The Buchan Caves Reserve features picnic spots, camping ground, walking tracks and a variety of flora and fauna, including koalas, over forty species of birds, kangaroos and currawongs. * Walk the Spring Creek track (90 minutes return) or try some of the shorter walks in the area. * Swim in the pool fed by a natural spring.
These activities will run in addition to the show cave tours through the Royal & Fairy caves. Tours through the Royal and the Fairy caves will commence at 10.00 am and run approx. every hour with the last tour being at 3.30 pm
There are tours of Fairy Cave and Royal Cave at the reserve and a visitors interpretation centre. Fairy Cave, which is 400 metres long, has the usual collection of quaintly named features including the King’s Chamber, the Queen Victoria Chamber, the Hall, the Jewel Chamber, the Grotto, the Bridal Chamber and the limestone “Wedding Cake’ which is frosted with what resembles icing sugar. The cave was discovered by Europeans in 1907 and opened to the public the following year. The bones of kangaroos and a wombat the size of a horse have been found on the cave floor. The other cave open to the public is the Royal Cave, which includes ‘Niagara Falls’ and the ‘Font of the Gods’. The calcium carbonate which forms the basis of the limestone formations in the area’s 350 or more caves derives from the skeletons of shellfish and coral which were deposited when the sea still covered southern Gippsland. The subterranean chambers and passages were carved out by the rainwater that trickles into the caves, forming spectacular stalactites and stalagmites which sometimes meet to form impressive pillars, or waterfall-like structures, due to the passage of the water over ledges. Red and brown colourations are caused by the presence of iron oxide while green shades are caused by copper. The caves are lighted artificially by electricity and have concrete steps and hand rails. There is natural ventilation and the temperature remains a steady 15 degrees Celsius.
* Guided tours
Check the Parks Victoria Website for further details
Other Caves in the District
Other cave areas not open to the public are the Cloggs Cave Area, 4 km south-east of Buchan, and the New Guinea Area, 20 km north-east of the town, on the banks of the Snowy River. Apart from their scenic value, these sites have revealed important signs of Aboriginal occupation, including hearths, middens, rock paintings, burnt bones, and tools such as pebbles for burnishing skins, scrapers, blades, pebble choppers and awls for piercing holes in skins for the manufacture of skin cloaks which date from 17 000 years old. The remains of extinct species, including a kangaroo the size of a horse, the Tasmanian Wolf and a Tasmanian Devil now extinct in the area, have also been uncovered.