Critical Alert 

Closed area: All parks and reserves closed
From 26/3/2020, last reviewed 31/3/2020

​​​​​Following advice from the Tasmania Department of Health and Tasmanian Government that our community should limit non-essential travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, the PWS has closed all national parks, reserves and campgrounds until further notice.

The PWS is calling on Tasmanians to support the national effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 and stay home during this time. 

From midnight Thursday 26 March, PWS is temporarily closing all national parks, reserves, campgrounds and facilities to recreational and tourism use. This means that all short walks, day walks, mountain biking, hunting, fishing, tours and camping are now closed to the public.  Washrooms, day use facilities, showers and visitor centres are closed until further notice.​

For more information on these closures please refer to the frequently asked questions.​


Small child, Junee-Florentine caves
Junee-Florentine Caves (photograph: Southern Tasmanian Caverneers)

Caving

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Closed area: All parks and reserves closed
From 26/3/2020, last reviewed 31/3/2020

​​​​​Following advice from the Tasmania Department of Health and Tasmanian Government that our community should limit non-essential travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, the PWS has closed all national parks, reserves and campgrounds until further notice.

The PWS is calling on Tasmanians to support the national effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 and stay home during this time. 

From midnight Thursday 26 March, PWS is temporarily closing all national parks, reserves, campgrounds and facilities to recreational and tourism use. This means that all short walks, day walks, mountain biking, hunting, fishing, tours and camping are now closed to the public.  Washrooms, day use facilities, showers and visitor centres are closed until further notice.​

For more information on these closures please refer to the frequently asked questions.​


Closed area: Southern Ranges - Fuel reduction burn
From 23/3/2020, last reviewed 20/3/2020

​​A planned fuel reduction burn is scheduled to take place in the D’Entrecasteaux Plains between 23rd March and 5th April.

The following areas will be closed: The Southern Ranges Traverse, (Moonlight Ridge Track) from the Tailhead to the Maxwell Ridge including Mystery Creek Cave, and Mount La Perouse. 

This closure is expected to last up to 3 days and the track will be re-opened as soon as it has been declared safe to do so.

For more information contact 0436 817 434.



About

​​Tasmania is home to some of Australia’s deepest and longest caves. Carved out of limestone and dolerite, these sites offer a unique experience of the Tasmanian underworld and an insight into an archaeological heritage dating back 30,000 years.  Whether your interest is guided tours or wild caving, Tasmania’s caves offer a powerful experience that can be enjoyed by all ages.

Where​​​ to do it​

​There are a number of caving opportunities open to the public:

Gunns​​​​​ Plai​​n​​​​s Cave State Reserve

The Gunns Plains Cave Reserve is 30 km south of Ulverstone, in North-West Tasmania. This 10 hectare area was one of the earliest cave reserves in Tas​mania, being proclaimed a state reserve in 1918. The cave was formed by an underground river which still flows through some sections, and contains freshwater crayfish, fish and eels. Platypus nest in sandy banks along the river and lofty chambers contain many formations, including the magnificent calcite shawls. 

Mol​e Cree​​k ​​​​​​Kars​​​t National Park

Near the town of Mole Creek about 85 km west of Launceston, is the Mole Creek Karst National Park. This park offers tours in both Marakoopa and King Solomans caves,​ as well as areas of natural bushland with picnic facilities and nature trails.

Mar​​ak​o​​op​​a Cave

Marakoopa (from the Aboriginal word meaning ‘handsome’) is a cave of large caverns and extensive areas of flowstone formations. This cave also offers the best glow-worm display of any tourist cave in Australia. A large underground stream, fed from a series of sinkholes in the Western Tiers is also a feature of the cave. Marakoopa is part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. 

King Sol​o​​mons ​​Cave

This compact cave displays a range of formations and caters for all age groups and levels of fitness. King Solomon f​eatures lavish colours and formations, with sparkling calcite decorating the chambers.​

Hastings C​​aves State Reser​​ve

Newdegate Cave is open to the public and is situated in the Hastings Caves State Reserve, 125 km south of Hobart. The reserve contains lush vegetation, including many rainforest species typical of Tasmania’s high rainfall areas. Named after Sir Francis Newdegate, the ​Governor of Tasmania from 1917–1920, Newdegate Cave is the only tourist cave in Tasmania which occurs in dolomite, rather than limestone. Near the cave is the Thermal Pool, a swimming pool continuously filled with the warm (28°C) waters from a natural thermal spring.

Junee C​​a​​​v​​e State Reserve

Situated just outside the township of Maydena, on the edge of Southwest National Park, is Junee Cave. A short nature trail leads to the entrance of the cave where Junee River rises to the surface.  The Junee Cave system includes Niggly Cave, Australia’s deepest cave. Turn right at the Maydena store and follow the signs, for five km, to Junee Cave.

Other caves​​ of​ interest

The area of Tasmania is less than one per cent of the total area of Australia. Despite its size, Tasmania contains more cave development than any other state, with the deepest and longest caves in the country. Without formal development many of these ‘wild’ caves would be very rapidly degraded, if access was open. For this reason access to many undeveloped caves are restricted to trained speleologists.

Ex​​it C​ave

With a length of 23km, Exit is the longest known cave in Australia, and is noted for its immense chambers, sandy stream bank deposits and impressive glow-worm display. The Exit Cave area is contained within the Southwest National Park​. This is a limited access cave with permits issued only to recognised speleological groups.

​Kub​​​la ​​​Khan

Kubla Khan at Mole Creek Karst National Park is a 2.2km cave whose fame lies in its incredibly rich formations. The cave is not open to the general public, but its 18m high stalagmite, known as the Khan, is famous. The Khan is in a huge chamber called Xanadu. This cave also contains a flowstone floor which is 40m long, and terraced up to a height of 15m. This is a limited access cave with permits issued only to recognised speleological groups.

Kh​azad-Dum

The name Khazad-Dum was borrowed from ‘The Lord of the Rings’. This cave, in Mount Field National Park​, is representative of the deep caves in the Maydena area in South-West Tasmania. At 320m deep, Khazad-Dum is one of the deepest potholes in Australia. This cave is too dangerous for inexperienced people to enter. This is a limited access cave with permits issued only to recognised speleological groups. 

P​​erm​​​its

In order to protect them, a permit is required to enter certain caves. Entry to limited access caves is only available to members of clubs affiliated with the Australian Speleological Federation.

For permit information, contact the Great Western Tiers Field Centre for information on ​northern caves, and for southern caves, contact the Huonville Field Centre.​

Contact

Mole Creek Caves
330 Mayberry Rd, Mole Creek TAS 7304
Postal: PO Box 172
Mole Creek TAS 7304
Phone: 03 6363 5182
Email: mccaves@parks.tas.gov.au

Huonville Field Centre
22 Main Street
Office usually staffed 10am - 4pm Monday to Friday
Huonville TAS 7109
Phone: 03 6121 7026
Email: huonville@parks.tas.gov.au