Buchan Caves

Federal Cave

Useful Information

Location: 360 km from Melbourne, north of Lakes Entrance (Melway 529 D3). From Bairnsdale, drive to Bruthen and take the Buchan Road.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave Devonian limestone.
Light: none
Dimension: L=400 m, T=15 °C.
Guided tours:  
Address: Buchan Caves & Caravan Park, P.O.Box 2, Buchan Vic. 3885, Tel: +61-51-55-9264, +61-51-55-9213, Fax: +61-51-55-9490. Alan Oldroyd, Ranger-in-Charge. Dale Calnin, Caves Manager.
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.


1915 discovered by F. J. Wilson and the government employee W. H. Bonwick.
1917 opened to the public.
1970 closed to the public.


Federal Cave, in the Buchan Caves Reserve was originally developed as a show cave, lit by a power generator. In 1970 mains power was connected to Fairy Cave and Royal Cave, but Federal Cave was closed to visitors.

For many years, the cave was basically left alone, but now the Friends of Buchan Caves are restoring this cave. They have installed a wash-water system along the former tourist path, and used it to clean the formations. They also removed the decaying pre-war electrics and hand-rails.

The now offered cave tour has a different style that focuses on interpreting the geology of this most interesting cave.