|Location:||In Chillagoe, Chillagoe Caves National Park. 210km west of Cairns.|
|Open:||Donna Cave: daily at 9. Trezkinn Cave: daily at 11. Royal Arch Cave: daily at 13:30|
|Guided tours:||Donna Cave: D=60min. Trezkinn Cave: D=30min. Royal Arch Cave: D=90min, L=1,500m. V=18,000/a|
Chillagoe Caves, Post Office, Chillagoe. Qld. 4871. Tel: +61-7-0-94-7163, Fax: +61-7-0-94-7213.
Lana Little, District Ranger.
Chillagoe Caving Club, PO Box 92, Cairns 4870.
|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.
|1872||presence of limestone was first mentioned by William Hann.|
|1874||James Venture Mulligan discovered the Chillagoe-Palmer River gold field.|
|1887||Chillagoe was first settled, after the discovery of copper ore.|
|1986||Chillagoe marble industry started.|
The Chillagoe area has huge deposits of limestone covering an area of 225km², in the middle of a primarly volcanic area. The volcanic rocks and the limestone contain numerous ores, so the town has a history of mining gold, silver, copper, lead, and marble.
The limestone of the area is heavily karstified, typical are up to 70m high pinnacles of limestone. They were formed by coral reefs 400 million years ago. This explains why there are several isolated patches of limestone, Later this limestone was alterated by volcanic activities, which transformed part of it into marble and deposited the ores.
There are several caves in the area wich can be visited. Donna Cave, Trezkinn Cave, and Royal Arch Cave are show caves of the Chillagoe Caves National Park. Bauhinia Cave and Pompeii Cave may be visited on self-guided tours after notifying the Ranger. Castle Cave, Haunted Cave and Spring Cave can be visited on spelunking tours through the Chillagoe Caving Club.
The caves are inhabited by various bats, for example the Common Bentwing Bat, the Little Brown Bat, the Little Bentwing Bat, and the Sheath-Tail Bat. The smell of bat guano fills the chambers where many of them live. Of course there are also predators who live in the bats, first off all the Spotted Python. Many insects and spiders live in the caves, many of them live from the remains of the bats.
There is one of only five colonies of the White Rumped Swiftlet in the caves. The Swiftlet is a species of cave dwelling birds, belonging to the swift family, Apodidae. Swiftlets are found in south Asia and the south Pacific.
Numerous bones were found in the caves, like dingo, wallaroo, pademelon, bandicoot, giant kangaroo, giant wombat, and crocodile.