Giants Cave


Useful Information

Location: 20km South of Margaret River on Caves Road.
Open: School and public holidays daily 9:30-15:30. Other times by appointment. [2006]
Fee: Adults AUD 10, Children (6-18) AUD 5, Family (2+4) EUR 30.
[2006]
Classification:  Karst cave.
Light: none, torches and helmets provided
Dimension: L=575m, VR=86m.
Guided tours: self guided, torches and helmets provided
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography:  
Address: CALM, District Office, 14 Queen Street, BUSSELTON 6280, Tel: +61-8-9752-5555, Fax: +61-8-9752-1432.
Calgardup Cave office, National Park Information Centre, Tel: +61-8-9757-7422.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
Last update:$Date: 2015/08/30 21:52:01 $

History

 
1900discovered by Marmaduke Terry, a government surveyor.
1958connection between the Ballroom and the Arborite Chamber discovered.
1993ladders installed through the rockpile.

Description

Giants Cave is one of the largest and deepest caves on the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge. The entrance to Giants Cave is probably the explanation of its name: an impressive doline, 100m in diameter, formed by the collapse of the cave roof. The cave is a through cave and visitors leave it at the other end through the second entrance, it crosses Cave Road underground.

A visit to Giants Cave is inbetween a real show cave and a spelunking tour. There are no artificial lights in the cave but about 300m of the cave were developed with paths during the first half of the 20th century. Drops are equipped with stairs or iron ladders. In some parts of the cave there is only a trail on the natural cave floor. Sturdy shoes and appropriate clothes are much recommended, helmets and lights are provided by the CALM. Some physical fitness is necessary to handle the height differences.

The cave is entered on a long and steep flight of stairs, which leads down into the entrance doline. The path descends to one of the deepest parts of the cave. The Ballroom is a highlight of the cave, a 40m long chamber with a sandy floor. It is the former stream bed, but the water vanished into the deep and the stream dried out. The floor was once coated by a fine layer of calcite crystals, but those fragile crystals were completely destroyed by the feet of the cave visitors. A result of this fact is the increased development of the cave, to allow access to the cave and still protect the cave from further destruction.

From the Ballroom a rather narrow and steep passage leads upwards through a rockpile, a collapsed part of the cave. This connecteion was discovered in 1958, but it became dangerous by numerous visitors climbing through the rockpile, dislodging rubbles. In 1993 ladders were installed to bypass the danger zone.

The rockpile ascend leads to the Arborite Chamber with its impressive size and decoration. Arborites are massive calcified tree roots hanging from the roof of this chamber. The word arborite is a combination of arbor, the latin word for tree, and stalactite. This formations are coloured by minerals and tannines from the plants. Theare also many speleothems made of moonmilk, a white and soft stalagmite, which is very porous.


See also


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