Uncover the mysteries of the past at the history rich and fossil filled Wellington Caves.
Read on to discover the best things to do and see at the Wellington Caves or find and book accommodation at the Wellington Caves today.
The Wellington Caves are an extraordinary remnant of our prehistoric past. Located only eight kilometres from the town of Wellington, this collection of limestone caves is littered with ancient fossils and fascinating natural wonders, while the complex itself offers a selection of truly unique attractions in itself.
Aside from exploring the two fascinating caves, the Wellington Caves offers a range of interesting things to do. Visit the charming bird aviary, pick up a brochure at the kiosk and try to identify fossils yourself along the fossil trail, stop by the unique bottle house built out of wine bottles and pick up a souvenir, or have a round of golf at the golf course. The town of Wellington itself has many historic buildings and other attractions, as well as the scenic Cameron Park beside the Macquarie River.
The smaller of the two caves, Gaden Cave is a wonderful underground marvel, and one well worth taking the time to tour. The limestone here formed under the sea in Devonian times, 400 million years ago, and throughout the cave you can see a wonderful display of stalactites and shawl formations, as well as examples of the mysterious helictites, which grow horizontally in the caves. Although Gaden Cave is inactive at present, it was active several years ago when very heavy rain soaked this country and seeped down into the cave system.
The phosphate mine operated from 1914-1918 and, despite the huge amount of hard work that went into opening the mine, phosphate reserves were inadequate to make a profit and investors lost their money. The phosphate layer is formed from bat guano, in this case from a variety of ghost bats thought to have been extinct for 200 million years. Some of the original railway lines, a skip, tools and old timber supports can still be seen, as well as many fossils. In fact, the first mega fauna fossils ever found in Australia – from the Diprotodon – were discovered here. The Diprotodon is said to be the largest marsupial that ever lived, weighing up to 3t.
The bigger of the two caves, Cathedral Cave is an awe inspiring sight to behold. The top section of the Cathedral Cave is a huge cavern called ‘the cathedral’. The ‘altar’ at one end is an amazing formation, and has been used for church services and weddings. Further down, you will find a crystal clear pool of seepage water, which apparently contains no living creatures. A short staircase leads into ‘thunder cave’ where the acoustics are almost perfect.
One of the other key attractions at the complex is the Japanese Gardens, which were built as a gift from Osawano, Wellington’s sister city in Japan. Water tumbles down a man-made ‘mountain’ over several small waterfalls, ending up in a pond filled with huge koi carp. A water pavilion overlooks this pond and is a good place to view the fish and duck population, and to simply relax and soak up the atmosphere.
Wellington is located 360km north-west of Sydney.
Situated on the Mitchell Highway, the Wellington Caves are a four and a half hour drive from Sydney.
Flights operate between Sydney and Dubbo, taking only one hour, with the Wellington Caves less than an hours’ drive from Dubbo, down the Mitchell Highway.
Tours are conducted daily throughout the year, closed only on Christmas Day.
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