With its peculiar rock formations, gaping caverns and underground caves dripping with stalactites, stalagmites and flowstones, the dramatic topography of Chillagoe-Mungana Caves National Park makes it one of Queensland’s most unique national parks. The mesmerizing landscape was formed some 400 million years ago, the result of an ancient inland sea sculpting the soft limestone rock, and there are hundreds of caves to explore.
Today, the caves provide a habitat for several animal species, including bats, spotted pythons and white-rumped swiftlet, while fossilized bones of now-extinct creatures like giant kangaroos and giant wombats have also been unearthed in the caves. A network of short hikes and walking trails connect the caves and highlights include the landmark Archways and Balancing Rock; the Pompeii and Bauhinia Caves; a series of aboriginal rock art galleries; and the Chillagoe smelters, home to relics of the region’s 19th-century mines.
Chillagoe-Mungana Caves National Park is located 215km west of Cairns in northern Queensland. There is no admission fee.