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Naracoorte Caves National Park Tours

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Naracoorte Caves NP
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• Bent-wing Bats
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• Wonambi Fossil Centre
  > Mega-Fauna
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  > Blanche Cave
  > Victoria Fossil Cave
  > Speleothems

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Naracoorte - Cities, Towns and Localities
Part of the 800,000 year old Naracoorte East Range, the Naracoorte Caves are a palaeontologists delight, containing an extensive fossil record that date back over 500,000 years. The caves have acted as pitfall traps and predator dens, trapping animals that roamed the area over several ice ages.

There are 26 known caves in the park, many containing spectacular examples of stalactites and stalagmites. The fossil finds in these caves have been excavated and dated, with a number of skeletons being reconstructed, providing an unique display of the megafauna that once inhabited this area.

There are a number of cave tours, that provide a taste of this fascinating cave system. Tours range from easy to adventure, with some accessible by wheelchair.

Naracoorte Caves National Park Tours

There are currently 26 known caves in the park, with a number of them open for daily tours:
  Victoria Fossil Cave • Originally opened to the public in 1869, it wasn’t until 1969 when with the discovery of the fossils remains, did the cave and the region take on scientific international significance. With fossil remains spanning several ice ages, the cave contains evidence of the impact of both climatic changes and mankind, with mammal remains dating to at least 350,000 years to the present time. The existing silt deposit contain the remains of many tens of thousands of Pleistocene that are slowing be rediscovered today.

The one hour tour departs from the Victoria Fossil Cave car park, which is a 1.5 km drive south-east from the Wonambi Fossil Centre. The tour itself, descends 30 steps into a beautifully decorated chamber and then winds through 250 metres of passages and chambers to a large fossil deposit. About half of your tour is spent at the fossil bed display area before making your way out of the cave up a 150 metre passage, some of which is steeply sloping. This tour best displays Naracoorte Caves World Heritage values.

Alexandra Cave • This half hour guided tour departs from the front of the Wonambi Fossil Centre and takes you through three chambers of Alexandra Cave. There are 25 steps into the cave and 35 steps to exit. The cave has natural earth floors and exceptional cave decorations. The tour is ideal for families with small children and provides many photographic opportunities.

Bat Tour • There are currently five infra-red cameras installed in the Bat Cave relaying images of the southern bent-winged bat (Miniopterus schreibersii) to the Bat Cave Teleview Centre. This allows for comfortable viewing of the bats daily activities without disturbing them.

The one hour tour also includes a stroll through Blanche Cave. Night tours, to witness the exodus of bats from the cave, are conducted during holiday periods, except in the winter break.

Blanche Cave • The first cave to be discovered in 1845 and formerly called the Big Cave until 1886, is included as part of the Bat tour. The cave itself is close to the surface, with many karst opening allowing light to enter the cave. It continues to be still used for social gathering and events.

Cathedral Cave • The Cathedral Cave tour descends into an enormous, naturally lit chamber via 12 metres of ladder. Discover the history, fossils and cave decorations as you explore the dark passages of the cave by torchlight. Other than solid footwear, no crawling or special equipment is required.

Wet Cave • This is an easy self-guided walk through the Wet Cave. It has automated lighting system, allowing you to do the walk at your own pace. There are dripping spelothems, as well as a stream running through it. Entry to this cave comes with the purchase of tickets for the Alexandra Cave tour or the Wonambi Fossil Centre.

Adventure Caving • The Adventure caving tours are designed for beginners who have a sense of fun and adventure. For family groups, Stick-Tomato Cave is the most suitable, as the tunnels are larger and the squeezes optional. Blackberry Cave involves smaller passages, rocky squeezes as well as several optional exercises. Overalls, helmets and kneepads are supplied. Safe caving techniques and cave protection issues are discussed prior to the start of each tour. Tours are conducted by experienced staff and are available during holiday times and by prior bookings.

Extended adventure tours explore the depths of Fox Cave or Starburst Chamber in Victoria Fossil Cave. Your guide will show you exceptional cave decorations and fossils, and reinforce caving etiquette and safe caving practices. A novice tour must be completed prior to joining one of the extended tours.

Victoria Fossil Cave fossil chamber.
Victoria Fossil Cave fossil chamber.
© Naracoorte Caves NP

 

Infra-red view of bats in the Bat Cave © AusEmade PL
In the bat nursery
© AusEmade PL 2003

 

Holding Southern Bent-winged Bat in the Bat Cave Teleview © AusEmade PL
Holding preserved Southern Bent-winged Bat in the Bat Cave Teleview.
© AusEmade PL 2003

 

Cathedral Cave.
Cathedral Cave
© Naracoorte Caves NP

 
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