Jewel Cave – The Margaret River region is home to over 100 caves that have formed over the past 1 million years by the constant movement of water through limestone. We recently visited the stunning Jewel Cave, which is near Augusta and the largest show cave in WA.
My 8 year old is always up for an adventure, but I can never be certain that my 4 year old will cope. So we set off a bit nervously to experience the guided tour of Jewel Cave. In the end my 4 year old coped very well, managing to navigate the many steps down into this cathedral-like cave, and in fact there were many children on the tour.
The guide was a friendly man, up for answering any questions we had. He staggered the descent so that we could catch our breath on several large platforms along the way. During the breaks he told us interesting stories about the people who discovered the caves 50 years ago, and pointed out formations that we may have otherwise have missed.
A story that fascinated the kids was about the Tasmanian tiger that fell into the cave and perished many years ago before the cave was discovered, leaving its skeleton intact on the cave floor! These bones can be viewed in the reception area.
Amongst the many stunning stalagmites and stalactites inside Jewel Cave, look out for: the Frozen Waterfall, Organ-pipes, Karri Forest, Coral formations, straw stalactites, a swinging fairy and even a stick insect! The kids had fun finding their own formations too!
Touching of the cave walls is strictly forbidden, so during the tour you stick to the boardwalk and cover a circular route that passes through 3 chambers and leads down about 50 metres below the surface before ascending again.
The boardwalk makes for easy walking through the cave but there is the occasional part where you need to bend down to move through. I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone exceptionally large or physically restricted.
Of course babies are always welcome, however, you cannot bring a pram, as the stairs won’t permit it. If you are happy to carry the baby and negotiate the stairs as well as spend an hour in the cave with your precious bundle, there is no charge for children under 4.
The tour is the only way to view the cave and takes about an hour in total. The dazzling display in this underground wonderland makes for a very worthwhile outing, especially on a rainy day in Margaret River.
Photography is allowed – but no tripods, stands or selfie-sticks. The lighting inside the cave does make it tricky to get good photos.
Toilets are only located at the start/finish of the tour, so I recommend getting everyone to go before your tour time.
There is a great café on site to grab refreshments and a bite to eat after the tour. It looks out onto the forest. And there is a small gift shop for souvenirs.
Phone: (08) 9780 5911
Jewel Cave is 10 minutes drive north of Augusta, along Caves Road.
Jewel Caves Road, Deepdene WA 6290, Australia
Child (4-16yrs): $12.00
Family (2 adults + 2 Children): $58.00
Additional Children: $6.00
Children under 4 are free of charge.
Children under 17 must be accompanied by an adult.
Tickets can also be purchased at the cave site or at Augusta Visitor Centre, or over the phone on +61 8 9757 7411. There are also packages available that allow you to save money if you are visiting many sights in the area. We chose a cave & lighthouse package and saved at least $20.
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