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Caves, Karst, Speleology

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Caves - Northern Territory

There are caves and karst areas found throughout Australia. Check out our listing of caves to be found throughout Australia.

In addition we have listings of local and regional Cave Groups and Clubs, and links to other information about speleology and karst.

Northern Territory - Caves

Cutta Cutta Caves
• Located within the Cutta Cutta Caves National Park. The park is open all year round, with the period May to August being the most comfortable time to visit the park. During the ‘wet season’ (December to April), the caves may be closed due to flooding.
Gregory Karst
• Located about 45 kilometres south of Timber Creek, part of the Victoria River region and within the Gregory National Park, the Gregory Karst is in PreCambrian dolomite. Current information about the caves in the area followed the British led expedition in 1988 (Storm and Smith, 1989). Following this trip, the Canberra Speleological Society has conducted trips to the area each year during the winter period of June and July. Local cavers from the Top End Speleological Society have also explored and mapped a number of caves.

The karst itself, is believed to extend some 20 kilometres north-south and up to one kilometre wide. With many outlying exposures that may still not have been explored and exposures along other rivers outside the Gregory National Park, the total length of known caves now exceed 150 kilometres. The Bullita Cave System, also known as ‘Burkes Backyard’ in 2001 was currently the longest cave in Australia at 81 kilometres, with the length being added to by up to ten kilometres each year.

Aboriginal inhabitants of the area were aware of the caves in the Gregory Karst, with discovery of shelters used for occupation and associated cave art. Many of these sites are of important cultural and spiritual significance, and made known only to National Park personnel, with only a couple of sites permitted to be visited by tourist.

With limited development of the Park and the rugged remoteness of the karst, casual cave exploration is not encouraged, with permission required from the Northern Territory Conservation Commission.

Source: National Cave and Karst Management Symposia - Karst in Arid Australia by Nicholas White 2001
Newcastle and Hunter Valley Speleological Society - Newcaves Chronicles Volume 11, July 1998


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