We’ve always been firm believers that Your Margaret River Region is equally as amazing underneath the ground as it is above – and here’s some proof!
Channel 7’s Today Tonight programme recently sent presenter Cassie Silver to discover the caves of our region, and the results are pretty spectacular. Watch below to see Cassie abseil into a cave, admire an underground lake and spot the jawbone of an ancient ‘zygomaturus’. Sign into Facebook to watch the clip.
If you’re not signed into Facebook, here are some top quotes from the story:
Take a leap of faith at Bride’s Cave
At Bride’s Cave, there is only one way in, and it’s not for the fainthearted. Margaret River Climbing Co.‘s Mick Dempsey explains:
“This is what we call a vertical entry cave, we abseil in, on a rope! It’s a unique way to enter a cave, I don’t think that many people get to do it in their lifetime.”
“It could take you 20 seconds or 20 minutes, it depends on your threshold for fear!”
Once over the edge, though, it’s a sight to behold. “There’s lots to look at. When you go down you’ve got stalactites and all sorts of crystal features hanging off the ceiling.” Says Mick.
Although Cassie completed the descent with a smile on her face, she did pronounce that “That was the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life!”
See a floating masterpiece at Lake Cave
Lake Cave is one of the prettiest caves in the region. 60 metres – or 330 steps – below the earth’s surface, it’s a wonderland surrounded by water.
Steve Harrison is lucky enough to call Lake Cave his office.
“There is water in the cave all year round, so whenever you come to visit you’ll see the lake with reflections. The intensity of stalactites is breathtaking. It’s like being in a whole different place – the delicacy of it, and the reflections.”
What makes Lake Cave so special is the floating masterpiece known as the ‘suspended table’.
“We think it is the only one like it in the world. We think it weighs over 5 tonnes.” Says Steve.
Lake is the most actively dripping cave in the SW, creating pristine reflections. Cassie was even splashed when she got caught in a ‘drip zone’!
The temperature 60 metres below is around 16 degrees, so it’s one cool place to wonder through!
Step back in time at Mammoth Cave
Cassie then took a walk on the wild side at Mammoth Cave, which employee Mandy McLauchlan-Andrews admits is her favourite site in the South West, due to its connection with the past. Mammoth Cave is home to the remains of Australia’s rarest creatures.
“You can imagine those animals roaming round on top of the cave 46,000 years ago.”says Mandy.
“In Mammoth Cave there were about 10,000 fossils that were found and removed.”
“We can still see the jawbone of a 50,000 year old ‘zygomaturus’. The zygomaturus was like, if you can imagine, a cow crossed with a hippo. Another species was like an echidna the size of a sheep, and its tongue was over half a metre long!”
“Most people have never heard of this megafauna that we had here in Australia.”
Over 150 highly decorated limestone caves lay beneath the surface of the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge. Go inside and be amazed by these massive labyrinths decorated intricately with limestone crystal formations. Cave tours range from completely easy ‘at your own pace’ self-guided tours, guided tours along boardwalks with great commentary, ‘off piste’ adventure hard-hat tours to extremely adventurous ‘abseil your way in’ expeditions.