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December 11, 2012

Capricorn Caves

Located in Central Queensland, just 23 kilometres north of Rockhampton, Capricorn Caves is a popular nature-based destination for tourists including families and adventurers. Pre-colonisation, Capricorn Caves remained largely undisturbed until 1882 when the Norwegian explorer, John Olsen opened them up as a tourist attraction.

In 1988 the Olsen family sold the freehold property to Ken and Ann Augusteyn who have endeavoured to preserve the natural values of the property and the caves. In 1997 the site was awarded an advanced ecotourism certification as well as winning several Queensland tourism awards.

Capricorn Caves The geological origins of Capricorn Caves dates back 390-million-years ago when the sedimentary limestone rock of the caves originated under the sea as corals growing in shallow waters around volcanic islands. Crustal plates colliding, volcanoes erupting and limestone rock building up on the seabed floors marked this tumultuous period in the geological timeline of the earth.

As the limestone emerged from the sea to become land, it became exposed to acidic rain and underground water flowing through cracks. These waters dissolved the calcite in limestone to form the caves we now see today. When the water became saturated with the dissolved calcite it redeposited the calcite as cave decorations.

In the month of December visitors to Capricorn Caves can witness another natural phenomenon thanks to the Summer Solstice Light that can be seen on the 11am morning tour. For the adventurous tourists, there are the Capricorn Caves underground exploration tours. This tour of the caves is aided by the use of a cave helmet and is a popular choice for those that enjoy the thrill of exploring the unique environment of an underground cave.

Capricorn CavesHowever, not all the tours at Capricorn Caves are for the adrenalin-seeking tourist. The most popular with visitors is the Cathedral Cave Tour. This particular tour has wheelchair access and is suitable for all ages and for people of all abilities. The amazing natural acoustics of the Cathedral Chamber also make the cave an interesting venue for weddings and musical performances’, including Christmas carols.

For visitors that want to stay on the property, there is a wide range of accommodation at Capricorn Caves. There are deluxe, honeymoon and standard cabins as well as a lodge and a caravan park. Facilities for guests include a restaurant, a licensed bar and a swimming pool. There are also wood fired barbecues, guided bush walks, wheel chair access and a gift shop.

For more info, visit Capricorn Caves’ website.

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