One of the best things you can enjoy in Australia regardless of whether you are living there or just visiting is the outdoors. There are plenty of different activities you can do in the Australian outdoors, and one of them is visiting the different caves that you can find in that country. But, if you are wondering and if you are actually interested in visiting all of them, how many caves are in Australia?
There are over 50 show caves in Australia if you include the smaller caves that form part of larger cave systems. And if you include wild caves, the number of caves in the entire Australian continent can easily exceed well over a hundred.
As you can see, there are dozens of different caves that you can actually visit in Australia. In that regard, it might be difficult to actually visit all of them in your lifetime unless spelunking is all that you do on a regular basis. However, if you want to make the most out of your time in Australia when you are visiting the different caves there, let us talk more about the ones you should go to.
If you’re ready to get started caving, be sure to read my Beginners Guide and check out my recommended gear section.
Facts about caves in Australia
Before we get to the point where we talk about the most popular caves in Australia, here are some quick facts you need to know about the caves in that continent:
- There are over a hundred different caves in Australia if you combine both show caves and wild caves.
- You can find over 50 different show caves in Australia. Show caves are those that are made accessible to the public for guided visits and are generally safer to go to.
- If you want to access the different show caves in Australia, you may want to try to contact a tour guide in the locality where the caves are found.
- Meanwhile, there are more wild caves than there are show caves in Australia. Wild caves are the ones that are less safe to go to and are not as generally accessible to the public as show caves are.
- The wildlife that you can find in Australian caves is quite diverse as you may be able to find species that you can only find in Australian caves. This is similar to how there are some animals that are only found in the Australian continent.
- Each region in Australia has its own fair share of show caves and wild caves. Among them, New South Wales has the greatest number of show caves. However, Western Australia trumps any other region when it comes to wild caves.
- Depending on the region where you can find the cave, the type of weather, environmental conditions, and wildlife you can find in the different Australian caves will vary.
- Some Australian caves are actually found in lakes.
Most famous caves in Australia
Now that you know more about the caves that are found in Australia, let us go over the list of the most famous caves that should be on your list when you want to go spelunking in that country:
1. Lake Cave, Western Australia
Lake Cave is located in Western Australia, which is home to the greatest number of caves in the entire Australian continent. It can be found 15km south of Margaret River and has some of the best waters you can find in any cave. The water’s reflection will instantly make the entire cave a crystal palace that you should see for yourself to believe. Tours in Lake Cave began in 1901 and have been quite abundant due to the majesty of this entire cave.
2. Gunns Plain Cave, Tasmania
Located in Tasmania, Gunns Plain Cave is the most popular cave in that region of Australia and is protected by the Gunns Plain Cave State Reserve to make sure that it retains its natural beauty. This gave was actually formed by an underground river as the waters of the river drilled holes through the rocks through the passage of time to give us one of the best caves you can visit in Australia. What makes Gunns Plain Cave so wonderful is that it is naturally illuminated by glow worms.
3. Naracoorte Caves, South Australia
One of the grisliest things you need to know about the Naracoorte Caves in South Australia is that these caves have been serving as natural pitfall traps for predators for over 500,000 years already. That is why there are plenty of different fossils of animals found in these caves, as different scientists and researchers have been able to learn more about the continent’s wildlife through these fossils. On top of that, these caves actually form a network of 26 different smaller caves. So, if you want to visit the Naracoorte Caves, make sure you have enough time to visit all of those 26 caves.
4. Buchan Caves Reserve, Victoria
The Buchan Caves Reserve is located in Victoria and is home to different crystalized calcite stalagmites and stalactites. It can be found 280km east of the big city of Melbourne, so you may want to visit these caves the next time you are in town. The Buchan Caves Reserve has been a reserve since 1887 and is protected by the state to make sure that its beauty and natural splendor do not get tainted.
5. Jenolan Caves, New South Wales
Located 110km West of the big city of Sydney, the Jenolan Caves should be a good destination for you to go to the next time you are in Sydney. However, you should know that these caves were once used as hideouts by escaped convicts during the 1800s. But that shouldn’t stop you from trying to visit these caves.
6. The Nullabor Caves
The Nullabor Caves are located just below the world’s largest limestone karst landscape. There are plenty of different caves in the Nullabor Plains but the caves are unique in the sense that these are some of the few places where you can find karst limestone layers.
When you’re ready to get started caving, be sure to read my Beginners Guide and check out my recommended gear section.