Cave Exploring in Western Australia
Besides the Margaret River area being well known for its fine beaches and wineries it is also known for its many fabulous caves located just outside of town. The most well known of these caves is the scenic Jewel Cave. Jewel Cave is located 37 kilometers south of Margaret River and is the most developed and visited cave in the area. The cave is reached by a scenic ride along the karri tree lined Cave Road:
The exit to Jewel Cave is well marked and we had no issues finding the cave.
The local Aborigines have long known about this cave even before Europeans first discovered it in the late 1800’s when a woman riding her horse nearly galloped into the massive opening of the cave:
However no one fully explored the cave until 1958 when two locals by the name of Lex Bastion and Lloyd Robinson fully explored the cave and opened it up to tourism the next year. Since then it has become the most visited cave in the Margaret River area.
Entry into the cave is only by a guided tour. From the visitor center the guide took my wife and I down into the opening of the large cave. At the bottom of the cave there was actually a few of the massive karri trees growing up and out of the opening:
From the bottom of the cave we then proceeded to enter into the cave. Jewel Cave is not a massive cave because it is only 42 meters deep and 1.9 kilometers long, however it is extremely scenic due to its many incredible rock formations:
Stalactites and stalagmites cover just about every inch of this amazing cave:
The longest stalactite hangs for a total of 5.4 meters:
These rock formations are formed by the water dripping through the surface of the ground an eroding the limestone into its bizarre formations:
Due to the constant dripping of the water the floor of the cave is covered in water:
Due to the water raised platforms have been constructed to allow tourists to traverse over the water to see these amazing rock formations:
This rock formation was quite interesting as it is forming an island that hangs over the water running below it:
Other stalactites looked like the needles of a porcupine on the roof of the cave:
At the end of the cave the guide turns off the lights in the cave to give everyone an idea of how dark the cave is. There is literally no light, just total darkness which is kind of eerie. The guide then puts on a light show in the cave that was mildly interesting. After the light show the guide took our group back up to the visitor center. In total the tour took about an hour to complete and was a really good side trip from Margaret River. The cave is open from 9:30AM to 5:00PM with the last tour departing at 3:30PM.
Like I said before this is not the biggest cave you will see, but it is definitely quite scenic for its size and if you have never been inside a cave before, this one is worth being the first one for you to check out.
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