JURIEN

Drover's Cave J 2.
Moorba Cave J 3.
Old River Cave J 7.

This area is centred around the Drover's Cave National Park just north-east of the Jurien Bay townsite.

In the early 1960's W.A.S.G. visited and named Old River Cave J 7 and Mystery Cave J 6. However it was not until the 1980's that major discoveries were made in Old River Cave, taking its length from a few hundred metres to 1.9 km. Other important caves in the area are Drover's Cave J 2, after which the National Park was named, and Gooseberry Cave J 1 which is on private property and is a bat maternity site for Charlinolobus morio.

Drover's Cave J 2.

A locked cave containing a large amount of graffiti a major portion of which, was removed in 1990. This cave was once a bat roost but locking the cave forced the bats out of the cave. (The door had no escape hole.) Drover's contains the most decoration of all caves so far found in this area. A calcified skeleton of Macroderma gigas was reported in the cave in 1990.

Moorba Cave J 3.

This cave is located near the north edge of the Jurien karst area. It is sometimes known as Smithy's Cave, after a local resident who mined the cave extensively for guano during the 1920's. As much as 2,000 tons of guano is said to have been removed. The cave has a steeply inclined walk in type entrance. There is extensive development of roof solution pipes which apparently served best as roosting places for the bats, as the guano deposit is deepest beneath some of the larger ones.

Old River Cave J 7.

A short tight entrance pitch of about 10 m leads to a large boulder strewn passage which leads down a steep, unstable rockpile to a large chamber. This in turn leads to a steep climb up a through a boulder choke into a very large chamber which has numerous holes in its sandy covered and rockpile floor. Wood lice have been found among the root material in the sand piles. At the end of this chamber an "L" shaped slot is entered about six feet up the wall. This is in fact, a huge collapsed block and a low, wide passage leads to a small, well decorated area near the edge of an INTERNAL PITCH ! (One of the few found in South West caves) This pitch requires 15 m of rope or ladder and is on the edge of a massive dome shaped chamber the ceiling of which must be a good 50 metres in height. In size, this chamber compares with the terminal "Dome" chamber in Mullamullang Cave of the Nullarbor area. A fairly inconspicuous hole leads off the main trend into a streamway in which you can avoid becoming wet for a short while until the passage narrows and the ceiling lowers. A rock pile is then reached and it can be negotiated by a multiple of routes, the left leading to part of an abandoned stream passage. If you go right through the rockpile the remainder of the fossil stream passage is found, which consists of a wide, flat, sandy walking passage which terminates abruptly. Retracing your steps back to, and past the rockpile, the stream passage leads to a fissure in a boulder choke which leads down to a fairly deep pool of water. A climb up from here through more rockpile leads to Nullarbor sized trunk passageway ending disappointedly in a small narrowing flattener. You should allow about 5 hours for a small group to visit this cave, though a whole day would be required to properly explore the entire length of passageway. A cave well worth visiting !