After the limestone was deposited, the processes that give rise to caves and karst began.
In recent geological times,
streams began to cut down through the rocks overlying the limestone at the
Many processed contributed to the caves development such as the uplift of the Central Plateau to the south.
Australia breaking away from Antarctica and glaciers developing in
Antarctica and the Tasmanian mountains. Glacial sediments were deposited
in the Forth Valley around 30 million years ago and during the last two million years,
there have been successions of glaciations and intermittently episodes
of less severe climate. The waters formed from the melting of glaciers and snowfields
were processes that actively assisted with the formation of some
caves. Other caves were blocked by the sediment swept into
them, as can be seen in the remains of some sediments on the roof of
Marakoopa Cave (above the Coral Gardens).
King Solomons Cave was formed by the flow of an underground stream, that
has long since passed, leaving the formation of the cave behind.
The streams that flow into Marakoopa Cave carry many insects and large
amounts of plant material that form the basis of the food web for
the cave-dwellers. Many of these creatures have
adapted to an environment where there is no light. Species
which never leave their dark homes are known as troglobites. With the
absence of light, troglobites have no need for eyes and their long appendages, help them find their way around.
The glow-worms found in Marakoopa Cave are not worms at all, but rather the
larval form of a mosquito-like fly. The light is produced by burning
waste products in the larvae’s excretory organs. Adult females also
produce light to attract male flies. This display of glow-worm is the
largest seen in any public access cave in Australia.
Other species found in Marakoopa Cave include harvestmen, the
Tasmanian cave spider and the ancient mountain shrimp (Anaspides).
There are no camping facilities in the park, with the closest
accommodation available at Mole Creek. All supplies can be purchased in
Sheffield or Mole Creek, as there are no shops in the vicinity of the
Both main caves have toilets, water, picnic shelters, with wood and electric
A public telephone is located at King Solomons Cave.
Check out our listing of
accommodation. 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.