Chillagoe Caves

Chillagoe’s most famous tourist attraction of course are the limestone caves. These caves are located below the distinctively weathered limestone bluffs that grace the landscape of the Chillagoe-Mungana Caves National Park in North Queensland.

Chillagoe Caves

One knows they have reached Chillagoe when they start to see these outcrops.

Chillagoe Caves

Inside the caves, dissolving limestone creates spectacular caverns and passages. The main elements are stalagmites (forming from the bottom up) and stalactites (formed from the ceiling).

Chillagoe Caves

When these meet, they form columns. Other spectacular formations can be seen throughout the caves, some even resembling animals, people or buildings.

Chillagoe Caves

We as tourists are given the opportunity to explore these caves with the aid of artistic lighting and sophisticated walkways. Of course there are many steps to tackle and occasionally low areas where one must crouch down.

Chillagoe Caves

Chillagoe Caves

For those fit enough to manage these conditions, the experience of actually being inside the caves is so incredible.

Adding to that are the very experienced local guides who take you through some of the caves. We had an aboriginal guide called Eddie who was both knowledgeable and personable making the tours a memorable occasion.

Chillagoe Caves

Cave Tours can be booked through the Hub in Chillagoe. It is well worth phoning ahead to book as the tours can be very popular at times.

There are three ranger-guided paid tours and three self-guided tours which are free to enter.

Chillagoe Caves

In our three days in Chillagoe, we chose to do two guided tours (Trezkinn and Donna) and one self-guided tour (The Archways).  In hindsight, I wished we had also seen the Royal Arch cave, but the Bauhinia and Pompeii Caves were a little out of our comfort zone.

Chillagoe Caves

Below is a photographic tour of the caves we visited. There is so much written about the caves on the internet, and even in the caves themselves there are signs to read. For me I was just in awe of the beauty before us and hope I can convey that here.

TREZKINN CAVE

To reach this cave, you must travel up 140 steps to the entrance. The cave itself is very well lit and apart from some steep steps, is quite easy to navigate.

Chillagoe Caves - Trezkinn

Extra spotlights highlight the special features of this cave.

Chillagoe Caves - Trezkinn

Chillagoe Caves - Trezkinn

Chillagoe Caves - Trezkinn

This beautiful “Chandelier” had everyone staring up to the ceiling of the cave.

Chillagoe Caves - Trezkinn

Don’t forget to look up and down and then turn around and see what you may have missed.

Chillagoe Caves - Trezkinn

Chillagoe Caves - Trezkinn

Chillagoe Caves - Trezkinn

Chillagoe Caves - Trezkinn

Chillagoe Caves - Trezkinn

Chillagoe Caves - Trezkinn

If you are keen on photography, there is plenty of time to stop and take photos. The engineering of the walkways through this cave is exceptional.

Chillagoe Caves - Trezkinn

Chillagoe Caves - Trezkinn

 

 DONNA CAVE

Closer to the carpark with less steps, you descend into this cave through a narrow entrance to be confronted by the star of the show, the Madonna rock with her shadow cast upon the wall of the cave. Spectacular.

Chillagoe Caves - Donna

Chillagoe Caves - Donna

There is so much to see in here from sparkling crystals, huge open “rooms”, very tall structures and many levels.

Chillagoe Caves - Donna

Chillagoe Caves - Donna

Chillagoe Caves - Donna

Chillagoe Caves - Donna

Chillagoe Caves - Donna

Lots of interesting features to look out for as well.

Chillagoe Caves - Donna

I liked how the lighting in here was a little dimmer but with a focus on the highlights. Great for photography.

Chillagoe Caves - Donna

There were a few areas in which you had to crouch down but nothing too difficult.

Chillagoe Caves - Donna

 

ARCHWAYS CAVE

Having researched this cave and seeing just one photo of the trees above the caves, I wanted to visit this place.

Chillagoe Caves - Archways

Chillagoe Caves - Archways

Chillagoe Caves - Archways

Chillagoe Caves - Archways

Chillagoe Caves - Archways

What an unexpected surprise of so many shafts of sunlight, tunnels and rock formations. Loved it.

Chillagoe Caves - Archways

Chillagoe Caves - Archways

Chillagoe Caves - Archways

Chillagoe Caves - Archways

Chillagoe Caves - Archways

Loved how little shafts of light shone into the caves.

Chillagoe Caves - Archways

It was very easy to navigate on our own with only one squeeze point and very little need for a torch (but still it is best to carry one with you).

Chillagoe Caves - Archways

Chillagoe Caves - Archways

As I mentioned before, we didn’t go into Bauhinia Cave due to having to scramble down large boulders. The Pompeii cave was similar difficulty. Will just have to leave them to the young and more adventurous people!

For those keen on hiking, there are a number of walks in the Chillagoe-Mungana Caves National Park ranging from a couple of hundred metres to 9km return hikes.

Chillagoe - Balancing Rock

Once again, I totally recommend that you find the time to visit Chillagoe and its surrounding district. So much to see and do and the people are really friendly.

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ROAD TRIP TO CHILLAGOE

THE BEST THINGS TO SEE IN CHILLAGOE