The Margaret River Caves are a must-do activity when visiting Western Australia.
The area from Busselton to Augusta along the Cape Naturaliste Ridge is one of the most cave rich areas in Australia with over 100 highly decorated limestone caves beneath its surface.
Formed approximately 1 million years ago, a number of these complex and fragile karst systems are open to the public. Go inside and be amazed by these massive labyrinths decorated intricately with limestone crystal formations.
Margaret River Caves tours range from completely easy ‘at your own pace’ self-guided tours, guided tours along boardwalks with great commentary, ‘off piste’ adventure hard-hat tours to extremely adventurous ‘abseil your way in’ expeditions.
Here we share our favourites….
Ngilgi Cave, Yallingup: This exquisitely decorated cave, with its stunning stalactites, stalagmites, helictites and beautifully coloured shawls is an ideal place to visit year round. Extensive boardwalks lead you through the impressive chambers of this underground wonderland, with the junior explorer’s tunnel providing fun for little ones. Along the way, lighting illuminates hidden marvels and signage allows you to learn more about the remarkable variety of calcite crystal decorations.
Mammoth Cave, Margaret River: This magical cave is a natural time capsule; home to ancient fossil remains of long-extinct giant animals. A fascinating audio tour is available in several languages. Mammoth Cave is a self-guided cave, where visitors explore along the boardwalks and platforms, through the majestic chambers of the cave. This is much more than a cave – it is a complete nature experience.
Lake Cave, Margaret River: Lake Cave is a stunning crystal chamber, deep beneath the earth. Entry to this cave is from the floor of a sunken forest, surrounded by towering karri trees. Inside the cave, a tranquil lake mirrors the delicate crystal formations that grow from the cave roof, while the massive ‘Suspended Table’ hangs from the ceiling, almost touching the waters of the lake.
Jewel Cave, Augusta: Jewel Cave is the biggest show cave in Western Australia, with three massive chambers of incredible beauty. It is an extremely well decorated cave, containing many beautiful examples of delicate helectites, cave coral, pendulites, a very large stalagmite called ‘The Karri Forest’, and beautiful examples of flowstone such as ‘The Frozen Waterfall’ and ‘the Organ-pipes’.
Calgardup Cave: Discover colourful crystals, stalactites, stalagmites and walls of flowstone. Relax on seating throughout the 300m long cave and watch seasonal stream water flowing into the lake from winter to spring time, creating breath-taking reflections. Easily accessed on boardwalks and stairs, all with handrails, make this cave suitable for all ages.
Giants Cave, Margaret River: Giants Cave, one of the largest and deepest caves, is where adventure awaits. Negotiate vertical ladder climbs and rock scrambles, tight spots and gigantic chambers, natural cave floor and constructed walkways for more than half a kilometre in the 86m deep Giants Cave. This medium-level adventure caving experience is not for everyone: children under 6 years are not permitted.
As you can see, there really is something for everyone when it comes to the different Margaret River Caves. One thing’s for sure – whichever one you choose to explore, you will experience the ultimate underground adventure.