Brides Cave


Useful Information

Location: 20 km South of Margaret River on Caves Road.
(-34.086580, 115.039350)
Open: All year daily after appointment.
[2022]
Fee: Group (6) AUD 1,320, Additional AUD 220.
[2022]
Classification: KarstDoline SpeleologyKarst Cave
Light: bring torch
Dimension: Ø=35 m, VR=30 m.
Guided tours: D=2 h.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:  
Address: Outdoor Discoveries, P.O. Box 1024, Margaret River, Western Australia 6285, Tel: +61-8-9757-7281.
Brett Huntly, Tel: +61-407-084-945. E-mail:
Margaret River Climbing Co., Tel: +61-415-970-522. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History


Description

Brides Cave is actually a collapse doline, a huge pit with vertical walls and vegetation on the ground. There is only one way in and one way out – abseiling! The circular collapse doline is 35 m across falling 30 m on the lower side of the sloping floor or 17 m on the higer side. The overhanging parts of the cliff, formerly the ceiling of the cave, are full of stalactites. Once on the floor of the doline, there is narrow shaft leading further down into the remaining cave. There are fine speleothems and huge deposits of sand.

The development of the cave as a show cave was started long ago, but unfortunately a bush fire burnt the entrance gate and the top of the wooden platform before it was inaugurated. It seems this ended all development for good.

To enter the cave a permit from CALM in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park is required. So while it is possible for cavers to get such a permit, it is quite uncommon. Most people visit the pit with an adventure tours operator who does all the paperwork and provides the equipment. We have listed contact data for two, Outdoor Discoveries and Margaret River Climbing Co. There are probably many others.

The cave has suffered from human visitation. Many damages are a result of the failled attempt to develop it for tourism. But even the current use caused Considerable damage at the surface take-off point and at the abseil landing point, as well as on unstable slopes in the doline. A rather unimpressive but severely damaged slope was identified as an owl deposit containing millions of bones. Also the cave below was full of dirty speleothems by cavers thoughtless climbing. The cave was first cleaned by CALM and volunteers, flowstone formations washed and scrubbed to remove the dirt. To minimize further damages tracks were marked in the doline and in the cave, so visitor have to stay on those tracks.

If you are in the area visiting caves and do not plan to do such a strenuous tour, it might be nevertheless a good idea to see the cave. A walk around the rim offers great views of the doline, and probably tourists making a fool of themselves. And such a visit is free and does not require a permit.