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The Top 5 Tourist Caves to Visit in Western Australia

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Lady Rain is a daytime stock trader in Australia who likes to travel and has worked in Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong.

Western Australia has one of the oldest landscapes in the world. There are amazing rock formations, ginormous gorges and spooky underground caves spread out in the whole region. Most of these landscapes have shown evidence of fossils of animals from the prehistoric ages. A 350-million-year-old fossilised reef was found at Windjana Gorge National Park. At Mount Augustus, there is the world's largest rock formation which is twice the size of the Uluru (which is a large sandstone formation also known as Ayers Rock). The colour-changing Wave Rock at Hyden is over 2700 million years old and the limestone pillars in the Pinnacles Desert are over 6,000 years old.

Beneath the surface of the ground there exist more amazing landscapes made up of limestone rocks, underground streams, waterfalls and large caverns. A few of these natural caves have become tourist attractions, while the majority of them are not open to the public due to the fragile structures and dangerous terrain within the caverns. The tourist caves are some of the top places to see in Perth, WA.

Margaret River is situated three hundred kilometres south of Perth. It is famous for its wine production, beaches, food and tourism. In the Margaret River region, there are more than 150 caves beneath the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge and Karri forest. Most of the caves that lie underground in the area have complex and fragile landscapes. They belong to the karst system which is the formation of layers of soluble limestone or dolomite. A visit to one of these caves will leave you with one of the most memorable experiences of your holiday.

1. Jewel Cave

Jewel Cave lies 38 kilometres south of Margaret River. It is the largest tourist cave in Western Australia with one of the longest stalactites in the world. The cave tour will bring you on a descent down a narrow tunnel. At the end of this long tunnel is a giant cavern with a golden glow. Visitors to this giant cavern will be mesmerised by the magnitude of this cave and the beautiful formations of long straw stalactites and giant stalagmites. Some of the formations resemble organ pipes, a Jedi, a ghost, a frozen waterfall and a giant shawl.

Stalactites and stalagmites inside a cave

Stalactites and stalagmites inside a cave

2. Lake Cave

Lake Cave is located 13 kilometres south of southeast of Margaret River on the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge. This is one of the most stunning limestone caves in Western Australia. Visitors also get to experience being underground in the darkness. In this cave, there is a tranquil underground lake. Above this lake are stunning cave formations which are reflected on the lake in a display of light shows.

3. Mammoth Cave

Also located in the Margaret River region is the Mammoth Cave, which is 500 metres long and 30 metres in depth. This cave is gothic-like and has been described as a perfect dwelling place for a caveman. There have been discoveries of animal bones and fossils in this cave, which once belonged to giant mammals, extinct animals, the Tasmanian tiger and Zygomaturus which resembled a huge wombat. Formations in the Mammoth Cave include the Mammoth shawl and Karri Forest.

A two tonne stalactite

A two tonne stalactite

4. Ngilgi Cave

To the north of Margaret River is the small town of Yallingup, which faces the Indian Ocean. Here, you can find many attractions like the wineries, breweries, galleries, restaurants and beautiful beaches which are popular among surfers.

The Ngilgi Cave was formerly called Yallingup Cave. This is also a karst cave located northeast of Yallingup. The caves found in this area are very young caves formed from young limestones. There have been excavations of fossils and remains of animals like the Tasmanian tiger, bats, kangaroos and possums have been found here.

There are many exciting tours available for visitors. Apart from the guided tours for less adventurous cave visitors, this cave offers exciting tours for those who do not mind getting down on their hands, knees and bellies. There are tight gaps underground to crawl and squeeze through that will lead you to some of the most beautiful spots in the cave.

Inside Ngilgi Cave

Inside Ngilgi Cave

5. Crystal Cave

The town of Yanchep is only 45 minutes north of Perth. Here, visitors can enjoy horseriding, sailing, swimming, surfing, scuba diving and bushwalking. In spring, there are some sightings of migrating whales in the areas near the beaches.

The Yanchep National Park has some unique flora and fauna which are some of the attractions bringing visitors to this small town. There are also several hundred limestone caves in Yanchep National Park and the Crystal Cave is a show cave open to visitors. Great formations in this cave include Sleeping Beauty, Queen Victoria and some hugging polar bears. There are narrow tunnels and crevices to crawl through and some parts require climbing to get to the large caverns, streams and pools. Fossil remains have also been found in the Crystal Cave.

Caves to Visit in Western Australia

This Way To Come By Chance Village

This Way To Come By Chance Village

Other Places to Visit in Western Australia

Questions & Answers

Question: I am going to Australia in March. Any suggestions for tours?

Answer: Most hotels have local tour brochures at the reception area. You can book directly with the local tour operators when you are there.

Question: I am looking for the best but also child friendliest caves to visit, any recommendations?

Answer: There are risks involved when entering caves but most tourist caves are safe for the general public. If you have young children please check with the staff on-site if they have any restrictions for young visitors.

© 2011 lady rain

Comments

lady rain (author) from Australia on August 28, 2012:

IntroduceCroatia, I hope you'll be able to visit Melbourne, too when you catch up with your cousins in Sydney next time. Thank you for stopping by to leave a comment :)

Ante Rajic from Croatia on August 28, 2012:

I have cousins in Australia, specifically in Sydney. Hopefully I'll get a chance to visit Melbourne too.

aboutaustralia from Newcastle, New South Wales on May 10, 2012:

Wow, it sounds wonderfully peaceful lady rain. It must seem like another world. Can't wait to experience it myself. :)

Sharon

lady rain (author) from Australia on May 10, 2012:

Sharon, every time I enter a cave, it feels like I am in a totally different world. There is so much peace and tranquility in underground caves that I want to stay in there forever.

aboutaustralia from Newcastle, New South Wales on May 09, 2012:

I love the way you have set out this hub and the pics are wonderful! We hope to visit WA one day in the not too distant future when we get back on the road with our caravan. We'll definitely be checking out some of the caves in your hub. Thanks for the info. Voted up. Sharon

lady rain (author) from Australia on December 27, 2011:

Melovy, you are so privileged to have visited Margaret River because there is so much to do and see in the region. The locals love this place, too. Thank you for stopping by to leave a comment. Cheers.

Yvonne Spence from UK on December 27, 2011:

We visited Australia early last year, and loved it. Like HouseSeller this brings back great memories as we visited the Margaret River area, and went down Lake Cave (at least I think it was Lake Cave - there was definitely a lake in it!)

Thanks for this hub.

lady rain (author) from Australia on September 11, 2011:

HouseSeller, I am glad to hear you have been to Margaret River. It is indeed a lovely place for outdoor activities.

HouseSeller from Glasgow on September 11, 2011:

Having lived in Perth for 7 years I did take some time visiting these caves. They are glorious places and I especially love Margaret River. Nice hub, brings back memories.

lady rain (author) from Australia on September 10, 2011:

livelonger, I like those caves with streams and lakes, it is like a totally different world underground. Thank you for stopping by and leaving your comments. Cheers.

lady rain (author) from Australia on September 10, 2011:

wytegarillaz, that sounds like an exciting adventure you had at Halls Creek. Thank you for commenting. Cheers.

Jason Menayan from San Francisco on September 10, 2011:

Wow, beautiful - I love caves, especially those with complex stalactite/stalagmite formations like in these photos. I've seen some beautiful caves in Poland, but these look magnificent. Have only been to the east coast of Australia; this is one of, I'm sure, many reasons to visit the west, too.

wytegarillaz from Australia on September 10, 2011:

Wow ! Enjoyed your hub !I loved Tunnel Creek Cave not far from Halls creek ! i didn't know there was crocodiles in the water before we waded through there recently !

lady rain (author) from Australia on September 10, 2011:

kerlynb, thank you for your votes. Caves are amazing places. I am sure the caveman who lived there long time ago had a comfortable sleeping area and was well protected from the harsh weather out there.

kerlynb from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on September 10, 2011:

Talk about a well-detailed and well-illustrated hub. Congratulations! Just by looking at the pics, it's like I'm already brought into these caves in western Australia. Voted up and beautiful! Among the caves you mentioned, I found Mammoth Cave the most interesting. You said it's very gothic-like and seems to be the perfect place for a caveman :)

lady rain (author) from Australia on September 10, 2011:

apersonalmoney, thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. Cheers from lady rain.

apersonalmoney from Malaysia on September 10, 2011:

It's beautiful. Thanks for sharing.