Deepdene Cave AU 1.    
Harley's Cave AU 6.    
Old Kudardup Cave AU9.    
Jewel Cave AU 13. Photo added 4 October 1995    
Easter Cave AU 14. Photos added 7 September 1995    
Labyrinth Cave AU 16.    
Moondyne Cave AU 11.

Deepdene Cave AU 1. This cave is noted for its massive formations. Consisting of two large chambers, the cave is just over 100 m long and 35 m deep. The two chambers are heavily decorated with columns and stalactites. When visiting the eastern chamber, take note of the old rimstone pools, some of which are over 1 m deep. Deepdene was developed to a small degree as a tourist cave around 1900. It was never opened to the public. Although only a small cave, a typical photographic trip can last several hours so be sure to take water with you. While in the cave examine the walls. Deepdene is packed with small helictites. No special equipment is needed to enter Deepdene Cave, which is all horizontal.

Harley's Cave AU 6. Surveys have proved that Harley's Cave, which is about 100 m from Labyrinth on the surface, comes to within 1 m of Labyrinth underground. There is limited photography in the cave, the main attraction being the entrance pitch, a fifteen metre solution pipe which opens out into a large bell-shaped chamber with excellent acoustics. A small extension on the southern wall will lure the more sporting caver. A series of vertical squeezes leads to a small well decorated chamber. It is at this point that it is carved closest to Labyrinth. Typical time in Harley's would be no more than two hours. Equipment needed is a 15 m ladder and rope as there are good belay points nearby. Click here to see the survey plan ( GIF)

Old Kudardup Cave AU9. Formed on the high slopes of the new dunes, this cave is one of the most interesting to see. The cave is a large single chamber with no side extensions. It has formed in massive dimensions, over 30 m deep with a ceiling 30 m above the cave floor, massive columns have grown up to 18 m high near the entrance. Photographically, Old Kudardup can offer impressive shots of the columns. Most of the roof decoration is too high to be photographed. Old Kudardup Cave is recommended to everyone, just to see a really nice easy cave.

Jewel Cave AU 13. Jewel Cave is a complex phreatic cave 1.9 kms long, of which only 40% has been developed for tourism. Opened to the public in 1960, Jewel Cave has been thoughtfully developed to show the cave off to visitors and not to make just the easiest path. Lighting is all natural and indirect. Formations in Jewel are identical to Easter and Labyrinth Caves. Formations are excellent. A straw measuring about 580 cm is the longest in any tourist cave.

There are many flowstone canopies, including the famous Organ Pipes. Myriads of straws can be seen reflected in the lake at the lowest level of the cave. The price of a tour is reasonable and the tour lasts for one hour. Photographers are encouraged, so take your cameras and get some rewarding shots.


Organ Pipes in Jewel The black and white photograph above is a historical one of Cliff Spackman (on the left) and Lloyd Robinson taken in the Camel Cavern in Jewel Cave prior tothe development of the cave for tourism. Both are original explorers of the cave. (82Kb jpg). Photograph by WA Newspapers - scan supplied by Peter Bell of the Augusta Margaret River Tourist Bureau.

Easter Cave AU 14. Easter Cave is the longest (7.5km) and most heavily decorated cave in the south-west. A typical trip lasts 8 hours so supplies of food are necessary. The entrance is a 12 m shaft which is best laddered. This opens onto a large sand floored chamber, a small crawl leads to the system. As you enter the crawl, look to the right for cave pearls. These are 30 years old and began growing when the tunnel was dug through.

[From here on it is wadeable most of the way.] The previous statement is no longer true - the water has drained from the cave and is now totally dry until Lake Nimbus past what was the second duck. The Epstein Section contains the most well-known formation in the cave, the Epstein sculpture, a helictite of massive size hanging from the ceiling.


The black and white photo above of the Epstein sculpure features Joanne Barratt. Photo by and © 1995 to Rauleigh Webb.


Past the "first duck" (now dry) are some wonderful decorations such as this flowstone adjacent to the marked trail in the photo above.

Here are some other pictures of some of the caves famous helictites.





Photos by and © 1995 to Rauleigh Webb.

Labyrinth Cave AU 16. Labyrinth is a phreatic maze of interconnecting passages. Entry is as with Easter, a 12 m shaft best laddered. The formation is excellent, straws being the dominant feature. Labyrinth has two main trends, north-west and south-west. Both are photogenic with the south-west having the edge. A visit to the Winged Eagle's Nest is worthwhile. Labyrinth is also very sporting. There are a few sumps and lots of mud squeezes. Most of the trip is spent walking or crawling along phreatic tubes containing water and mud.

Moondyne Cave AU 11. Moondyne is an old tourist cave which was closed in 1958. It has been the subject of an exercise in cave restoration. A concentrated effort by W.A.S.G. has seen the introduction of track marking, removal of old stairs and the cleaning of formation. Fortunately a lot of the damage has been reversible and Moondyne still retains its beauty and is excellent for photography. The cave has good displays of columns and helictites. Consisting of two large chambers, Moondyne is the smallest of the four caves which reach the water table. The lower chamber which was once an old crystal pool, is completely covered with calcite flakes. This known as the Snowflake Chamber and contains some side extensions with fine displays of helictites. Carbon dioxide levels are often high in this chamber. The upper chamber is in complete contrast to the lower containing many large columns and stalagmites, and also some very long straws. Moondyne Cave is one to be enjoyed by all cavers.

There are few active surface streams and places to obtain water in the Augusta caving area during summer. Take supplies of water on all field trips. Temperatures are likely to be high and considerable distances must be walked to reach caves. If at any time you are separated from a party and become lost, always head east and you will arrive at Caves Road.

Note that the Moondyne Cave was reopened as a Guided Cave in 1993. Tours are conducted by the Augusta Margaret River Tourist Bureau and can be booked at the Tourist Bureau in Margaret River. The cave is not lit and tours are conducted using helmet mounted electric lights and overalls which are provided in the price of the tour ($25 per person).