Kelly Hill Caves and Conservation Park
Back to nature
The Kelly Hill Caves are dry limestone caves with a stunning array of stalactites, stalagmites, straws, and the more unusual helictites – incredible formations that hook and twist in defiance of gravity. It’s not often that kids get to go adventure caving. At Kelly Hill, children who are 8 years and over are given the opportunity to don hard hats, equipped with lights, and crawl down rocky tunnels into a subterranean cave system. The 40-minute Show Cave Tour is a pre-requisite for the adventure caving option and is an impressive experience in itself.
South Coast Rd, Karatta; (08) 8559 7231
■ The above-ground interpretive walking trails. Try to spot native wildlife, including echidnas, but watch out for holes. If some members of the family are not keen to go underground, this is a great alternative.
The Kelly Caves are named after a horse. In 1880 a stockman was riding through the hills on a horse called Kelly and suddenly they found themselves dropping down a big hole. The stockman managed to climb out and ran off to get help for his horse. When he returned, Kelly had disappeared. Some people think the stockman was looking in the wrong hole, while others claim the horse wandered off into the underground maze. Did Kelly die in the caves, or find a way out at the other end? We will never know, unless someone finds the horse’s bones…
■ Wear sturdy, closed footwear and layered clothes as the temperature inside the caves may be different from outdoors.