The Margaret River region is a popular tourist spot in WA that is known for its wineries, beaches, great shopping and caves. There are over 150 limestone caves scattered across the region. Mammoth Cave, Ngilgi Cave, Jewel Cave and Lake Cave are all open to the public and offer self-guided and guided tours to tourists.
It costs $22.50 for an adult to visit Jewel, Lake, Ngilgi or Mammoth cave and $12.00 for children aged between 4 and 16 years. Children under 4 are free of charge and all children under the age of 17 must be accompanied by an adult. A two cave pass costs $40 per person. A 3 cave pass costs $55 and four cave pass costs $67.
Lake Cave is located on Conto Rd & Caves Road in Boranup. It offers self-guided tours daily with the first one starting at 9am and the last one starting at 3.30pm. Additional tour times are available during school holidays and other peak periods. It does not offer self-guided tours. Lake Cave is located 20 minutes from Margaret River and is surrounded by thick green forest. There is a large gift shop out the front and a café that serves coffee, tea, ice cream and muffins and cake.
After you purchase your tour tickets you will be asked to step outside onto a wooden board walk high above the forest floor. From here you will be asked to descend a staircase down into a cavern surrounded by towering ancient trees. This part of the tour is like stepping into a lost world. There are trees taller than buildings and logs on the ground bigger than cars. The whole place feels ancient. It's beautiful.
At the bottom of the stairs, you will be at the entrance of Lake Cave. It is a hollowed out cavern with steep sides edged with trees and an overhanging ceiling encrusted with sharp jagged rocks. You will meet your tour guide here who will escort you all down into the cave.
You can bring kids to visit the cave but I wouldn't recommend bringing small children. We brought our two year old. We rung in advance to check if it would be ok and was told it would be fine but were warned there was a lot of steps and we would have to carry her down. We went there confident we could handle the steps but there were twice as many as in Mammoth Cave. It was a little bit difficult carrying our toddler down into the cave but not impossible. If you think you can handle the steps then do it. We weren't the only ones there with small children.
Once inside the cave your tour guide will walk you through it and explain how it formed and will point out some interesting landmarks with a torch. You will see natural formations like straws, stalactites and stalagmites and the famous "standing table" which is a rock formation that grows down from the ceiling and hangs suspended a few centimetres above the cave floor.
The tour guide using her torch to show us some things
The most beautiful part of Lake Cave is its lake. The lake is ankle deep and perfectly flat and clear like glass. I was a bit startled when I looked at it because reflected on its surface was a mirror image of the rock ceiling so flawless I thought I was looking at a giant hole. It took me a few seconds to realize it was just a reflection in water.
One interesting thing I can remember from our tour was when our guide told us that it takes 10 months for a drop of water to trickle down from the forest floor and fall into the cave lake. When a drop hit my hand I thought "Wow!"