Australia is home to a vast number of subterraneous caves, many of which are open to the public. Here’s the Choice Hotels top five caves in Australia.
Abercrombie Caves – New South Wales
Located 72 kilometres south of Bathurst in New South Wales, Abercrombie Caves house the largest natural limestone arch in the Southern hemisphere, the Abercrombie Archway, along with several other well known limestone formations. There are regular tours into the famous Arch Cave which is 221 metres long, 60 metres wide, at each end, and an impressive 30 metres high in the middle. The Arch Cave is thought to be the largest cave of its type in the Southern Hemisphere. Abercrombie Caves are a great day trip from Bathurst. Check out our Quality Hotel Bathurst offering quality Bathurst accommodation as a great base to explore Abercrombie Caves, Bathurst and its surrounds.
Jenolan Caves – New South Wales
Probably the most well known caves in Australia, Jenolan Caves consists of over 40 kilometres of multi level passages with several kilometres of these lit and accessible to tourists. One of the highlights of the caves is the beautiful 9 metre long Angel’s Wing shawl, one of the largest limestone cave shawls in the world. Most of the caves open to the public have easy access suitable for all fitness levels and ages but there are also a range of adventure caving experiences, night tours and even tours aimed specifically at children.
Quality Inn Penrith is located at the base of the Blue Mountains and is only 60 kilometres from the famous Jenolan Caves – the ideal base to explore Jenolan Caves and the Blue Mountains.
Capricorn Caves – Queensland
Situated just north of Rockhampton the Capricorn Caves experience a unique phenomenon known as the Summer Solstice Light Spectacle throughout December and early January. The sun’s alignment over the tropic of Capricorn during this period penetrates the Belfry Cave through a 14 metre vertical shaft at noon, and produces a spectacular light display with a mirror ball like effect reflecting the colours of visitors clothing onto the surrounding cave walls and ceiling – an amazing experience for all who witness it. A natural cathedral is also the venue for sell out performances by the Underground Opera Company as well as a unique wedding venue.
Naracoorte Caves – South Australia
The Naracoorte Caves are one of the most interesting cave systems in Australia due to their abundance of fossil deposits. The Fossil Chamber in the Victoria Fossil Cave is where large numbers of well preserved fossils have been found and excavated including megafauna species such as the marsupial lion and sthenurine kangaroo. The Wonambi Fossil Centre has life sized models of many of the species found within the caves so visitors can get a better understanding of the local inhabitants 200,000 years ago. Another phenomenon not to be missed at the Naracoorte Caves is the summertime dusk mass exodus of bats from the Blanche Cave – not for those with a bat phobia!
Base yourself at the great value Econo Lodge Kingston, less than 80km from the Naracoorte Caves.
Margaret River Caves – Western Australia
Under the plethora of wineries and chocolate factories of the Margaret River region is a series of over 150 limestone caves, four of which are open to the public. There is a choice of guided and self guided tours running every day throughout the year except for Christmas day and each of the four caves boasts its own interesting story and unique formations. The four hour Ultimate Ngilgi Adventure Tour is for only the fittest and most fearless as it takes you into the deepest, darkest depths of the cage. A highlight of the Margaret River Caves is the magnificent Lake Cave with its stunning underground lake reflecting an enormous calcite column known as the Suspended Table from below.
Choice Hotels’ tranquil Quality Inn Margaret River is only 20 minutes from the Margaret River Caves.