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Subterranean Splendor The Best Caves in and near Adelaide

Subterranean Splendor: The Best Caves in and near Adelaide

From the stalactite wonders of Tantanoola Cave to the lush greenery and blooms of Cave Gardens, the caves in and near Adelaide are treasures waiting to be unearthed.

But, of course, there’s more to explore than meets the eye. This is why we’ll give you all the Adelaide caving info you need, whether you’re a caver seeking your next destination or a first-time explorer in dire need of tips!

Giant’s Cave

– From paulpayasalad

Address: Morialta Conservation Park, Morialta Falls Rd, Woodforde, SA 5072

Contact Details: (08) 9219 9000

Operating Hours: Daily – 24 hours

Travel Time From Adelaide: 28 mins


Although not big enough for a giant, the Giant’s Cave is still a blast. For starters, the 3-km trail leading to the cavern is packed with wildlife—frogs and koalas being the main attractions.

You can reach this spot by making your way from the First Falls car park along the Fourth Creek track. There are bridges and signages, so walking is manageable despite the undulating terrain, but pushing prams may not be a good idea.

Once you’ve made your way through the flora, fauna, and dirt, you’ll find the cave, which is big enough for a small group of spelunkers to hang out and explore.

Tip: Wear sturdy and comfortable footwear with good traction to navigate the uneven terrain safely. This tip applies to all the caves.

Sellicks Beach Caves

– From darkeyesopen

Address: Sellicks Hill, SA 5174

Travel Time From Adelaide: 1 hr and 6 mins

Beyond the blue waters and powdery sand, Sellicks Beach is home to tiny but Insta-worthy caves, most of which boast limestone features.

Simply follow the beach’s shoreline and look for eroded rocks by the cliffs, as they’ll often lead you to the caves. However, you must be careful if you plan on climbing the boulders for a better look: some are brittle.

Tip: You can park on the southern end of Sellicks Beach, near the ‘No vehicles beyond this point’ sign. Alternatively, you can park 300 m from the main car park and take the long stairwell descent to the beach.

Rapid Bay Caves

– From rollinarouncoz

Address: Rapid Bay Cove Cave, Second Valley, SA 5204

Travel Time From Adelaide: 1 hr and 45 mins

Tucked away amid the picturesque scenery of rolling green hills and sandy white beaches lies the caves of Rapid Bay, treasure troves for adventurers seeking a taste of coastal exploration and caving.

Within the beach’s rugged rock formations, you’ll stumble upon sizable caverns. Smaller caves dot the landscape, too, but they’re more for scenic viewing rather than spelunking escapades.

For those with a knack for scaling cliffs, Rapid Bay also presents opportunities for rock climbing to uncover more hidden caverns, but it’s safer to leave this activity to the pros.

Tip: Bring your fishing gear. Rapid Bay has an abundance of snappers, tommy ruffs, salmon, and more.

Port Willunga Jetty Pylons

– From roaming.red

Address: Port Willunga Beach, Port Willunga SA

Operating Hours: Daily – 24 hours

Travel Time From Adelaide: 1 hr and 1 min

Clear waters, historical relics, and cool caves make Port Willunga Jetty Pylons a must-visit destination.

The beach’s caves are man-made—carved into the cliff face during the 1800s. Most visitors venture within the caverns to look for a unique place to chill and take in the scenery.

Plus, they provide the perfect vantage point for catching a stunning sunset over the horizon. Be warned though: if you visit during high tide, you might have wet feet as the water creeps right up to the beach entrance.

Tip: Go north if hunger pangs strike. There’s a kiosk about 220 m from the jetty.

Cave Garden / Thugi

– From our_wander_list

Address: 1 Bay Rd, Mount Gambier, SA 5290

Contact Details: 1800 087 187

Operating Hours: Daily – 24 hours

Travel Time From Adelaide: 4 hrs and 44 mins


Cave Garden or Thugi proves there’s beauty beneath, as this 30-m sinkhole in the middle of Mount Gambier‘s bustling city flaunts stunning roses and lush greenery.

Viewing is also breezy, as there are a plethora of platforms dramatically hanging over the cenote, providing a thrilling but safe glimpse into the depths below.

And if you time your visit on rainy seasons, you’ll be treated to the ultimate bonus: a breathtaking waterfall.

Tip: Visit during the evening to see light shows detailing Aboriginal Dreamtime tales. This event is on a nightly basis, but scheduling may vary due to season and daylight savings.

Engelbrecht Cave

– From paul.augustine

Address: 26 Chute St, Mount Gambier, SA 5290

Contact Details: (08) 8723 5552

Operating Hours: 

  • Mon to Tue – 9:30 am to 3 pm
  • Wed – Closed
  • Thu to Sun – 9:30 am to 3 pm

Travel Time From Adelaide: 4 hrs and 45 mins


Driving to the limestone coast isn’t a waste of time when you have Engelbrecht Cave waiting for you.

Nestled in a mountain’s heart, this 600-m sinkhole cave system offers guided tours and a diving lake for the brave souls ready to explore. 

But hold your breath. This cave is reserved for the pros with its challenging underwater terrain and dark passages.

The experience and vistas, though, are one of a kind. But hey, if you’re not up for the task, you can still indulge in alfresco dining by the cave’s entrance.

Tip: If planning to go on a diving escapade, contact tour providers at [email protected] or via the number above.

Umpherston Sinkhole / Balumbul

– From bad1.79

Address: Jubilee Highway East, Mount Gambier, Limestone Coast, SA 5290

Travel Time From Adelaide: 4 hrs and 46 mins

The 20-m Umpherston Sinkhole / Balumbul is the perfect definition of a beautiful disaster, as this natural masterpiece was created when the top of the chamber collapsed downwards.

From the viewing platforms, visitors can appreciate the cave’s impressive size and depth before descending into the sinkhole. You can also walk along the terraces and behind the hanging vines to get a unique perspective.

And if you’re looking to chill or wolf down a meal amid the striking backdrop, a large undercover shelter with group seating and a free barbecue is provided.

Tip: While the sinkhole is accessible in most weather conditions, heavy rain may cause slippery pathways or temporary closures. Check the weather forecast before your visit.

Blanche Cave

– From just_a_memory_collector

Address: Blanche Caves, Joanna, SA 5271

Travel Time From Adelaide: 3 hrs and 46 mins

Discovered by European settlers around 1845, Blanche Cave still rocks as a prime attraction today. This cave isn’t a one-trick pony; it flexes 3 chambers to explore, each with its own unique vibe and scenery.

The entrance chamber sets the scene with old wooden tables and benches, while the middle chamber offers killer ‘windows’ in the roof for that natural lighting effect.

Then there’s also the grand finale, the last chamber featuring the legendary ‘Lost Exhibit’ and even a bat guano quarry dubbed the ‘Devil’s Pit.’

Tip: The best way to explore the cave is via guided tours.

Second Valley Caves

– From thejohnsfamilyadventures

Address: Second Valley, SA 5204

Operating Hours: Daily – 24 hours

Travel Time From Adelaide: 1 hr and 29 mins

Coastal cliffs, pristine beaches, and caves—yeah, Second Valley has it all!

Head to the southern point of the second bay, and you’ll reach not one but two small caves at the base of the cliff, perfect for some spontaneous exploration.

And if you’re up for a bit of a swim, just a little further out, you’ll come across swim-through caves.

Bring your snorkeling or swimming gear. About 20 m offshore lies a small bommie, a hotspot for marine life enthusiasts.

Dive in, and you’ll spot several fishes, including the majestic leafy sea dragons. 

Naaracorte Caves

– From kirose.j

Address: 89 Wonambi Rd, Naracoorte, SA 5271

Contact Details: (08) 8760 1210

Operating Hours: Daily – 9 am to 5 pm

Travel Time From Adelaide: 3 hrs and 45 mins


Naracoorte Caves, a World Heritage Site recognized in 1994 for its extensive fossil record, is worth the long drive.

With a whopping 28 known caves in the park, 4 of which are open to the public, this place is a goldmine for cave enthusiasts. They have stalactites and stalagmites—natural wonders adding a touch of magic to every cave exploration.

Additionally, the cave has a constant temperature of 17 degrees centigrade, making it a top-tier destination no matter the season. Guided and self-guided tours are available, too, so you can explore at your own pace or with the expertise of a guide.

Tip: Stay in one of the nearest accommodations for a convenient caving experience.

Magazine Bay Cave

– From bradley_images

Address: Point Turton, SA 5575

Travel Time From Adelaide: 2 hrs and 41 mins

Magazine Bay’s ‘pebbled’ shoreline is its main attraction, but you can’t skip up on the beach’s cave—a hit spot among photographers looking for that 1-of-1 shot.

Accessible only from the beach, this compact cave is a breeze to reach with a set of stairs leading down and a short stroll along the coast.

Don’t let its size fool you! The historical significance of this cave adds an extra layer of intrigue. Once used to store explosives for a nearby quarry, the cave is now a testament to the area’s industrial past.

Tip: You can camp at Point Turton Caravan Park. This tip is essential for cavers who want to see the cave’s beauty during darker hours.

Kelly Hill Caves

– From kahei_leeJoanna

Address: Kelly Hill Conservation Park, Karatta, SA 5223

Contact Details: (08) 8553 4464

Travel Time From Adelaide: 4 hrs and 15 mins

About 200 million years old, Kelly Hill Caves provide an underground adventure like no other. With an audio-visual tour featuring narration and dynamic light displays, adventurers will enjoy an immersive journey through the caves’ rich history.

But the fun doesn’t stop there. The experience kicks off with a guided walk above ground where you’ll learn about the caves’ fascinating past and get a sneak peek at new interpretive signage, setting the stage for the underground extravaganza.

Once underground, prepare to be amazed by the stunning splendor of delicate stalagmites, stalactites, helictites, and towering columns.

Tip: Booking online is the most convenient way to secure a spot on the Kelly Hill Caves tour. For those unable to book and pay online, the option is available to do so in person.

Tantanoola Caves

– From take_it_ezy123

Address: 32047 Princes Hwy, Tantanoola, SA 5280

Contact Details: (08) 8734 4153

Operating Hours: Daily – 10 am to 3 pm

Travel Time From Adelaide: 4 hrs and 37 mins


Tantanoola Cave, created by the relentless pounding of the ocean, is an enchanting display of natural beauty.

Its walls are adorned in shades of pink and brown, courtesy of its dolomite base rock. Moreover, there are fascinating remnants left behind by the sea: shells, pebbles, and even seal bones.

Upon arrival, experts will welcome visitors via an event hosted by guides who spill the beans on the cave’s history and geology. From there, it’s up to you to roam freely through the cavern, snapping pics and soaking in the sights with no hurry.

Tip: If it’s not a hassle, bring your picnic essentials. The entrance to Tantanoola Caves is embraced by peaceful and jaw-dropping picnic grounds.
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