Some of Australia’s best-kept secrets are hidden behind layers of rock and limestone. Aside from its pristine beaches, gorgeous coastlines, and vibrant cities, Australia is also filled with breathtaking caves that’ll transport you back to the prehistoric ages. For a not-your-usual trip that’s sure to give you an adrenaline rush, book a cave tour on your next holiday. Include the following caves in your list for an adventure you won’t forget.
Underground opera at Capricorn Caves
Image by www.capricorncaves.com.au
Looking for a unique cave tour experience? Then ready your outdoor gear and head to the Capricorn Caves. Located north of Rockhampton, these caves have been attracting tourists since 1882. One of the highlights of the Capricorn Caves tour is the stunning performance by the Underground Opera Company. Because of the caves’ amazing acoustics, brace yourself for a mesmerising, hair-raising (in a good way) performance filled with incredible duets and arias. Shows sell out fast so book your tickets in advance.
Unique formations at Yarrangobilly Caves
Image by www.shoalhaven.net.au
While you trek inside the Yarrangobilly Caves, you’ll enjoy a short geology lesson as the guide explains how the beautiful stalactites and stalagmites were formed. One of the most popular caves here is the Jersey Cave. This is where the Cleopatra’s Needle, an unusually thin and tall stalagmite that almost reaches the cave’s ceiling, is located. Another natural attraction is the “organ pipes,” stalactites that look like they should be inside a massive church. Rock formations created by dripping water and the caves’ sloping roof–aptly named shawls–are also found inside the caves.
Precious fossils at Jenolan Caves
Image by Tripadvisor
Step back into the prehistoric ages by trekking inside Jenolan Caves. Equipped with a headlamp, look closely at the walls and low ceilings and see for yourself the bones of animals that have existed long ago. Fossils of the extinct Thylacine and Tasmanian Devil can be found on the off-track spots, so be sure to keep an eye out for those precious pieces of bones. Your guide will be more than happy to explain and interpret those bones, giving you a glimpse of the past. Ancient corals and shells tell more about the cave’s history, giving away its secrets one piece of fossil at a time.
Colourful crystalline formations at the Princess Margaret Rose Cave
Image by www.visitportland.com.au
Years of tannins and minerals getting washed down into the caves because of rainwater have created colourful crystalline structures inside the Princess Margaret Rose Cave. Also known as the Jewel in the Crown, you’ll see plenty of unusual and rare formations that make this cave a popular tourist spot. Aside from stalactites and stalagmites, you’ll also see helictites, formations that seem to defy gravity because they grow in different directions. Rimstone pools and cave corals adorn the walls of the caves, adding a mysteriously beautiful touch to the interiors.
Cave tour tips
When planning to visit any of these caves, be sure to book or call ahead since tour groups can accommodate only a limited number of people at a time. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes since you’ll be trekking along rocky and slippery surfaces. Some tours can be physically challenging, so be sure you’re up to it. Bookings for your flights, accommodations, and cheap airport parking should be arranged days or weeks before the trip. With proper planning and preparation, your cave tour is sure to be a hassle-free and exciting experience.