The dolomite in the caves
is subject to the extremes of temperature and sudden flooding, making it
difficult for stalagmites and stalactites to form, hence the lack of the usual
features found in other cave systems.
The largest cave is the Great Nowranie, 290
metres long and 70 metres high. It is also one of the easiest
to access, although the entrance can only be reached after negotiating an 18
metre drop. The use of climbing gear is advised. As the area is extremely isolated only
experienced cavers should attempt these caves and only in
the dry season. Please be aware that the caves are home to
many bats species including the Ghost Bat. Owls also call
the caves home.
There are distinct wet and dry seasons, with heavy monsoonal rains falling
during summer. For those wishing to visit, the middle of the year is cooler and
drier. South-easterly winds at this time of the year also help to make
conditions more hospitable. Temperatures during the rest of the year can be
Flora and Fauna
The park itself is mainly flat dry Spinifex country with some open woodlands
of snappy gum, western bloodwood and western grey box, that dominate the red earth areas in
the northern section. There are areas of turpentine wattle. A dense fringe of coolibah trees
lines Nowranie Creek. Extensive areas of mitchell grass plains occur in the southern
section of the park.
The best time to see wildlife is at dawn and dusk,
although birds can be found along the shaded creek banks. Some of the bird life
found in the wooded areas of the park include galahs, black kites, cockatiels
and kestrels. Owls roost in the caves feeding on small nocturnal mammals such as
the long-haired rat, whilst colonies of bats also live in the caves emerging
after dark to feed on small insects.
Although access by conventional vehicle is possible, visitors may experience
difficulty at creek crossings or on some of the rocky sections of the road. It
is recommended that when travelling to the park it is done early in the dry
season, as roads become extremely boggy for several days after the rain. You can
check the road conditions with the Mount Isa Ranger in Charge. For your own
safety, please notify the local police of your arrival and departure times.
Things to Remember
- A grazing lease covers the area where the
caves are located, so please do not disturb the cattle or
interfere with bore holes.
No pets or firearms are permitted in the park
Plan the trip carefully and be prepared for any emergencies as this area is very
Carry sufficient water at all times, notifying other people in your party of
There are extreme seasonal conditions that range from temperatures that
regularly exceed 40 degrees in summer to winter temperatures of between 0 and 7
Take care with fires and use a fuel stove when possible.
Take all your rubbish with you when you leave.
Camping permits are required from the Ranger in Charge at Mount Isa or directly
from the self-registration station on the park.
Source: Queensland Parks &
Contact the local Parks and
Wildlife Service or visit the
QLD National parks, marine parks and forests website. In addition to our listed online travel guide information,
contact the local tourism visitor centre for your destination for more attractions,
tours, local maps and other information.