Chillagoe Cave 2017-05-27T01:28:34+00:00

Project Description

Chillagoe Cave

Chillagoe lies within a belt of limestone approximately 5km wide and 45km long. Some scientists believe the landscape around Chillagoe began to form about 400 million years ago. Limestone has been weathered, dissolved and re-formed by water to create spectacular caverns and passages, decorated by stalactites, stalagmites and flowstones.

Activities

Visitors can explore the caves on ranger-guided cave tours or through self-guided cave tours. Cave environments are challenging. Challenges in the Chillagoe caves include many flights of stairs, very steep ladder-type steps, narrow passages and low overhangs. The following issues may prevent you from safely doing a tour: claustrophobia, fear of heights, pain when climbing steps and ladders, heart conditions, shortness of breath, back pain or lack of flexibility.

Ranger-guided cave tours

Visitors can explore Donna, Trezkinn and Royal Arch caves on ranger-guided cave tours, which run daily except Christmas Day. Tickets must be purchased in advance from Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service staff based at in the Chillagoe township.

Donna Cave

Grade: moderate

Distance: 830m return

Time: 1 hour

This cave features beautiful columns, calcite crystals and a cave decoration in the form of the Madonna. Electrical lighting is provided in this cave. Many steep ramps and stair. About 440 steps in total including 33 very steep ladder-type steps. A low section within the cave that requires walking crouched for about 12m.

Trezkinn Cave

Grade: moderate

Distance: 835m return

Time: 30-45 minutes

A boardwalk leads to a shelter shed at the entrance to the cave, where you can enjoy outstanding views of the Chillagoe landscape. Within the cave, a steel catwalk encircles a huge central mass of limestone. The sight of a magnificent ‘chandelier’ formation rewards visitors. Electrical lighting is provided in this cave. Many steep ramps and stairs—about 520 steps in total, including 46 very steep ladder-type steps.

Royal Arch Cave

Grade: easy

Distance: 1.3 km

Time: 1.5 hours

The cave tour takes you through passages and 11 chambers in one of the largest cave systems in the area. Unexpected shafts of daylight, fig trees, glimpses of darting bats, naturally sculptured limestone formations and ancient marine fossils are highlights of this tour. Hand-held lamps are provided for visitors aged over five years, to add to the excitement of exploring the labyrinth of tunnels and lofty caverns. Many steep ramps and stairs—about 385 steps in total. Many low overhangs requiring visitors to walk crouched for several metres at a time.

Self-guided cave tours

To ensure a safe visit to the self-guided caves, visitors must be well prepared and responsible for their own safety. The Archways, Pompeii Cave and Bauhinia Cave

The Archways

Grade: easy

Distance: 220m return

Time: 30mins

This self-guided cave commences at the Mungana Archways car park. Follow the rock-strewn track through deciduous vine thicket as you explore this semi-open cave. Skinks (small lizards) dart across open spaces to find refuge in the rocks. Common crow butterflies flutter in the shade of the rock walls. Torches are required.

Pompeii Cave

Grade: difficult

Distance: 600m return

Time: 50mins

Pompeii Cave can be accessed from the Donna Cave car park, 1.8km south of Chillagoe. From the car park, a well-formed track with many steps leads through deciduous vine forest to Pompeii Cave—a cleft in the rock filled with large boulders, the remnants of a previous collapse. Inside this small cave, look for bats sleeping high in dark crevices and rock-wallabies hopping from boulder to boulder. A short but steep climb to the bottom reveals a dark passage and some attractive formations. Be careful not to walk on or touch cave decorations such as flowstone or cave coral. Torches are required.

Bauhinia Cave

Grade: difficult

Distance: 300m return

Time: 20mins

Bauhinia Cave is accessed from the Donna Cave car park, 1.8km south of Chillagoe. From the car park a short walk brings you to the entrance of Bauhinia Cave. You enter the cave via a dark, narrow crevice requiring a steep scramble down large boulders. In this small cave, look for interesting cave decorations such as cave coral—be careful not to damage these brittle formations. Torches are required.

Getting there

Chillagoe is 215 km west of Cairns, around 3 hours drive. It can be accessed from the northern end of the Atherton Tableland via Mareeba and Dimbulah. The road is sealed to Almaden. The final 32 km of road are both sealed and unsealed.

Prices

Chillagoe-Mungana Caves National Park is open year-round, although roads may be impassable in the wet season (December to March). Ranger-guided cave tours to Donna, Trezkinn and Royal Arch caves operate daily, except on Christmas Day. Fees apply to ranger-guided cave tours.

Chillagoe lies within a belt of limestone approximately 5km wide and 45km long. Some scientists believe the landscape around Chillagoe began to form about 400 million years ago. Limestone has been weathered, dissolved and re-formed by water to create spectacular caverns and passages, decorated by stalactites, stalagmites and flowstones.

Activities

Visitors can explore the caves on ranger-guided cave tours or through self-guided cave tours. Cave environments are challenging. Challenges in the Chillagoe caves include many flights of stairs, very steep ladder-type steps, narrow passages and low overhangs. The following issues may prevent you from safely doing a tour: claustrophobia, fear of heights, pain when climbing steps and ladders, heart conditions, shortness of breath, back pain or lack of flexibility.

Ranger-guided cave tours

Visitors can explore Donna, Trezkinn and Royal Arch caves on ranger-guided cave tours, which run daily except Christmas Day. Tickets must be purchased in advance from Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service staff based at in the Chillagoe township.

Donna Cave

Grade: moderate

Distance: 830m return

Time: 1 hour

This cave features beautiful columns, calcite crystals and a cave decoration in the form of the Madonna. Electrical lighting is provided in this cave. Many steep ramps and stair. About 440 steps in total including 33 very steep ladder-type steps. A low section within the cave that requires walking crouched for about 12m.

Trezkinn Cave

Grade: moderate

Distance: 835m return

Time: 30-45 minutes

A boardwalk leads to a shelter shed at the entrance to the cave, where you can enjoy outstanding views of the Chillagoe landscape. Within the cave, a steel catwalk encircles a huge central mass of limestone. The sight of a magnificent ‘chandelier’ formation rewards visitors. Electrical lighting is provided in this cave. Many steep ramps and stairs—about 520 steps in total, including 46 very steep ladder-type steps.

Royal Arch Cave

Grade: easy

Distance: 1.3 km

Time: 1.5 hours

The cave tour takes you through passages and 11 chambers in one of the largest cave systems in the area. Unexpected shafts of daylight, fig trees, glimpses of darting bats, naturally sculptured limestone formations and ancient marine fossils are highlights of this tour. Hand-held lamps are provided for visitors aged over five years, to add to the excitement of exploring the labyrinth of tunnels and lofty caverns. Many steep ramps and stairs—about 385 steps in total. Many low overhangs requiring visitors to walk crouched for several metres at a time.

Self-guided cave tours

To ensure a safe visit to the self-guided caves, visitors must be well prepared and responsible for their own safety. The Archways, Pompeii Cave and Bauhinia Cave

The Archways

Grade: easy

Distance: 220m return

Time: 30mins

This self-guided cave commences at the Mungana Archways car park. Follow the rock-strewn track through deciduous vine thicket as you explore this semi-open cave. Skinks (small lizards) dart across open spaces to find refuge in the rocks. Common crow butterflies flutter in the shade of the rock walls. Torches are required.

Pompeii Cave

Grade: difficult

Distance: 600m return

Time: 50mins

Pompeii Cave can be accessed from the Donna Cave car park, 1.8km south of Chillagoe. From the car park, a well-formed track with many steps leads through deciduous vine forest to Pompeii Cave—a cleft in the rock filled with large boulders, the remnants of a previous collapse. Inside this small cave, look for bats sleeping high in dark crevices and rock-wallabies hopping from boulder to boulder. A short but steep climb to the bottom reveals a dark passage and some attractive formations. Be careful not to walk on or touch cave decorations such as flowstone or cave coral. Torches are required.

Bauhinia Cave

Grade: difficult

Distance: 300m return

Time: 20mins

Bauhinia Cave is accessed from the Donna Cave car park, 1.8km south of Chillagoe. From the car park a short walk brings you to the entrance of Bauhinia Cave. You enter the cave via a dark, narrow crevice requiring a steep scramble down large boulders. In this small cave, look for interesting cave decorations such as cave coral—be careful not to damage these brittle formations. Torches are required.

Getting there

Chillagoe is 215 km west of Cairns, around 3 hours drive. It can be accessed from the northern end of the Atherton Tableland via Mareeba and Dimbulah. The road is sealed to Almaden. The final 32 km of road are both sealed and unsealed.

Prices

Chillagoe-Mungana Caves National Park is open year-round, although roads may be impassable in the wet season (December to March). Ranger-guided cave tours to Donna, Trezkinn and Royal Arch caves operate daily, except on Christmas Day. Fees apply to ranger-guided cave tours.