Ngilgi Cave, previously known as Yallingup Cave, is five minutes from Yallingup in Western Australia’s Margaret River region in the state’s southwest. The cave is a karst system featuring stunning crystal formations including stalactites, stalagmites, helictites, and coloured shawls. The local Wardandi Aboriginal people have a relationship with Ngilgi Cave that spans tens of thousands of years and believe it to be their passage to the afterlife.
The first European to enter the cave was Edward Dawson in 1899. He stumbled upon the magnificent cave while looking for stray horses. For the 37 years that followed, Dawson led guided tours to ‘Yallingup Cave’ making it the first tourist attraction in WA. Today, semi-guided tours continue giving visitors the opportunity to learn about the Ngilgi Cave’s fascinating history and incredible features, while allowing time for personal exploration.
Head way out West and discover the beauty of WA’s wildflowers, natural formations and historic attractions. Flights take you in to Perth for 2 night stay with coach touring which includes visits to Geraldton, Dalwallinu, Hyden, Albany, Pemberton, Margaret River and Busselton. Cruise the Donnelly River, marvel at The Pinnacles and Wave Rock, enjoy the delights of Rottnest Island and be mesmerised by dreamtime legends in the Ngilgi Caves.
Ngilgi (pronounced Neelgee) Cave was called Yallingup Cave after the nearby town. The name was changed to Ngilgi in 2000 to recognise the important part the caves play in Australian Aboriginal mythology.
It is said that Ngilgi, the great spirit of the ocean was a good spirit who succeeded in battle against an evil spirit named Wolgine. This Dreamtime story is woven into the culture of the First Nation Wardandi people who are the custodians of the caves in the area.
These sacred caves date back half a million years and are one of the oldest and largest caves open to visitors in Western Australia.
Wadandi man Josh Whiteland, known by his Aboriginal name of Koomal is the creator of Koomal Dreaming, a tour that gives visitors the opportunity to hear Dreamtime stories, taste native foods, discover bush medicine, and experience a memorable didgeridoo performance in Ngilgi Cave.
Ngilgi Cave’s tour guides share information about the cave’s geological features and stories of its history, exploration, and importance as WA’s first tourist attraction. The guide then leaves visitors to explore the Ngilgi Caves on their own, at their own pace, with seats provided to rest, or just contemplate the beauty.
There is much to explore through the various interconnected caverns and chambers. Extensive boardwalks lead visitors through the cave’s labyrinth highlighting the many amazing features along the way while signs give interesting insights into each dazzling crystal structure.
Once at the centre of the cave, another tour guide is there to answer questions and provide even more fascinating information. Throughout the cave, spotlights highlight some of the amazing formations and hidden treasures, while perfectly positioned coloured lights give the caves an even more magical quality and take the Ngilgi Cave tour from amazing to astonishing!
The semi-guided show cave tour takes approximately one hour to complete.
Ngilgi Cave has 350 steps. The cave has only one way in and out so it’s wise to pace yourself on the way down, so you have enough steam to get back up again!
Ngilgi Cave maintains a constant temperature of 20 ̊C, making it a perfect spot to visit at any time of the year.
There is exceptional lighting throughout Ngilgi Caves. While with the tour guide, they will operate the lighting as you move through the various sections and use their torch to highlight specific areas of interest.
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