>> Wednesday, February 17, 2010 – Adventure Tasmania
Ever since I watched 'The Descent' on DVD I've wanted to try caving.
You know, for the adrenalin rush of descending into the earth and exploring the subterranean alien environment.
Not for the monster at the end of the movie.
I want the adventure without the danger, thanks!
Luckily, there's plenty of places that cater to a novice like me and have been tried and tested to make sure there are no monsters lurking in the shadows.
These caves are the perfect destination to visit if you're staying in North West Tasmania.
Head to Mole Creek Karst National Park. It's approximately 40 minutes from Deloraine (which holds the worlds oldest working craft fair) but can be a great day trip if you're staying in Devonport or Cradle Mountain.
Mole Creek Karst National Park protects deep limestone caves of superb stalactites, stalagmites and columns, glow worm displays, subterranean streams and cathedral caverns.
The park is best known for two richly decorated caves open to the general public, but it's 1, 345 hectares contain 300 caves and sink holes in all. Although visiting the caves should be high on your agenda, don't miss the opportunity to take a walk through the beautiful forests in which these caves occur.
You'll have the opportunity to explore Marakoopa and King Solomons Caves on a guided tour - they've recently celebrated 100 years of public visitation (and lost no one...yet). Picnic shelters, free barbecues and toilets are located close by.
There are several guided tours run at different times throughout the day from 10 -4 for the general public. If you are an experienced caver, a knowledgeable guide can lead you through one of the region's wild caves, not open to the general public.
The two tours of Marakoopa and the tour of King Solomons are quite different, but each tour takes approximately 45 minutes (tickets for the caves need to be bought at the central office which is about 600m prior to the entrance).
This cave was named after an Aboriginal word meaning 'handsome' and is characterised by a superb glow warm display, which is well worth the effort.
The Underground Rivers and Glow Worms is an easy tour for all age groups and fitness types. Visit the lower chamber with its sparkling crystals, reflection pools, stalactites and stalagmites. Listen to the underground streams and wander down abandoned river passages.
The Cathedral Gardens and Glow Worms tour requires a reasonable level of fitness. The large cavern known as the "Great Cathedral' is not to be missed. 'The Gardens' feature delicate formations and beautiful colours.
KING SOLOMONS CAVE
It's a compact cave system with elaborate geological formations, including stunning calcite crystals known as King Solomon's Diamonds. The cave has high scientific and conservation significance and is home to a number of threatened plant and animal species. It is a dry cave, with no stream running through it.
Awesome! Great way to experience some of the caves in Tasmania without going extreme.
Once you've visited the caves, you can play tourist in the Mole Creek area.
Hit Stephens Leatherwood Honey Factory for a jar of leatherwood honey. Or pay a visit to the Tasmanian Wildlife Park and Koala Village for an up close encounter with a Tasmanian Devil.