The Margaret River Caves are a very special set of landmarks. If you haven’t ever been into a cave before, you are really missing out. They truly are an awesome bit of nature to see, and the Margaret River Caves are some of the best! There are over 350 caves in the Margaret River area, but only a few are open to the public. Each cave is set up differently, and they are all worth a look. The four main caves are known as Mammoth Cave, Jewel Cave, Yallingup Cave or Ngilgis Cave and Lake Cave. There is also Cave Work’s Interpretive Centre where you can visit if you pay for a single cave visit.
Caves tend to be very cool places (literally), and often have water flowing through them. The Lake Cave has water in it all year round, whilst some of the other caves only have flowing water during some parts of the year. Each cave is set up for different types of tours. Mammoth Cave can be done by a self guided tour; you get a set of headphones and type in the numbers as you follow the trail. Information is given on the specific location. Other caves have guides that walk you around and explain information about the cave. The caves are all set up with stairs for safe and easy access (although there are a lot of stairs in some of them!).
As the name suggests, Mammoth Cave is the largest of the caves in Margaret River. It is probably the biggest bang for your buck too, but then the Lake Cave is the most pretty. With spectacular lighting and water that reflects the colours, you will thoroughly enjoy this cave too. I haven’t been to the Jewel or Yallingup Cave, but have heard that they are well worth a visit too. Some school trips get access to other caves as well, for adventure tours, abseiling and a range of other activities. If you ever get a chance to go on one of these, I would highly recommend it; some of the best fun you will ever have!
Where are the Margaret River Caves?
The Yallingup Cave is located on Caves road, but close to Dunsborough. It is on the right hand side, and signed with a large blue sign. The other caves are located closer to Margaret River. Most of them are a few kilometres south of Margaret River, and again signed very well. Many of the caves run under the windy road that weaves through the Karri forest. The area surrounding these caves is stunning in terms of both flora and fauna.
What is the cost for entering the caves?
Most of the caves range from $15 - $20 per adult, but you can purchase tickets which enable you to visit 3 caves for a discount across the board. Children’s prices are cheaper, and go up to 15 years old. There are also family tickets and pensioner tickets. As mentioned above, the tickets also enable you free access to the Cave Works Interpretive Centre. Although the cost seems fairly expensive, these caves are an experience which you won’t forget for a long time. With the lighting set up correctly, it is truly an amazing place to visit. Kids love them too, which makes it well worth the money!
Photos of the Margaret River Caves
Many of the caves forbid the use of a tripod or camera stand, which makes it incredibly difficult to get a decent picture. The best option to take Photos in the Margaret River Caves is to use a long exposure shot. For basic digital cameras, the best option is to put them onto night mode and ensure that the camera stays very still whilst you take the picture. I found the best way to do this was to sit the camera on the rails (find the flat spot) and take the photo. I have to say that a huge number of my photos didn’t work out, but I did manage to score some impressive ones! Interestingly they say that cheap digital cameras tend to take better pictures than the expensive DSLR’s!
Cave Work’s Interpretive Centre
This is a world class visitor centre designed to help you learn about the formation and history of caves within the region, throughout Australia and the world. The centre offers access to a theatrette and children’s activities. You can access the visitor centre if you have paid to visit a cave in the area, and it is located near Lakes Cave.
Other than the Margaret River Caves, the area has a number of attractions. These include the Fudge Factory, the Chocolate Factory, the huge waves for surfing and body boarding and the many vineyards. For its size, Margaret River is one of the most popular places for tourists and locals alike. Regardless of how wealthy you are, it’s a great place to visit. Accommodation ranges from simple backpackers right through to luxury houses on huge bush properties that cost over $400 a night.
The town has more than enough provision to get you by, and is well worth a walk through. Even if you don’t have much of an interest in Caves, be sure to visit at least one of them, as it is well worth it. There are many people that are scared of them, but you just need to relax and enjoy the walks!