Princess Margaret Rose Cave

Useful Information

Location: At the south-western corner of Victoria, 447 km west of Melbourne and 2 km inside the state boundary. Within the Lower Glenelg National Park. Sealed road from Mount Gambier (34 km). From Nelson Nelson-Mount Gambier Rd to the border, then signposted right good unsealed road, 12 km to the caves. From Nelson also 3.5-hour river cruises through Glenelg River Gorge to the cave.
Open: All year daily 10, 11, 12, 13:30, 14:30, 15:30, 16:30
Fee: Adults AUD 6.20.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: D=40 min. V=10,000/a[2000]
Address: Princess Margaret, Rose Caves, P.O.Box 898, Mt. Gambier SA 5290, Tel: +61-87-38-4171.
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.


1936 discovered by Keith McEarchern on his ground. First exploration and start of development.
1941 opened to the public.


Glenelg River flows 470 km from its source in the Grampians to the estuary at Nelson. The last 15 km part of its path is the approximately 50 m deep Glenelg River Gorge. The area around Glenelg River is composed of limestone, a karst area drained by the river.

Princess Margaret Rose Cave is one of numerous caves in this area, formed when the river flowed 15 m above its present height. It is a beautiful stream-passage cave with nice speleothems.

It was discovered, explored and developed by Keith McEarchern. He first entered the cave down a 17.5 metre deep shaft, he discovered on his ground. The cave was named in honour of Princess Margaret (*1930-✝2002), the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II.

The present entrance was dug through the soft limestone, the original entrance which is incredible steep is still visible with knotches in the sides of the cave where the timbers for the stairs were located. The tour goes as far as the final, but unsuccessful dig. If the group is small enough the guide will take you down a small passage close to the speleothems. The original guide used to play the spoons on the on the stals, which suffered accordingly. Large scallops on the walls and large suspended flowstones are a feature of this beautiful cave.

Text by Tony Oldham (2002). With kind permission.