I am always looking out for new experiences, wherever I may find myself.
Published October 26th 2014
The Kelly Hill Caves are one of the many attractions on the western side of Kangaroo Island and show that the popular destination has plenty to see underground as well as above it. In fact, I've visited a few caves in the last few years, such as the Wellington Caves and Yarrangobilly's South Glory Cave, but the Kelly Hill Caves may well be my favourite.
The caves are in Kelly Hill Conservation Park
The reason I liked these ones so much is that they offer the best of both worlds: there's plenty of stalactites and other interesting formations, but you also get the large caverns too. To see it all you can do a guided show cave tour, but there is also the option of doing an adventure tour, open to anyone eights years and older.
There are quite large spaces
Plenty of impressive stalactites hang from the roof of the cave
I did the show cave tour, which takes you to three different sections among what is a whole series of sinkholes and caverns that is yet to be fully explored, but is thought to stretch for nine kilometres. You spend around 10 minutes in each area, marveling at the formations and asking questions. At one stage you get to feel the rocks and understand the weight of different types. My guide was open to all kinds of questions and very personable.
The caverns extend out of sight
Blue lights make many scenes even better
This beautiful shawl almost escaped notice, being so low down under a ledge but luckily the lights helped attract attention to it
Tours run every hour, which is particularly helpful if you're visiting other attractions in the area, because it can be hard to predict when you're going to make it here. Some of the other things to see further west include the Remarkable Rocks, New Zealand fur seals and Admiral's Arch in Flinders Chase National Park. The Koala Walk at Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is also located between the park and the caves.
The people in charge of Kelly Hill Caves seem well aware people could show up at any time and have created different walks to do of various lengths, which will take you to the cave mouth while also using up any time you have to spare. There's also lots of picnic areas too.
I got to the caves twenty minutes early, but instead of doing a walk, spent time marveling at the local birdlife. There were crimson rosellas emerging out of tree hollows, a tiny bird eating from the long stalk of a grasstree and galahs in appearing from a dead tree branch.
I expected the caves to be good, and hopefully different, as there aren't many dry limestone caves in the country. But they delivered in ways I didn't expect.