Deep beneath Tasmania's north-west are more than 300 known caves protected as Mole Creek Karst National Park.
Featuring a remarkable karst landscape formed millions of years ago when Tasmania was still part of the Gondwana supercontinent, this park at the edge of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area is a hidden world of spectacular limestone formations.
Expect superb stalactites, stalagmites and columns, glow-worms, subterranean streams and cathedral-like caverns.
Marakoopa and King Solomons are the two most accessible caves, with stunning displays and a unique view of this underground world.
There are other natural wonders, too, such as cave spiders and crickets that never see the light of day.
For a more intensive caving experience, take a customised half-day or whole-day tour with expert environmental interpretation and adventure challenges.
There are also numerous short walks above ground that explore the forests that conceal these magical caves.
This cave features two underground streams and the largest display of glow-worms in any public-access cave in Australia.
King Solomons Cave
More compact and drier than Marakoopa, King Solomons features lavish decorations and striking formations, including impressive shawls, stalactites and stalagmites.
The lesser-known caves are popular with recreational cavers and wild cave tours are available.
Westmorland Falls Trail
This trail (2hr return, 4km) delivers unspoilt rainforest as well as the cascades of the falls. Head out of Mole Creek on Caveside Road then turn right into Wet Cave Road (don’t say we didn’t warn you) and continue to the small car park.
Sensation Gorge Falls
It’s only 1.4km, but this trail is rated as difficult and will take about an hour return. From Mole Creek head to Overflow Creek on Liena Road; the trailhead is at the southern end of the gorge, near the bridge. Best experienced after rain.
Need to know
Tours and entry
Entrance to the caves is by tour only. Bookings can be made 14 days prior and are strongly recommended. A parks pass is required for entry to Tasmania’s national parks.
There are no camping facilities in the park, but accommodation is available in the nearby towns of Mole Creek and Sheffield.
The Better Son by Tasmanian novelist Katherine Johnson is set in the labyrinthine caves of the area and inspired by a true story of two brothers and their cave discovery.
A wheelchair-accessible picnic area is located about 500m before the entrance to Marakoopa Cave, with picnic tables and a sheltered barbecue. There are also accessible sheltered picnic tables and toilets adjacent to the cave entrance car park, although assistance may be required. The steps, uneven surface and width of the paths within the caves means that the tours are not suitable for most mobility-impaired people.
Mole Creek Karst National Park is a 30min drive (36km) west of Deloraine, and about 1hr (86km) from Launceston.