Australian Cave Tours, Cave Diving, Caving Adventures, Trips - Location Guide
Great Cave Tours and Caving Expeditions in Australia
Cave Tours have always been very popular in Australia with local residents and visitors alike and there are a huge number and variety of caves to explore for those with a wide variety of experience and skills.
Most older Australians can still remember being taken as children, by their parents on trips to see local caves. Jenolan Caves, in south-western NSW is perhaps Australia`s most visited and well-known cave system - boasting a total of eleven spectacular show caves, fascinating underground rivers and amazing cave formations. There is a range of cave tours and other activities are available at Jenolan Caves to suit every age and fitness level. You can easily spend several days at Jenolan, enjoying the awe-inspiring experience!
There are many easy-access caves for the general public in every State of Australia. Also there are many caves for the more experienced and qualified caving and cave diving enthusiasts that provide opportunities for caving expeditions. Tours with guides are available for most public-access caves.
Spectacular Caves around Australia
The guides provide comprehensive information about the caves - when they were discovered, their history,. major features, environment and ecosystems, and unique wildlife including glow worms, fish, eels, yabbies and unique shrimp. Some of the more remote and best caves for the dedicated enthusiasts are found on the Nullarbor Plain, a large are in western South Australia that extends to the West Australian border. There are a many complex systems of limestone of caves in this area, some with several kilometres of passages. Several of these caves are open for public use, the best known being Murrawijinie Caves that are located north of the Nullarbor roadhouse, which features stunning Aboriginal hand prints. Bunabie Blowhole and Koonalda Cave may be viewed from the surface. Many other caves can only be visited in the company of officers from the National Parks and Wildlife or as part of a visit with an accredited caving group. Strict regulations apply.
The freshwater sinkhole of the famous Piccaninnie Ponds in South Australia is regarded as one of the best cave-diving sites for easy diving excursions in Australia, especially as parts of there area is accessible by the general public. The clarity of the water is stunning, with visibility often exceed 40 m. It offers visitors the opportunity to see and explore unique and amazing underwater world where small fish can be seen darting through the water, unique strap-like aquatic plants grow up to 6 metres tall and the are many mysterious underwater caves to explore safely as they are relatively shallow and close to the surface. These caves attract many experienced divers from all parts of the world. Snorkellers can enjoy a marvellous experience drifting with the gentle current over the top of The Chasm, where you can and peer into the dark depths below. You can gently drift along watching the shrimp, fish, yabbies and tortoises move amongst the dense weeds searching for food. To protect this fragile and unique environment visitors need to get a compulsory permit to snorkel or dive in these caves and streams . There is a booking system which restricts access to a limit of 8 people in the water at any one time.
There are many other caves in South Australia. You can discover the relic fossils on the Limestone Coast, South of Adelaide; see the stunning cathedral-like caverns located on Eyre Peninsula and wonder at the spectacular Aboriginal rock art at various sites in the Flinders Ranges to the north-west pf Adelaide. The Naracoorte Caves on the Limestone Coast, which are World Heritage-listed, date back 350,000 years, contain rich fossil deposits that are renowned worldwide. These fossils of animals that were trapped in the caves and preserved in the cave climate have been used to reconstruct, wombats, diprotodons, giant koalas and native cats that occurred in the region. Visitors can also explore the renowned Kelly Hill Caves located on Kangaroo Island. It is a fabulous cave system formation that is more than 100,000 years old. The red-brown and cream calcite formations are still slowly developing. It is a delightful 20-minute walk through dense Mallee bushland to the cave entrance. The surrounding area is dotted with caverns and sinkholes.
Cave Exploration can be dangerous and if you find a cave when bushwalking of exploring the landscape there are several tips you should follow to avoid being lost in the caves:
- In general, you should not start exploring caves by yourself, that is without a guide. You should always be aware of knowing the exact way in and out of the cave.
- Becoming lost in a cave is very dangerous especially in remote areas.
- There may be all sorts of dangers you may not be aware of.
- Underwater streams may rise suddenly and caves are often slippery and hazardous. It you are injured you may be trapped and unable to get help.
- If you are planning cave and start exploring, despite the advice against it, always make sure that you let people outside know about your plans to enter the cave, what time you expect to be back, and when people should start getting worried about your safety and ask for help.
- Make sure you have appropriate clothing, food, several flashlights and lots of spare, fresh batteries before planning to explore a cave.
- At every turn or corner, and significant landmark place a mark on the floor which indicates the direction you took, or trail a string line so that you can find your way back to the entrance.
© 2010 Dr. John Anderson
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