I am always looking out for new experiences, wherever I may find myself.
Published April 11th 2012
South Glory Cave is one of a series of caves at Yarrangobilly in Kosciusko National Park. The caves are located in a 440 million year old sandstone belt, around 1.5 kilometres wide and 14 kilometres long. While a few caves in the series are open to the public, South Glory Cave offers the only self-guided tour and is the cheapest and longest option available. It is also the youngest cave on show, at less than 100,000 years old.
To get to the cave you will have to walk from Glory Hole car park. It's an easy walk and the scenery is as an attraction itself. You're quite high up and are able to look out over the Yarrangobilly River curving along the narrow valley. I even saw a pademelon on the way. When you finally come round the last corner to the cave entrance you will be confronted with a scene like something from Lord of the Rings. The dimensions seem wrong, the cave too large.
Inside, the cave is around 9ºC to 11ºC so dress warmly. It's important to wear good shoes too, because the ground is pretty wet. Even the rocks are wet, which adds an interesting effect to many of the formations. They look like foam or liquid and you want to touch them to reassure yourself they're actually solid.
This cave is not like others I have visited, with their emphasis on spectacular rock formations. It seems much rougher, the colours duller and while it does have the stalagmites, stalactites, straws and more, they're often less picturesque, looking almost as if the rock has somehow oozed over the true formations hiding underneath. Notable attractions in the cave include rock piles and large decorations.
Enjoyment of this cave comes from discovering what's around each corner. Without a guide you have no idea what to expect. At one stage you walk through a narrow gap between two large rocks to find yourself in a large cavern, where the shadows on the ceiling look disconcertingly like bats. The lights are automated and will only come on as you walk through. But don't be concerned you will miss out on the learning experience a guide would provide; plaques are included regularly along the 470 metre route.
Once you've enjoyed South Glory Cave there are two other caves regularly open to the public that you may want to try. In Jersey Cave you will find some of the best cave decorations at Yarrangobilly, including rare grey and black flowstones and Cleopatra's Needle, a 4 metre tall stalagmite. Jillabenan Cave, the smallest but oldest cave on show (it was formed 2 million years ago), is full of different rock formations, including helictites. If you're traveling with a group you may also want to make arrangements to see North Glory Cave, which is usually closed to the public. The Yarrangobilly Thermal Pool is also located on this site.