World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Naracoorte Caves

Article Id: WHEBN0001881506
Reproduction Date:

Title: Naracoorte Caves  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: List of caves, Tammar wallaby, Fossil collecting, Blotched blue-tongued lizard, List of fossil sites, Naracoorte Lucindale Council, Friends of Parks
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Naracoorte Caves

Template:Use Australian English

Naracoorte Caves National Park
Template:IUCN banner
Nearest town/city Naracoorte, South Australia
Coordinates 57|S|140|45|E name=


Area 3.05 km²
Established 1994
Managing authorities Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (South Australia)
Official site Naracoorte Caves National Park
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Australian Fossil Mammal Sites (Riversleigh/Naracoorte)
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Type Natural
Criteria viii, ix
Reference UNESCO region Asia-Pacific
Inscription history
Inscription 1994 (18th Session)

Naracoorte Caves is a national park near Naracoorte in the Limestone Coast tourism region in the south-east of South Australia (Australia). It was officially recognised in 1994 for its extensive fossil record when the site was inscribed on the World Heritage List, along with Riversleigh. The park preserves 6 km² of remnant vegetation, with 26 caves contained within the 3.05 km² World Heritage Area.

Visitor attraction

The park is a visitor destination in itself, with a camping ground and caravan park, dormitory accommodation for groups, picnic grounds and a licenced cafe. The range of visitor activities is extensive. Show cave tours are guided by professional interpreters through highly decorated caves with some tours visiting amazing fossil deposits. Modern technology has been utilised to show visitors the normally inaccessible interior of Bat Cave, where thousands of bats breed each year. Other opportunities include adventure caving, a selection of specialty tours and special events. The Wonambi Fossil Centre, the park's visitor centre, features displays of fossils and bones found in the caves and dioramas of extinct animals.


The limestone of the area was formed from coral and marine creatures 200 million years ago and again 20 million years ago when the land was below sea level. Ground water since then has dissolved and eroded some of the limestone, creating the caves. The caves, such as the Victoria Fossil Cave and Blanche Cave, are often not far below ground, and holes open up creating traps for the unwary. This is the source of the remarkable collection of fossils. Mammals and other land creatures have fallen into open caves and been unable to escape. The fossil record has been preserved in strata formed from eroded topsoil washed and blown in. In some places, the fossil-bearing silt is up to 20 metres thick. Some of these areas are being preserved for future research when better methods of dating and reconstructing fossil records may have been found. These fossil traps are especially significant for tracing Australian megafauna.

See also

South Australia portal


Further reading

  • .

External links

  • World heritage listing for Naracoorte
  • UNESCO site with information on Riversleigh, Australia
  • Naracoorte Lucindale Tourism
  • Photographs of the Naracoorte Caves by Andrew McMillan
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.