AFTER months of work involving drones, abseilers and a crew working around the clock, Jenolan Caves Road has reopened to traffic.
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said work crews had undertaken a mammoth operation in difficult terrain to enable the popular tourist route to reopen after it closed due to bushfires, followed by a landslide caused by heavy rain earlier this year.
"It has taken a huge recovery effort to get this section of Jenolan Caves Road (commonly referred to as Five Mile Road) back open, with drones used to survey the land and abseilers required to get to hard-to-reach places," Mr Toole said.
"Hundreds of fire-damaged trees have been removed, with two-and-a-half kilometres of damaged guardrail replaced and an Olympic-size swimming pool worth of rock removed from the road."
Mr Toole said Jenolan Caves Road provided access to the heritage-listed Jenolan Caves House, which had suffered a triple whammy of fires, flood and COVID-19.
"The reopening of Jenolan Caves Road is great news for the local community and tourist operators as visitors return to the regions with the easing of regional travel restrictions," he said.
Jenolan Caves general manager Jodie Anderson said staff were looking forward to welcoming visitors back on site.
"We've had a few setbacks and worked incredibly hard to have our hotel and hospitality areas reopened," Ms Anderson said.
"We encourage people to take the drive down and enjoy the café, walking tracks, our accommodation and our friendly wildlife. Please note that current restrictions on guided tours prevent us being able to provide access to the caves themselves, but a great stay is assured."