (Photo:  Ted Matthews)

Helictites.    (Photo:  Ted Matthews)

Perched memory of a former pool level.   (Photo:  Ted Matthews)




Jenolan's fame grows greater, as now the - "World's oldest caves".



by  R.A.L. Osborne, Faculty of Education and Social work, A35, University of Sydney, NSw 2006,

Australia; e-mail:  - TIME in KARST, POSTOJNA 2007, 133–142. )





Geological compilation surrounding Jenolan Caves is in great need of further work.   The area map portion at right, has had less detailed work or little advancement since the 1960s.  Map is from Brunker & Rose (1967).   The area at left has been more recently revised; by Raymond, Pogson et al. (1998).  Width of this whole area depicted is about 45 km.    Tv - Tertiary volcanics (basalt, dolerite,  microsyenite, trachyte and tinguaite). Cg - Carboniferous granite and granodiorite, Cwg - Carboniferous, Kanangra Granite (pale pink, medium grained hornblende granite), Dlg - Devonian, Gibbons Creek Sandstone of Lambie Group (thickly to thinly bedded quartz sandstone, siltstone, mudstone), Dul - Devonian, Lambie Group conglomerate, sandstone and shale.  Duv - Devonian, undifferentiated volcanics (Bindook Porphyry), Dcd - Devonian, Dunchurch Formation of Crudine Group, Skc - Silurian, Kildrummie Group. Ss - Silurian, undifferentiated sediments, volcanics and limestone. Smc - Silurian, Campbells Formation of Mumbil Group (East), Smh - Silurian, Hollanders Formation of Mumbil Group (East), Smi - Silurian, Karawina Formation of Mumbil Group (East), Qcr - Ordovician, Rockley Volcanics of Cabonne Group, Qkt - Ordovician, Triangle formation of Kenilworth Group, Qa - Ordovician, Adaminaby Group.   [This combination by Jill Rowling in 2004.]    (NB:  The SW-trending linear "tail" from the Cg intrusion to the east of Jenolan is not granite.  It is a coarse mafic intrusive known as the Budthingeroo Amphibolite.]




The Jenolan caves: an excursion in Australian wonderland (1889)

By Sam Cooke

Now fully digitised:

Read Online
(15 MB) PDF
(8.33 MB) B/W PDF
(244 KB) Full Text
(5.71 MB) DjVu

All Files: HTTP  (Help reading texts)

The whole 1889 book by Samuel Cooke has been digitized, and can be downloaded via above links, from the American Libraries website.  Files are large (colour PDF 15 Mb and the B& W PDF  8.33 Mb, although the full text is easily obtainable, at only 244 Kb.).



In "Australian Landscapes", edited by P. Bishop and B. Pillans. 

Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 2010, 346, pp. 289-308


RELATED WEBPAGES - Jenolan Caves information sources - books, articles, websites, etc.