Ngilgi Cave

Yallingup Cave


Useful Information

Location: 76 Yallingup Caves Rd, Yallingup, WA, 6282.
Off Caves Road, 2 km East of Yallingup. 34 km from Busselton, 10 km from Dunsborough.
(-33.642211, 115.034217)
Open: All year daily 9-17.
Tours 9:30-16, every 30 minutes.
Closed 25-DEC.
[2022]
Fee: Adults AUD 22.50, Children (4-16) AUD 11.50, Seniors AUD 20.
[2022]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System LightSon et Lumière
Dimension: T=20 °C.
Guided tours: semi-guided, D=60 min.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:  
Address: Your Margaret River Region, 100 Bussell Highway, Margaret River WA 6285, Tel: +61-8-9757-7411. E-mail:
Ngilgi Cave, 76 Yallingup Caves Road, Yallingup WA 6282.
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

10-OCT-1899 discovered by Edward Dawson looking for stray horses.
11-OCT-1899 first exploration by Edward Dawson, Seymour and Curtis.
1900 first guided tours by Edward Dawson.
1903 electric light installed.
1905 Caves Hotel established.

Description

This cave was originally called Yallingup Cave, after the nearby town. Later it was renamed Ngilgi Cave because of its association with an Aboriginal legend describing the battle between a good spirit named Ngilgi and an evil spirit named Wolgine.


Ngilgi, a good warrior spirit, lived near the sea. Wolgine, an evil spirit, lived in the cave. Concerned about the welfare of his people, Ngilgi gathered together the spirits of the waves, lightning, rain, thunder and wind and they created a huge storm. Ngilgi attacked Wolgine and he gradually drove Wolgine back through the cave. But the battle was so wild, a tunnel collapsed and cut off the cave from the sea. At last Wolgine was driven up through the earth creating the present entrance. Wolgine was banished from the cave and Ngilgi claimed it as his own. Thus the cave became known as Ngilgi's Nurilem.


Aboriginal legend.

This story is quite interesting. It tells a true story, a catastrophic event which was witnessed by the locals. During a storm the sea entered the cave system and the forces resulted in a collapse, which can still be seen today as a deep gully a short distance from the cave. Another collapse opened the modern entrance. Wolgine driven up through the present entrance resembles blowing holes, where seawater is pressed into caves and blows out of rear side holes producing impressive fountains of sea water.

The tours into the cave are called semi-guided, which we never heard before. It seems, the guides are available to answer questions but do not explain anything of their own. At least there is a sort of kick-off meeting first, the guide accompanies the visitors from the entrance to the first chamber named The Amphitheatre. On the way they get a prep-talk. Then they explore at their own pace.

Even more interesting than the geology of the caves is the palaeontological wealth. Excavations revealed the remains of a Tasmanian tiger (Thylacinus cynocephalus), possums, bats, and kangaroos.

Update [2022]: We review pages now and then, update entrance fees, which seem to grow continually, and much faster than inflation would suggest. When we updated this page we were rather astonished. First they changed the prices without actually raising them, the price for children went down substantially. Then there were half a dozen themed tours, like lantern tours, which were discontinued. We guess there was a change in management, but were not able to find out who actually manages the caves.