You should allow a full hour for any of the cave tours.
At the lighthouses the tours are half an hour, but remember to allow extra time to wander through the grounds. Adventure Tours at Ngilgi are of various duration, as per the booking page.
The caves of the Margaret River Region are set deep within the limestone of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge; surrounded by coastal bushland in the region’s north, and towering forests in the south.
The lighthouses stand guard at the very edges of the capes; warning of treacherous waters beyond the rugged beauty of the coastline.
Some of the questions we are frequently asked by visitors to these amazing natural and heritage attractions are listed here, to help in your planning and preparation.
Each cave is unique and there is a cave tour experience to suit almost every visitor.
The Mammoth Cave has a long boardwalk entrance from the valley on the eastern side of the cave. This provides universal access into the first chamber of the cave (no prams); it’s the only wheelchair accessible cave in the region. After the first chamber, there are about 370 steps staged throughout the remainder of the cave, and a climb of 170 steps to exit up through the ridge on the western side of the cave.
At the other caves - Ngilgi Cave with 350 steps, Lake Cave with 325 steps and Jewel Cave with 250 steps - there is only one entrance/exit; so each step you went down you have to step back up!
Are all those stairs done at once?
No! At each cave the steps are staged, with sections of boardwalk between them, and rest-stops at platforms along the way.
Yes, photography is encouraged from the viewing platforms, but for safety reasons is not recommended when walking on the stairs.
You can use a flash, but most people find that they get better photos without it.
Can I take a tripod?
Tripods and selfie-sticks are not allowed in the cave. This is to ensure the safety of all visitors and the preservation of the delicate cave decorations, as well as adhering to timing constraints.
Yes, all the caves and both lighthouses are open, even if the weather is very wet.
Since there are quite a few steps involved in most of the tours, comfortable enclosed shoes are recommended, however you can still do the tours in thongs/flip flops/jandals if you feel you are able to.
The caves are fragile environments, and we try to minimise our impact on these irreplaceable natural attractions as much as possible; for this reason we ask visitors not to bring too much into the cave with them (remember also you will have to carry it while climbing!)
Do bring a camera (see Qu 3 & 4 above), and water if you need; but no other drinks, and no food. Depending on the weather; sunscreen, a hat and/or wet weather gear may be required. A jacket is sometimes required at the lighthouses, even in the summer months, as the wind at the Capes can be quite ‘invigorating’!
Yes, bookings are essential for all Adventure Tours at Ngilgi Cave. 72 hours’ notice is preferred, any less and the booking is not guaranteed.
As you walk through the caves, there will be places where you are required to bend down a little, or turn to the side slightly to avoid bumping your head or shoulder, but most of the caverns are quite open. If in doubt, the best cave to visit is Mammoth Cave, with its huge open caverns and easy entrance, it tends to allay most people’s phobias.
The Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse tower has 59 steps to climb up, while the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse has 176 steps, spiralling all the way up to the balcony at the top – it is the mainland’s tallest lighthouse after all!
The guide leading the tour will not take the group straight up to the top of the tower. The steps are staged, with rest stops at landings along the way as required. With a reasonable amount of determination, and a functional set of knees, almost anyone can get to the top!
Although the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse tower tour is suitable for children of any age, the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse tower does have a minimum age requirement.
Children must be four years of age to be able to join the tour, and they must climb up by themselves; they can’t be carried up the steps inside the tower.
Remotely piloted aircraft (Drones) in Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association (MRBTA) Managed Precincts
Remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs), also known as unmanned aerial vehicles or drones are growing in popularity for both recreational and commercial use, particularly for filming and photography.
These craft can pose potential danger to visitors if they crash. There are also environmental concerns relating to visual and noise impacts that may affect wildlife.
These craft may detract from other visitors’ experiences, places of cultural significance as well as impact on visitor privacy. Model aircraft, rockets and RPAs are considered aircraft under the Civil Aviation Regulations 1998.
Under regulation 65 of the Conservation and Land Management Regulations 2002 (CALM Regulations), launching, landing or making a touch down of such aircraft, except in an emergency on any estate belonging to the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions - Parks and Wildlife Service is only allowed if lawful authority (written permission) has been issued for a specific purpose.
MRBTA operates by the same regulations within the caves and lighthouse sites under our management. As such, members of the public are not allowed to operate drones at any of our attractions without prior written permission being granted.
Requests to fly drones at any of our sites must be made in writing to Mark Delane, Assets and Environment Manager at [email protected]