“Which cave shall we visit?” is a question often asked by visitors to the region. There are four caves open to the public in the Margaret River region and each is beautiful and unique. Some are easier than others if you have kids, some have fewer stairs.
Cave tours range from ‘at your own pace’ self guided tours, guided tours along boardwalks, to crawling and climbing adventure tours.
So whether you’re travelling with children, have limited mobility, or prefer a fully guided tour, read on to find the perfect cave for you.
Ngilgi Cave, Yallingup
Great for little kids, big kids, the active and adventurous
Ngilgi Cave is big and beautiful, with an abundance of crystal formations to admire as you venture 36 metres underground. Tours are semi-guided, so you’ll hear about Ngilgi’s history and Aboriginal legends as you enter the cave. After a 15-minute introduction, you’re free to explore at your own pace – perfect for families with young kids. A second guide at the crystal touch table at the bottom of the cave can answer your questions and point out special stalactites.
Children go crazy in the crawl tunnel at the cave entrance , and the record stands at around 60 loops.
There are some uneven steps where little kids might need a hand and seats if you want to catch your breath on the way back up.
Fit and adventurous? Book an adventure tour where you don a hard hat and venture off the boardwalks, deeper into the wild cave. You’ll climb and squeeze through some tight spots so it’s not for the faint-hearted!
Lake Cave, Boranup
Great for breathtaking views and fully guided tours
Lake Cave is seriously spectacular. It’s set in lush karri forest, has a dramatic sinkhole entrance, and a ‘suspended table’ crystal decoration hanging above a permanent lake. The most actively dripping cave in the region, it’s remarkably peaceful hearing the drips.
It’s the smallest but deepest cave, with 325 stairs in all. The stairways are designed so that visitors only have to tackle a moderate number of stairs between rests – and the scenery from the first to the last step is your stunning reward. Your guide will keep the group together as you venture through the cave, which can be a challenge for younger children but great for older kids who are keen to learn.
The visitor centre has a great eco-interpretive centre with a simulated cave crawl tunnel.
Mammoth Cave, Boranup
Great for young children, people with disabilities, German, Mandarin, French and Malay speakers.
Mammoth Cave is home to the Megafauna fossils – giant creatures that roamed the forest 50 000 years ago. Tasmanian devil and thylacine bones have also been unearthed.
It’s a self-guided cave experience with an audio headset available. Cruise through at your own speed – you decide how many stairs to climb. from zero to a few hundred, and while you explore let the bones and fossils on display drive your imagination.
The first chamber is wheelchair accessible. There are stairs further on, and eventually you leave the cave through a doline. Finish the tour with a walk along the Marri Trail, across Caves Road and back to the car park.
Jewel Cave, Augusta
Great for families with older kids and cave enthusiasts
Set among the cowering Karri forests of Augusta, Jewel Cave is the largest show cave in Western Australia and home to one of the longest straw stalactites in Australia.
Tours are fully guided and last for an hour, which makes it better for older kids who are happy to stay with the group. There are some tight spots where you need to duck down, but there are fewer stairs than Lake or Ngilgi Cave.
The delicate crystal formations and excellent commentary make this an educational and breathtaking experience.
- Book ahead in the school holidays to secure a ticket
- Look out for the Megafauna Funshops. These hands on workshops are aimed at primary school aged children and take place periodically throughout the year.
- Wear good walking shoes