Visting the Cutta Cutta Caves....Katherine NT.
|The cave entrance.|
While visiting Katherine, we decided to venture out to visit the Cutta Cutta Caves. Something different from the usual tourist sights. The Caves are approximately 30 kilometres south of Katherine and are well signed so you cannot miss the turn off. The road into the information centre is not very wide, but it is sealed. There are toilets provided with some tables and chairs in the information centre building. There are also some souvenirs, a drink fridge and an ice cream fridge. Before you go visiting the caves it is a good idea to ring and book a tour as they can be very popular and full depending on the time of day. The tours leave the centre hourly with the last tour at 3pm. Be aware that it is the bush and so there can be other creatures about like spiders and snakes, so please wear closed in shoes. It is also a requirement of the tour, so no Aussie work boots aka thongs or sandals.
The Limestone caves go 15 metres below the surface of the ground. So, you can understand why they would flood. The Caves are closed in the wet season due to flooding and therefore dangerous to visit. I took a light jumper expecting the caves to be cold though when reaching the last part of the cave, it was quite warm. You are allowed to take photos and there is one area where you might find yourself close up and personal with the sides of the cave as the passageway can be narrow or low, so watch your head.
The walk to the caves is dirt and over some rocks, so it is not wheelchair or wheelie walker friendly. Before you enter the cave, the tour guide will give you a talk about the history of the cave and what to look out for during the walk through. We found the tour guide was very knowledgeable and helpful, she also had a good sense of humour which made the tour fun.
|Limestone and brown soils|
There are 5 species of bats living in the cave though only at the far end of the cave. People cannot access this part of the cave as the walkway ends before this opening. The Orange horseshoe bat, Brown tree snake and 2 species of blind shrimp are some of the creatures living in the cave. Will you see them on your visit? Hmm not sure. We saw markings in the sand from a snake but no sign of a snake. Along the way you may see Lizards, Bower birds and Wallabies just to name a few, see how many different animals you see on your walk. ￼
Cutta Cutta is a Janwoyn name for many stars. It was forbidden for Aboriginal people to enter the cave system. They believed this is where the stars were kept at night. Originally named Smith's cave, during war 2 servicemen renamed it 16-mile cave. The Park covers 1499 hectares of natural limestone landscape. They are believed to be formed over millions of years ago.
|Tree roots from above, down below|
The tour takes approximately 1 hour. There is another Woodland walk, 625 metres if you wish to spend more time in the area. There is plenty of parking for cars, buses and if you have a trailer or caravan attached. Picnic tables are provided around the parking area.
🐸🐸 Will you tour the caves and find something new and interesting?
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