21 incredible Australian caves
Sometimes it pays to do a bit of digging...
Australia has a wealth of fascinating cave systems, many of which are easily accessible to the public and often complete with guided tours. And thanks to BIG4’s extensive coverage, quality accommodation is never far away.
With the cooler months now setting in, there is no better time to escape the elements and explore these natural wonders. It’s time to head underground to discover 21 incredible Australian cave systems.
NEW SOUTH WALES
1. Abercrombie Karst Conservation Reserve, near Bathurst
A sequence of outstanding features, including the southern hemisphere’s largest natural arch, makes this reserve a must-visit. While here, learn about the area’s captivating link with bushrangers. The reserve is 75km from Bathurst – make it a daytrip destination when staying at BIG4 Bathurst Panorama Holiday Park.
2. Borenore Karst Conservation Reserve, near Orange
An area that escapes much attention, this reserve is home to a string of ancient limestone caves. Arch Cave is the standout and is bursting with stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and more. Visit when staying at BIG4 Forbes Holiday Park.
3. Careys Cave, Wee Jasper
This gem, located in the Yass sub-region, has appeal both above ground and underground. Head below to view gobsmacking crystal formations or stay above the surface to witness extraordinary examples of ‘fluting’ (a weathering effect).
4. Jenolan Caves, near Oberon
One of Australia’s most famous cave systems, this Blue Mountains wonder is also one of the most striking. Eleven limestone caves boast a plethora of enthralling features, including various man-made additions such as a bar and restaurant.
5. Wellington Caves, Wellington
Cathedral and Gaden caves are the headliners here and are both impressive creations. View stunning calcite crystal formations and take the opportunity to tour a phosphate mine while you’re at it. Wellington is less than 40 minutes from Dubbo where you can stay at Discovery Parks - Dubbo.
6. Wombeyan Karst Conservation Reserve, near Mittagong
A series of spectacular show caves can be explored within Wombeyan Karst Conservation Reserve: these limestone creations are estimated to be between 400 and 430 million years old. The reserve is 65km west of Mittagong.
7. Yarrangobilly Caves, Kosciuszko National Park
Uncover five ancient limestone caves that are dominated by dazzling decorations, located in a park that teems with exquisite landscapes. South Glory Cave is the spotlight stealer. Discovery Parks – Jindabyne is the ideal accommodation option when exploring the Snowy Mountains region.
8. Cutta Cutta Caves Nature Park, near Katherine
Delve into glorious limestone caves and unmask abundant stalagmites and stalactites while keeping watch for bats and harmless brown tree snakes that call this area home. This is the Northern Territory’s only publically accessible tropical limestone cave and is easily explored when staying at BIG4 Katherine Holiday Park.
9. Capricorn Caves, near Rockhampton
The Capricorn Caves defy the norm – these limestone treasures are located above ground. An interesting selection of flora and fauna, various tour options and events, and wheelchair accessible caves make this a visitor attraction with broad appeal. Check it out while staying at Discovery Parks – Rockhampton.
10. Chillagoe-Mungana Caves National Park, Chillagoe
All sorts of mind-boggling features ensure these limestone caves make for a gripping sight. View stalactites and stalagmites, columns and calcite crystals, and much more. The caves are not the only gems to see at this prized national park – check out captivating creations such as Balancing Rock as well as Aboriginal rock art.
11. Engelbrecht Cave, Mount Gambier
First explored in the 1880s, this attraction features a series of limestone caves that is located below the city. Learn about this detailed cave system and why the site has immense appeal for divers. While here, Blue Lake Holiday Park is the ideal accommodation option.
12. Naracoorte Caves, Naracoorte
Naracoorte Caves National Park offers a jaw-dropping experience – gaze in awe at majestic stalactites and stalagmites and uncover ancient fossils that are so significant the site has earned World Heritage status. While in town, stay at BIG4 Naracoorte Holiday Park.
13. Tantanoola Caves, Tantanoola
Completing the trifecta of caves found within South Australia’s Limestone Coast region, this beauty features incredible speleothems (cave deposits) that show off wonderful pink and brown hues. Tantanoola Caves Conservation Park is 30km west of Mount Gambier.
14. Gunns Plains Cave, Gunns Plains
Calcite shawls and glow-worms are among the eye-catching features to be found within this popular cave. Interpretive guided tours of this attraction make for an entertaining experience. Gunns Plains Cave is only 30km south of BIG4 Ulverstone Holiday Park.
15. Hastings Caves State Reserve, Hastings
Newdegate Cave is the star attraction in these parts and this dolomite beauty is the largest of its kind in the country. While here, take advantage of the reserve’s thermal springs pool, which is especially appealing in the cooler months. The caves are 100km southwest of Hobart.
16. Mole Creek Karst National Park, Mole Creek
More than 300 caves and sinkholes dominate this area, highlighted by King Solomons and Marakoopa caves. Both are packed with outstanding features, and Marakoopa’s dazzling glow-worm display is not to be missed. Mole Creek is 75km from Launceston.
17. Buchan Caves Reserve, Buchan
A succession of limestone caves is found in this Gippsland location, headed by Fairy and Royal caves. Royal Cave possesses extravagant calcite-rimmed pools that make for a magnificent sight. The reserve is in proximity to Bairnsdale Holiday Park or BIG4 Waters Edge Holiday Park or BIG4 Whiters Holiday Village in Lakes Entrance.
18. Byaduk Caves, near Hamilton
Regarded as the state’s most extensive lava caves, these treasures are loaded with remarkable features. As far as caves go, this collection is relatively young – estimated to be formed ‘just’ 8000 years ago. Uncover them on a daytrip when staying at BIG4 Grampians Parkgate Resort in Halls Gap.
19. Princess Margaret Rose Cave, Mumbannar
Stare in wonder at an assortment of stalactites, stalagmites, and helictites that makes this one of the most impressive caves in Australia. It’s found in Lower Glenelg National Park, near the Victoria-South Australia border, and is within easy reach of Blue Lake Holiday Park in Mount Gambier.
20. Margaret River region
More than 150 caves are spread across an area known as the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge and a handful of them make for captivating tours. Lake, Jewel, Mammoth and Ngilgi caves – as well as Moondyne Cave (limited hours) – all showcase sparkling individual elements. Explore them all by basing yourself at BIG4 Taunton Farm Margaret River at Cowaramup.
21. Yanchep National Park, Yanchep
More than 400 caves are located within these confines, headed by Crystal Cave. This limestone creation is dominated by striking stalagmites. Yanchep is spotted 55km north of Perth.
Wherever your underground adventures take you, book your accommodation with BIG4.
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