caves at Naracoorte:
Apart from Victoria
Fossil Cave, there are 25 other caves in the Naracoorte Caves complex.
Two of these, Blanche and Alexandra, are today tourist caves.
Most contain some fossil
and sub-fossil remains. Ongoing exploration continues to reveal extensions
and connections between caves. Indeed, the geology would predict
ultimately a connection between most elements in the system with a very
high probability of encountering further fossil chambers.
view from inside Blanche Cave.
Details of present
and/or proposed use of property:
Victoria Fossil Cave
is open for guided inspection 7 days per week, the Fossil Bed in the Fossil
Chamber being an integral part of the visitor experience. A survey
conducted by the South Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service (1986)
found that some 45% of visitors to Naracoorte Caves (over 1,000 on some
days in the year) visited Victoria Fossil Cave. In the Fossil Chamber,
a display of representative fossils is maintained on site with large bones
being reliefed and left in situ in the viewable part of the Fossil Bed.
In the Visitors Centre, 1.5 km from Victoria Fossil Cave entrance, the
Interpretation Centre also displays fossils (and casts of fossils) from
the site, as well as: maps of the Naracoorte caves; charts, dioramas and
explanations of cave formation, the geology of the area and deposition
of sediments and bones in Victoria Fossil Cave. The original visitors
centre was replaced by a new, multi-million dollar development (Wonambi
Fossil Centre) incorporating a reconstruction of the extinct animals and
their environment. Blanche and Alexandra Caves are also open for
guided inspection daily, and during the summer months particularly, visitors
can watch the nightly exit of thousands of Southern bent-wing bats (Miniopterus
schreibersii bassanii) from Bat Cave as well as observe bats in their
maternity cave using remote infrared cameras housed in a Bat Interpretation
Centre. The park also offers a range of caves suitable for recreational
use by schools, youth groups, inexperienced and experienced cavers, and