The Margaret River Region is famous for its beautiful and unique caves. Ngilgi Cave is located a short distance from Yallingup and is one of Geographe Bay's most popular tourist attractions. It is located beneath the limestone ridge that forms Cape Naturaliste. It was discovered in 1899 by a European settler called Edward Dawson who went looking for some stray horses. He got permission from the government to open up the cave for tours and proudly served as a guide until November 1937.
Ngilgi Cave was originally named Yallingup Cave but was re-christened Ngilgi Cave to acknowledge the important role that the cave plays in local Aboriginal mythology. Ngilgi Cave (pronounced Neelgee) is named after a good spirit called Ngilgi who battles an evil spirit called Wolgine. The story has been passed down for generations by the Wardani people who are the traditional custodians of the caves in the region.
Ngilgi Cave is home to some stunning stalactite, stalagmite, helicitite and shawl formations. After Dawson opened the cave to tours word quickly spread about how beautiful the cave was causing a big uptick in tourism to the South West. The cave tours were so popular in 1905 the Caves Hotel opened up to accommodate people coming into the region to visit the caves.
Your tour guide will escort you to the first chamber...
Ngilgi Cave was the first cave in Western Australia to be fitted with electric lights and it has been the site of two world cave sitting records, numerous weddings and even concerts! A grand piano was even once lowered down into the cave so an ambitious young woman could give a one-of-a-kind singing performance. Don't ask me how they got it down there.
And then you're off on your own to explore the place at your lesiure
Ngilgi Cave is a fun place to visit with the entire family. A single ticket for an adult costs $22, a child between 4 and 16 years is $12.50, a family consisting of two adults and two children is $58.00 with additional children costing $8 and tickets for seniors cost $20.00. Children under the age of 4 are free. Children under the age of 17 must be accompanied by an adult.
Photography is allowed (but no tripods, stands or selfie-sticks) and you are not allowed to touch any of the rocks or fossils. The Ngilgi Cave site has a café, a playground, barbecue facilities and walk trails. Bookings are required. You can purchase tickets at the Ngilgi Cave site, over the phone or at the Margaret River, Busselton, Dunsborough or Augusta Visitor Centres.
Ngilgi Cave is home to some stunningly beautiful rock formations
You can explore the cave at your own place or take one of their more adventurous tour packages like the Ancient Riverbed Adventure Tour or the Crystal Crawl Adventure Tour, the Explorer Adventure Tour or the Ultimate Ngilgi Adventure Tour. For more information about each of these please click HERE.
My husband and I have been slowly ticking off each of the caves in the Margaret River region. We have seen Mammoth Cave and Lake Cave. After visiting Lake Cave last year, which had a ridiculous number of steps, I was a bit anxious about doing another cave with our small daughter in tow again. Our trip to Lake Cave was exhausting. We had to carry our then two-year-old down several hundred steps down to the cave entrance. It was do-able but a huge pain in the backside. We almost didn't do Ngilgi Cave because we were worried that there would be a lot of steps again but thankfully it wasn't as bad as Lake Cave.
It should take you about an hour to explore the entire cave
The entrance to the cave is built into the ground. You have to go down a short staircase and then you're in the first chamber. Ngilgi Cave has several levels at various depths you can explore. There are staircases and lots of viewing platforms. You can explore the cave at your own pace. There are signs throughout the cave that have interesting facts on them about the cave.
I liked how Ngilgi Cave was big, spacious and not that too difficult for us to get around. We were able to visit the first few couple of chambers and take some awesome photographs before having to turn around and go back up.
We could have gone down further but the tunnels got pretty narrow so we decided it was too difficult with a toddler. If you have big kids I would recommend trying to go down as deep as you can. Ngilgi Cave was a fun place to visit. We only have one more cave left to tick off our list. Next stop Jewel Cave!
Cost:Adults: $22.50, Children (4-16 years): $12.50, Family (2 adults and 2 children): $58.00 additional children: $8.00, Seniors: $20.00, children under the age of 4 are free of charge and children under the age of 17 must be accompanied by an adult.