Naracoorte Caves National Park

Top choice national park in Naracoorte

About 10km southeast of Naracoorte is World Heritage–listed Naracoorte Caves National Park. The discovery of an ancient fossilised marsupial in these limestone caves raised palaeontological eyebrows around the world, and featured in David Attenborough's 1979 BBC series Life on Earth. The 28 limestone caves here, including Alexandra Cave, curiously named Stick-Tomato Cave and Victoria Fossil Cave, have bizarre stalactite and stalagmite formations. The Wonambi Fossil Centre at the main entrance zooms-in on fossil finds.

Prospective Bruce Waynes should check out the Bat Observation Centre (adult/child/family $26/15.50/72) near Blanche Cave, from which thousands of endangered southern bentwing bats exit en masse at dusk during summer. You can see the Stick-Tomato Cave by self-guided tour (adult/child/family $10/6/27.50), but the others require ranger-guided tours. Single-cave tours start at adult/child $22/13/61; adventure caving starts at adult/child $63/36.50. The behind-the-scenes World Heritage Tour (per two people $300) gives you a scientific slant on the action. There are four self-guided walking trails here too, from one to two hours return, plus BBQs, a cafe and a campground just past the turn-off to the caves (book online).

The park visitor centre doubles as the impressive Wonambi Fossil Centre ($14/8.50/38.50) − a re-creation of the rainforest that covered this area 200,000 years ago. Follow a ramp down past grunting, life-sized reconstructions of extinct animals, including a marsupial lion, a giant echidna, Diprotodon australis (koala meets grizzly bear), and Megalania prisca − 500kg of bad-arse goanna.


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