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Chiara Bailey
 
21 January 2021 | Brown Hill Blog | Chiara Bailey

Margaret River Caves

Margaret River is home to over 100 ancient limestone caves. The cave system along the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge formed over one million years ago and is one of the most important palaeontological sites in Australia. Four spectacular caves are open to the public, with a range of tour options available. You can explore the caves at your own pace, join a guided tour, or try your hand at spelunking with an abseiling expedition. Planning a trip to Margaret River? Be sure to include a visit to at least one of these sublime natural wonders.

MAMMOTH CAVE

The Mammoth Cave is conveniently located only 15 kilometres south of Margaret River. The boardwalk to the cave follows the gently sloping path of a winter stream, winding through the beautiful forest before reaching the cave’s entrance. The Mammoth Cave is the most accessible of the four show caves, with wheelchair access into its first and most magnificent chamber. The Mammoth Cave is self-guided, meaning you can experience it at your own pace with an insightful one-hour audio tour. Marvel at the ancient, fossilised remains of giant animals – known as Australian Megafauna – over 50,000 years after these animals roamed the forests above. The Mammoth Cave is one of Australia's most important palaeontological sites and has been studied for over a century. Perfect for all ages, including younger children. Please note there are steps staged throughout the cave beyond the first chamber.

LAKE CAVE

The Lake Cave is the smallest and deepest of the four show caves. The cave’s dramatic entrance takes visitors down 350 steps through a sunken forest surrounded by towering trees. Aptly named, the Lake Cave is the only cave along the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge with a permanent lake. Once inside, you’ll discover a magnificent crystal chamber. All the exquisite formations within the cave are reflected in its tranquil lake below. Above ground you’ll find the Lake Cave Deck – a viewing platform nestled in the treetops over the cave’s entrance, and you can learn about caves from all over the world at the interpretive centre. The Lake Cave is only 3 kilometres south of the Mammoth Cave and 16 kilometres south of Margaret River. Recommended for adults and older children.

JEWEL CAVE

The Jewel Cave is the largest show cave in Western Australia. It has three large and dazzling chambers filled with the gravity defying formations of cave popcorn and drumstick shaped pendulites. The Jewel Cave also features beautiful examples of flowstone, naturally sculpted into the shape of a frozen waterfall and organ pipes. The Jewel Cave’s exquisite and fragile helictites are rarely seen in show caves. Immerse yourself in the fascinating history of the cave by joining a fun and informative one hour guided tour. Here you will learn about the cave’s significant paleontological discoveries, such as the Tasmanian Tigers fossils preserved for over 3000 years after becoming extinct on the Australian mainland. The Jewel Cave is located 37 kilometres south of Margaret River, near Augusta.

NGILGI CAVE

The Ngilgi Cave is the most active – and interactive – of all the show caves. Climb up and down stairs and traverse the cave’s extensive boardwalks through its many interconnected caverns and chambers. An impressive lightshow highlights the stunning array of formations that surround you – from towering stalactites to miniature crystals – and the junior explorer's tunnel provides a fun adventure for little ones. The Ngilgi Cave is rich in Indigenous mythology

The Ngili Cultural Tour explores the significance of the cave to Indigenous culture and introduces you to the living spirit of the cave, Ngili – the Great Spirit of the Ocean. The Ngilgi Cave was Western Australia’s first tourist attraction and is located 40 kilometres north of Margaret River, near Yallingup. A word of wisdom if you’re visiting! The temperature inside the caves is much cooler than above ground, so it’s best to bring an extra layer for warmth. Although there are walkways and stairs, comfortable and sturdy walking shoes are also recommended.

Tickets for all four cave experiences are available to purchase from Margaret River’s tourism website, Your Margaret River Region (YMRR). Advance booking recommended, see YMRR for tour packages.

COME AND VISIT OUR MARGARET RIVER CELLAR DOOR 

Once you’ve finished exploring this subterranean wonderland, why not pop into our Cellar Door? Brown Hill Estate is just 12 kilometres south east of Margaret River’s town centre. We offer winery tours and seated Cellar Door tastings every day between 10am and 5pm – bookings available and walk-ins welcome. Looking for a special experience? Book our private Barrel Hall Tasting hosted by one of our family members.

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