Yanchep Caves

Crystal Cave - Yanchep Crystal Cave


Useful Information

Location: Yanchep.
45 minutes north of Perth.
(-31.547573, 115.692665)
Open: All year daily 10, 11:15, 13, 14:15, 15:30.
[2022]
Fee: Adults AUD 16, Children (6-14) AUD 8, Children (0-5) free, Concessions AUD 12, Families (2+2) AUD 40.
Day Use Fee: Car AUD 15, Motorcycle AUD 8.
[2022]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension:  
Guided tours: D=45 min, L=250 m, VR=12 m.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:  
Address: Yanchep Caves, Yanchep National Park, Indian Ocean Drive, Yanchep W.A. 6035, Tel: +61-8-9303-7759. 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

1838 Lieutenant George Grey travelled through the area and noted remarkable caves he found in the area.
1841 Surveyor John Septimus Roe and Governor John Hutt visited the caves in the park.
1903 Crystal Cave discovered by Henry White.
1930s wooden stairs installed.
1957 Yanchep National Park established.
17-FEB-2006 listen in the Western Australia Heritage Register.

Description

The Yanchep National Park is one of Perth's most popular recreation areas and tourist destinations. 2842 ha of bushland, wetlands, woodlands and caves. The Name Yanchep was derived from the Aboriginal word Yanget, which means Bulrush, named after the bulrushes which fringe the lakes. Currently, there is one tourist cave in the National Park called Crystal Cave.

Crystal Cave is known for a wealth of speleothems, stalactites, stalagmites, shawls, columns and helictites. Tickes are available online or at McNess House Visitor Centre. The cave is entered down a long staircase, which was built into the entrance discovered by Henry White in 1903. He was the first settler to arrive in the area in 1901 and built his house near the north west shore of Yonderup Lake and was appointed as a caretaker and guide. After his discovery of Crystal Cave he started to build first trails and guided visitors into the cave. It was still necessary to climb down on a rope, and the only light were handheld lanterns. After a donation in the 1930s the steep parts were equipped with wooden stairs.

Yanchep is located at the end of a chain of lakes situated on the Swan Coastal Plain. These lakes are cenotes, windows to a huge waterfilled underground cave system. The limestone here is only 10 m above the water table resulting in frequent collapses. The area has possibly over 1000 caves and karst features, most caves are of the small, crawly inclined fissure type. The Yanchep cave area is contained mainly within the Yanchep National Park but extends south to the semi-residential Wanneroo area.

East of Yanchep area is a vast area of sand plain at the base of the Darling Fault Scarp. This area serves as a catchment for the Gnangara water mound, a feature of great importance in the future of Perth's water supply. The slope of this mound increases in the area of the Yanchep caves and the water moves mainly as streams down this gradient. The numerous enclosed water-logged depressions and lakes within the karst no doubt play a role in recharging karst water and may themselves be the result of a series of cavern collapses and stream diversions. Springs have been seen under the sea west of Yanchep.