Mountainous and majestic as it may be, a cave has the unique ability to provide a particularly intense dosage of Mother Mankind's enchantment. A trip to a stunning rock formation offers a welcome respite from daily life.
You don't have to travel far from Melbourne to uncover awe-inspiring grottos to feed your wanderlust, and they range from soaring hilltop caverns to aquatic marvels and vast limestone beauties studded with stalactites. There are six caves down here that are definitely worth exploring.
One of Victoria's many spectacular attractions is its many underground caverns. Both the Grampians or the Otways provide easy access to Victoria's best caves.
Top Cave In Melbourne
In Victoria, we are surrounded by natural treasures, some of which are literally under our feet. Our state's caves are a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, and they offer fascinating geological characteristics like limestone ledges and phosphorus glow worms.
These tranquil underground areas are a fantastic day trip destination or weekend break destination from Melbourne. Explore the depths of one of Victoria's most impressive caverns.
When it comes to prospective exploration locations, Grampians Nature Reserve is indeed a true treasure mine. Hollow Mountain is a popular place to visit within the park, and with good reason: it's home to some of Victoria's most impressive tombs. The round-trip distance of 2.2 kilometres is an easy to moderate hike. The cave's surreal beauty makes exploring it well worth the time and effort.
Getting to the top of Hollow Mountain is an exercise in fitness and endurance, as it takes negotiating slippery trails, leaping rocks, & scrambling over boulders. Get to the wide gully between both the cliffs from of the parking lot by following the gravel trail. There will be signs to follow. The trail winds steeply up over cliffs and across wind-carved bays to a rocky top, from which you can see Mount Stapylton Pavilion as well as the Similar of appearance Plains. Return along the route you came.
Overlooking Grampians National Park, the towering Hollow Mountain contains a complex of enormous tunnels carved out of the rock by weathering. Seeing them up close requires a somewhat brave two-hour return climb along the Dead Mountain (Wudjub-guyan hike, which also offers stunning vistas of Mount Stapylton as well as the Wimmera. There is considerable scrambling required on this high, rocky trail, but the vast stone chambers at the top, where envelopes can be found, are well worth it. These caves not only have a fantastic vista, but also provide some of the nicest scenery in the area.
The Buchan Tunnels Reserve is an important part of Krauatungalung Country because it has unique Aboriginal culture, which is highly valued by the Gunaikurnai Traditional Owners. In the Buchan Caves, you can see the honeycomb-like limestone formations that were carved out by an underground river. Go caving in Victoria's biggest cave system, have such a picnic in a setting revered for its cultural value, or spend the night under the sky while camping.
The amazing stalactite and columnar formations, pillars, shawl, rim pools, cave debris, and flowing stream can be seen in either Fairy Cave or King Cave, or on both excursions.
Gather your loved ones for a picnic at the scenic Buchan Caves.
Don't forget to keep a look out for the local wildlife that calls this reserve home. Bell Miners, Strong Owls, Superb Lyrebirds, and Pied Currawongs were only few of the local birds that made their homes in the trees, and kangaroos lounged around the rudimentary campground and information centre.
You have the option of either camping or staying in the Caves Lodge while visiting Buchan Caves. If you ever find yourself going east along the coast, you really must stop by the Buchan Caves, a spectacular system of limestone tunnels.
Scientists have found the caverns to be Devonian in age. The caverns were formed by underground rivers eroding the softer limestone. Rainwater dripping through cracks in the cave ceiling deposited calcite, which further crystallised to form stalactites and stalagmites.
Visitors to the Aberdeenshire Caves Reserve may now see the stunning stalactites and rock formations in Fairy Cave as well as the interconnected lakes in Crown Cave. Daily tours are available, and all caves provide walkways and lighting for visitor convenience.
In Gippsland, the spectacular Buchan Caves were formed by underground rivers cutting through limestone over 15 million years ago. Limestone was supposedly made from calcium carbonate extracted from coral and mussel bones that date back to that when Gippsland was submerged in the ocean. The entire system now has lighting and corridors, and experts offer daily guided tours (but must be reserved in advance via the website).
Fairy Cave's pools, which are encircled by beautiful stalagmites and stalactites and the adjoining Royal Cave's pools, which are bordered by calcite, are very breathtaking. The site's Aboriginal past holds great significance for the Gunaikurnai Traditional Owners, and understanding this history will help you better appreciate the site's significance.
South-west Victoria is home to the Tarragal Caves, a collection of towering limestone caverns with views of the Bridgewater Lakes. The six caverns are located on a steep slope, making for breathtaking vistas, and the caves actually are stunning, being covered with pinnacles and home to a colony or bats.
And over 400 metres below, one of the caverns features a mysterious sinkhole opening thru which air rushes; this was originally believed to be the entrance to another cave housing otherworldly entities.
When Mount Napier exploded in the distant past, a vast lava flow was released, eventually creating the Byaduk Caves in the Mount Napier National Forest. Although both of Victoria's most significant lava caverns (Harmans 1 and Harmans 2) are fascinating, just Harmans 1 is open to the public.
Thousands of bat with their wings folded inward call this enormous cavern home around 30 feet below the surface. The entrance to this underground paradise is located down a rocky road and is covered in a dense grove of ferns. Be prepared for the cool temperatures by bringing a sturdy flame and lots of warm clothing, as the depths of this cave may be extremely frigid.
Even though the term "lava tunnels" may strike fear in your heart, you need not worry about being transformed into a blob of mud if you decide to explore them. When molten lava erupted from an volcano and also was quickly cooled by the air, it formed the Byaduk Caves. The largest caverns are 18 metres across and 20 metres below earth. There are pathways that go around the outside of the caves, with lookouts where you can see the incredible geology and fauna.
Lower Kalimna Falls
Lower Otways National Park is home to many breathtaking sights, including the aforementioned Causeway Falls and its associated cave. Looking out at the verdant landscape and listening to the soothing sounds of nature, the word "beautiful" doesn't even begin to do justice to the scene. The road ahead may be long and winding, but the final destination will be well worth it. Learn more than you can before going to a new area so you can be prepared.
In this leisurely stroll, you'll follow the route of a defunct wooden tramway. Be on the lookout for artefacts left behind by the original sleepers who built it. From the designated picnic area, hikers can reach Lower Kalimna Falls by way of a path that skirts a picturesque creek surrounded by towering coloured gums and lush ferns. Those waterfalls are stunning, dropping dramatically into a pool encircled by ferns from an undercut ledge of rock. Come see Upper Kalimna Falls, where a 15-meter drop cascades down a rocky wall onto gorse boulders. A thick fern grove surrounds the falls, providing a dramatic backdrop.
Following the trail back from Upper Kalimna Drops will lead you down past the lower falls, over the overpass, and up the connection track, where you'll get a magnificent view of the river below. Optionally, you can take the four-wheel-drive-only Garvey Track, which follows a ridge back towards the picnic area.
Britannia Creek Caves
If you don't mind being cramped, the Britannia Creek Caves are your jam and they're just under three hours adjacent of both the city centre and the caves. Although a helmet & headlamp are required for exploring the complex network of marble caves, the adventure is unlike anything else.
The local glow worms put on a captivating show if you can start making it through the maze of narrow tunnels, slippery rocks, and flooded areas. There are an amount of companies that provide guided journey caving trips through system, but experienced cavers can also explore on their own.
Not everyone enjoys being underground, so if you have a low tolerance for close quarters, this cave may not be for you. The creek has been cutting through the rock of the cave for millions of years, creating narrow squirts and layered passageways. The cave is perfect for beginners because it is only approximately 15 metres long and has numerous exit points. Just make sure to bring some headlamps but also clothes visitors don't mind having dirty. The glow worms are the caves' main attraction, making visitors feel as though they've entered another dimension.
Princess Margaret Rose Cave
There is much at stake, however the benefits are well worth the risk. Queen Margaret Rose Cave is one of the best cave systems in Victoria and possibly all of Australia. The enormous limestone caverns shine in all their cryptic light. Amazingly beautiful and well worth the journey, this cave has existed for a staggering 700,000 years.
The cave is known as Australia's "jewel in the crown" due to its elaborate decorations. The buried cavern was formed by rainwater seeping in over thousands of years, and its varying colours are indeed the result of minerals washing down from the surface. Equal to 10, helictites, rimstone reservoirs, and even cave coral can all be found in this cave. Wheelchair-bound individuals will have hard time making the descent to the cave's entrance (there are 65 steps).
This same Princess Margaret Blossom Cave is located in Lower Glenelg Nature Reserve, which is about a five-hour drive west of Melbourne. The Glenelg River was responsible for eroding the 1936-discovered limestone formation.
Calcite crystals, rock formations, stalactites, and more perplexing helictites of varying sizes and shapes fill the cave, which has a fancy name. It can be seen that this building grows in all directions. In addition to cave coral, the calcite crystals in the cave have formed stunning pools of rim stone. The best way to see this underground wonder is on the 45-minute guided tour.
Karrs Reef Gold Mine
While the majority of Victoria prefers to see abandoned mines removed, Yackandandah is an exception. The Karrs Reef Gold Mine is located there and is 150 metres in length. In the 19th century, tin miners from Wales excavated it. Using their knowledge of tin, the miners led by were able to trace the origins of a alluvial precious metals throughout Yackandandah back to a hills, where it originally formed, then onto the specific crystal coral from which it originally came. The owner of the mine must give permission before you can visit them, unfortunately.
Visit Yackandandah and appreciate yourself there. This historic district is home to unique shops and friendly locals. It's worthwhile to stop by the centre not only to speak with Rod Millchamp, but also to book the Karrs Reef Mine Tour.
You'll need to book a tour to get here, but you'll be taken to the historic mine and the soul of gold-mining country. Caretaker Greg will greet you and give you a full rundown of the cave's history.
The Big Culvert
Built in 1870 along the Yarra Track, this same Big Culvert is indeed an entryway made of marble and bluestone. It's like being in a cave, but in the centre of a beautiful forest. Don't neglect your phone because you won't would like to miss this opportunity to get a fantastic gramme.
The entry to Tarragal Caves is on the right side of Bridgewater Lakes Road. The 50-meter climb to the ancient temples or rocky outcrops is difficult, but the rewarding perception of Revelation Bay is very well worth the effort.
These caves, made of limestone, are located just west of Portland. There are breathtaking views of the Cape Battersea Lakes from the caves, which are situated fifty metres higher up the hill. Although the caves aren't very deep, they were once employed as a camp by natives of the area and are home to some interesting cave paintings. With six caves to explore, this is a great stopover for a day on the road to South Australia.
South-west Victoria is home to the Tarragal Caves, a collection of towering limestone caverns with views of the Bridgewater Lakes. The six tunnels are perched precariously on the side of a hill, so not only they offer stunning vistas, but the craters themselves are stunning, being roofed and home to a colonial power of bats. The depth of one of the caves is over 400 metres, and at one point there is mysterious sinkhole trying to open thru which air moves; this was once assumed to be the entrance to another cave where supernatural entities made their home.
Rock climbers, however, will find this cave to be a welcome challenge. The Wells Cave is a small cave at the end of a Wells Grotto Track Loop in Chapel Ranges National Park.
This narrow tunnel is only suitable for mountaineers, but exploring it is exciting. As a reward for making out of the cave alive, the view from the top of Sugarloaf Peak is nothing short of spectacular when you've made it past the cave's cramped confines.
The difficulty level of this hike is high, so only the most experienced hikers should attempt it. The hike starts at the Sugarloaf Leather Day Visitor Site in the north and ends at Sugarloaf Peak, the highest point in the range, 550 metres above sea level. Because it involves free climbing up relatively short, fairly steep rock faces, this route is not appropriate for children.
If it's raining or windy outdoors, or if you don't feel comfortable hiking alone in exposed, high places, you shouldn't try this trail. Because of the tight squeeze through narrow corridor of Wells Cave, the track is only suggested as a climb route. Retrace your steps back down Canyon Track's vertical 650 metres.
Similarly to the enclosed cave system of Brittania Brook, Labertouche is a cave system. However, greater commitment is required because of Labertouche's one and only exit. Wading throughout water that has its source 40 metres below floor is what you can expect in the deepest part of the cave.
Tours are offered in the area, and they will walk you through the procedure and provide you with all the tools you'll need to finish it in three hours. The only way to make it through this underground maze alive is to work together with your colleague explorers. Hogget Kitchen in Warragul is the perfect place to unwind with some fresh local produce after a long day of pressing.
The best caves in Victoria are described, including soaring mountain caverns, aquatic marvels, and immense limestone beauty adorned with stalactites, making up the bulk of the book. Limestone ledges and phosphorus glow worms are just two of the unique geological features that make these caverns a fantastic location to escape from the stresses of everyday life. Some of the most spectacular tombs in all of Victoria may be found atop Hollow Mountain, a popular destination within the park. Exploring this cave is well worth the moderate 2.2-kilometer round-trip climb in order to witness its otherworldly magnificence. The Gunaikurnai Traditional Owners place a high importance on the Buchan Tunnels Reserve as a significant element of Krauatungalung Land due to its rich Aboriginal history and culture.
There are breathtaking views of Mount Stapylton and the Wimmera on this two-hour return hike along the Dead Mountain. Cave explorers can explore Victoria's largest cave system, picnickers can enjoy a culturally significant location, and campers can spend the night under the stars. The Buchan Caves date back to the Devonian period, and their soft limestone formation was eroded by underground rivers. Fairy Cave and Crown Cave in Aberdeenshire Caves Reserve also have some beautiful stalactites and stalagmites for visitors to marvel at. More than 15 million years ago, underground rivers carved the Buchan Caves in Gippsland's limestone.
- A cave, no matter how grand or beautiful the surrounding mountains, has the capacity to inject an especially potent dose of Mother Nature's enchantment into its visitors.
- Awe-inspiring grottos, ranging from soaring mountain caverns to aquatic marvels and massive limestone beauties adorned with stalactites, may be found within a day's drive of Melbourne.
- The caverns in our state are a wonderful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and they have unique geological features like limestone ledges and phosphorus glow worms.
- Anyone looking for a peaceful day trip or weekend getaway from Melbourne can consider visiting these underground locations.
- Vacant Peak Grampians Natural Reserve is a veritable gold mine of potential exploring sites.
- A lot of people flock to Hollow Mountain because it's in the park and it has some of the most spectacular tombs in all of Victoria.
- The cave's otherworldly splendour more than justifies the effort required to visit it.
- Hollow Mountain is a challenging hike that requires physical stamina and agility to ascend. The ascent entails navigating slick paths, hopping across rocks, and scaling over boulders.
- You can follow the gravel path from the parking lot to the huge gully in between the two cliffs.
- The path ascends precipitously across wind-carved bays and cliff faces to a rocky outcrop with a view of Mount Stapylton Pavilion and the eerily similar-looking Plains below.
- The massive Hollow Mountain, which overlooks Grampians National Park, is actually home to a network of gigantic tunnels eroded out of the rock over millions of years.
- If you're feeling adventurous, you can see them up close during a two-hour round-trip journey along Dead Mountain (Wudjub-guyan), which also has breathtaking views of Mount Stapylton and the Wimmera.
- Getting to the top of this high, rocky trail requires some serious scrambling, but the massive stone chambers at the top, where the envelopes are hidden, are well worth the effort.
- Not only do these caves give some of the most beautiful scenery in the area, but they also have a magnificent view.
- Called Buchan Caves for short. Krauatungalung Land, of which the Buchan Tunnels Reserve is a part, is highly prized by the Gunaikurnai Traditional Owners for its distinctive Aboriginal culture.
- An underground river formed honeycomb-like limestone formations into the Buchan Caves.
- See Victoria's largest cave system, enjoy a picnic in a historically significant location, or spend the night under the stars while camping.
- The Fairy Cave and King Cave tours, or both tours combined, will allow you to witness the cave's spectacular stalactite and columnar formations, pillars, draperies, rim pools, cave detritus, and gushing stream.
- Be on the lookout for the native flora and fauna that make this reserve their home.
- Among of the native birds that established their homes in the trees included Bell Miners, Strong Owls, Superb Lyrebirds, and Pied Currawongs, and kangaroos lazed around the basic campground and information centre.
- When visiting Buchan Caves, guests can choose between camping and lodging at the Caves Lodge.
- The Buchan Caves are a breathtaking network of limestone caverns that you must visit if you ever find yourself travelling east along the coast.
- The caverns were carved out of the softer limestone by underground rivers.
- Calcite crystallised into stalactites and stalagmites when rainwater dripped through crevices in the cave roof.
- Fairy Cave and Crown Cave, two of the caves in the Aberdeenshire Caves Reserve, now offer visitors the chance to explore their spectacular stalactites and rock formations.
- Almost 15 million years ago, underground rivers carved the stunning Buchan Caves in Gippsland's limestone.
- Calcium carbonate was purportedly mined from ancient coral and mussel bones to create limestone, which dates back to when Gippsland was underwater.
- There is now lighting and passageways throughout the entire system, and knowledgeable guides provide tours every day (but must be reserved in advance via the website).
- The lakes in both Fairy Cave and the adjacent Royal Cave, which are lined by calcite, are stunning.
- Understanding the site's Aboriginal history is important because it allows you to better comprehend the value of the site to the Gunaikurnai Traditional Owners.
- South-Western Caves of Tarragona The Tarragal Caves in Victoria are a series of impressive limestone tunnels that overlook the Bridgewater Lakes below.
- The six caves are situated on a precipitous slope, providing beautiful views, and the caves themselves are breathtaking, being covered in pinnacles and housing a colony of bats.
- In addition, one of the caverns has a mystery pit opening through which air flows; this was at first thought to be the entrance to yet another cave holding extraterrestrial entities, located over 400 metres below.
- Caves of Byaduk The Byaduk Caves of the Mount Napier National Forest were formed by the massive lava flow that followed an ancient eruption of Mount Napier.
- Only Harmans 1 of Victoria's two most impressive lava caverns is currently accessible to the general public, although both are well worth exploring if you get the chance.
- About 30 feet below ground, thousands of bats with their wings folded inward call this immense cavern home.
- This underground paradise can be reached by following a rocky path through a thick grove of ferns.
- In case it's quite cold in here, bring a robust flame and layers upon layers of clothing.
- While the idea of venturing into "lava tunnels" may strike fear into your heart, rest assured that you will not be turned into a glob of muck.
- The Byaduk Caves were created when molten lava spilt from a volcano and was swiftly cooled by the air.
- The aforementioned Causeway Falls and the cave it's connected to are only two of the many stunning attractions found in Lower Otways National Park.
- The word "beautiful" hardly seems adequate while taking in the lush scenery and relaxing sounds of nature.
- The path ahead may be arduous, but it will be well worth it in the end.
- Hikers can access Lower Kalimna Falls from the authorised picnic area by following a path that hugs the side of a magnificent creek framed by towering coloured gums and lush ferns.
- The waterfalls are breathtaking; they plunge from a rock ledge into a fern-lined pool below.
- Upper Kalimna Falls is worth a visit, with its 15-meter drop down a steep wall onto gorse boulders.
- The falls are set off by a stunning grove of ferns.
- After retracing our steps from Upper Kalimna, we found yourself You can enjoy a breathtaking perspective of the river below by following the drops all the way down to the lower falls, across the overpass, and up the connector track.
- The Garvey Track, accessible only by four-wheel drive, is an alternate route that returns you to the picnic spot through a ridge.
- The Caves at Britannia Creek Just under three hours separate the city centre from the caves, so if you don't mind being squeezed, the Britannia Creek Caves are your jam.
FAQs About Melbourne Cave
The enormous limestone caves are showcased in their sheer majesty, existing in an underground environment. First discovered in 1936, this 700,000-year-old cave is utterly spectacular and well worth the drive. Built-in 1870, The Big Culvert is a granite and bluestone arch located on the Yarra Track.
The "forest" is a series of limestone tubes that have been hollowed by rainfall. Where is it: Yarra Junction, around 90 minutes east of Melbourne. The cave: If you're not a fan of confined spaces, this cave isn’t for you.
Where is it: East Gippsland, a four-hour drive from Melbourne. The cave: The Buchan Caves are a set of limestone caves that have to be seen to be believed. Researchers have dated the caves back to the Devonian period (300-400 million years ago) and were formed by underground rivers cutting through layers and layers of limestone rock.
Carry at least three light sources and enough spare parts, such as batteries, for each person. One light should be attached to your helmet to free up your hands and another should be a waterproof flashlight. Candles and matches in a sturdy, waterproof case. Carry a first-aid kit and know how to use it.
There are many coastal limestone caves along sections of the Great Ocean Road near the 12 Apostles, volcanic caves within the vast basalt plains of western Victoria, and in East Gippsland is an extensive network of limestone caves at Buchan.