Skip to content
Find a Park > Limestone Coast

Tantanoola Caves Conservation Park

  • Information Office
  • Picnic Areas
  • Toilets
  • Guided Tours
  • Disabled Toilets
  • Walking Trails

About

Come and discover one of South Australia's most impressive caves at the Tantanoola Caves Conservation Park.

This spectacular cave, set into a cliff face, is believed to have been exposed by the constant pounding of the ocean. Over time the sea has retreated leaving behind a cavern of interesting shells, pebbles and seal bones.

Today, Tantanoola Caves comprises an extraordinary display of cave decorations (speleothems) in beautiful shades of pink and brown, coloured by its dolomite base rock. The 'Up and Down Rocks' is a special highlight.

Tantanoola is one of Australia's few wheelchair accessible caves. Upon arrival, enjoy a special hosted experience as a knowledgeable guide introduces you to the history and geology of the caves and explains how its spectacular array of formations has developed over thousands of years. You are then free to stroll through the large cavern at your leisure and take photographs.

Above ground, take advantage of the picturesque picnic grounds and the cliff top walking trail which offers panoramic views of the surrounding district.

Opening hours

September to April

Open daily 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Closed Christmas Day

May to August

Open Saturday, Sunday and Monday 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

School holidays

Tantanoola Caves is open for SA and VIC school holidays and all public holidays.

South Australian school holiday dates

Spring: 29 September 2018 - 14 October 2018
Summer: 15 December 2018 - 28 January 2019
Autumn: 13 April 2019 – 28 April 2019 

Contact details

Tantanoola Caves Conservation Park
Phone: (+61 8) 8734 4153

Getting there

Tantanoola Caves Conservation Park is located 29km north west of Mount Gambier. Access is via the Princes Highway.

Accessibility

Parks are for all to enjoy, we would love to hear from you about your experience in nature. You can share your comments, pictures and videos with us and others by tagging @NationalParksSA on Facebook,  Instagram or email us.

See and do

Caves

Tantanoola Caves is one of Australia's few wheelchair accessible caves. Upon arrival, enjoy a special hosted experience as a knowledgeable guide introduces you to the history and geology of the caves and explains how its spectacular array of formations has developed over thousands of years. You are then free to explore the large cavern at your leisure and take photographs.

Check out Push Adventures blog – Add this to your bucket list for a description of great accessible spots to visit in the Limestone Coast region.

Dogs not allowed

Dogs are not permitted in this park.

Discover which parks you can walk your dog in on our find a park tool or read 12 dog-friendly walks in Adelaide Parks by Good Living for inspiration.

Assistance dogs

Assistance dogs are permitted in most public places and are therefore welcome in South Australia’s parks and reserves. Assistance dogs must be appropriately restrained on a lead and remain under your effective control at all times while in a park or reserve.

As per the dogs in parks and reserves policy, if the dog is not an accredited assistance dog, they must be trained to assist a person with a disability to alleviate that disability and meet standards of hygiene and behaviour appropriate for a dog in a public place. However, refusal may be given if the person with the disability is unable to produce evidence the dog is an assistance dog with the appropriate training.

Before taking your assistance dog into a park that does not normally allow dogs, it is highly recommended that you contact us so we can provide you with the latest information on any potential hazards within specific parks that may affect your dog. Please contact the park via the contact details provided under the contact tab or call the information line on (+61 8) 8204 1910.

Useful information

  • Important: Collection of firewood within National Parks is prohibited. Dead wood plays a vital role in providing shelter for animals and adding nutrients to the soil.

Facilities

Visitors can explore the information centre and learn about the caves during a guided tour. Bring a packed lunch and enjoy an open air meal in one of the picnic areas located in the park. Toilets and disabled toilets are available within the park.

Traditional owners

Aboriginal peoples have occupied, enjoyed and managed the lands and waters of this State for thousands of generations. For Aboriginal first nations, creation ancestors laid down the laws of the Country and bestowed a range of customary rights and obligations to the many Aboriginal Nations across our state. 

There are many places across the State that have great spiritual significance to Aboriginal first nations.  At some of these places Aboriginal cultural protocols, such as restricted access, are promoted and visitors are asked to respect the wishes of Traditional Owners.

In places where protocols are not promoted visitors are asked to show respect by not touching or removing anything, and make sure you take all your rubbish with you when you leave.

Aboriginal peoples continue to play an active role in caring for their Country, including in parks across South Australia. 

Plants and animals

Flora and fauna species lists

To download flora (plants) and fauna (animals) species lists for this park, use the 'Create Simple Species List' tab under 'Flora Tools' or 'Fauna Tools'  in NatureMaps

Take a virtual tour

Take a virtual tour of this park. Get a taste for the beauty of the magical underground world that this park protects.

See and do

Cave tours

No visit to the Tantanoola Caves National Park is complete without a cave visit. Our tours are informative and very popular.

Upon arrival, enjoy a special hosted experience. A knowledgeable guide will introduce you to the history and geology of the caves and explain how it's spectacular array of formations has developed over thousands of years. You are then free to stroll through the large cavern at your leisure and take photographs.

Easter and school holiday tour times (Friday 14 April 2017 - Friday 28 April 2017): 10am, 10.30am, 11am, 11.30am, 12noon, 1pm, 1.30pm, 2pm and 2.30pm.

Bushwalking

While visiting the caves take advantage of the cliff top walking trail which offers panoramic views of the surrounding district.

Bushwalking is a fantastic way to connect with nature, keep fit and spend time with family and friends. South Australia's national parks feature a range of trails that let you experience a diversity of landscapes.

Mountain biking

Mountain biking is currently not permitted in this park. 

Stay in the park

Camping is not permitted within this park.

  • Use Find a Park to discover which parks you can camp in.

Volunteering

Want to help?

To find out how you can help in this park or nearby, please visit Natural Resources South East – Volunteering.

Want to join others and become a Park Friend?

To find out more about Friends of Parks groups please visit Friends of Parks South Australia.

You could join others to help look after a park. You can take part in working bees, training and other events.

 

Safety

Bushwalking

The international Trail Users Code of Conduct is to show respect and courtesy towards other trail users at all times.

Ensure that you:

  • when hiking, wear sturdy shoes, a hat and sunscreen
  • be aware of weather conditions and avoid walking during the hottest part of the day
  • make sure you have appropriate weather proof clothing
  • carry enough water to be self-sufficient
  • please be respectful of other users at all times
  • stay on the designated trails and connector tracks for your own safety, and prevent the spread of declared weeds to other areas in the park
  • ensure someone knows your approximate location and expected time of return
  • take appropriate maps.
  • Walk, hike or trek - what's the difference?

Fire

Can I have a fire or barbecue?

  • Wood fires and solid fuel fires are prohibited between 22 November 2018 to 30 April 2019.
  • You must bring your own firewood, as the collection of firewood within National Parks is prohibited.
  • Gas fires and liquid fuel fires are permitted through the year, other than on days of total fire ban.
  • Ensure you are familiar with the fire restrictions for this park.

 

Closures and safety

This park is closed on days of Catastrophic Fire Danger and may also be closed on days of Extreme Fire Danger.

You can determine the current fire danger rating by checking the Fire Ban District map on the CFS website.

Check the CFS website or call the CFS Bushfire Information Hotline 1800 362 361 for:

Listen to your local area radio station for the latest updates and information on fire safety.

Know before you go

Every national park is different, each has its own unique environment, it is important to be responsible while enjoying all the park has to offer.

Please ensure that you:

  • leave your pets at home
  • do not feed birds or other animals, it promotes aggressive behaviour and an unbalanced ecology
  • do not bring generators (except where permitted), chainsaws or firearms into the park
  • leave the park as you found it - place rubbish in the bins provided or take it with you
  • abide by the road rules (maintain the speed limit)
  • respect geological and heritage sites
  • do not remove native plants
  • are considerate of other park users.

  • Important: Collection of firewood within National Parks is prohibited. Dead wood plays a vital role in providing shelter for animals and adding nutrients to the soil.

Maps

Fees

Entry fees

Entrance to the conservation park, including the Clifftop Loop Walk, is free of charge, however, fees apply for cave tours (see tab below).

Cave tours

Adult - $14.00
Concession - $11.00
Child - $7.00
Family (2 adults and 2 children OR 1 adult and 3 children) - $35.50
School group (per student) - $6.50
Adult group (per adult, min 10 people) - $10.00
Child group (per child, min 10 people) - $6.50
Learn by activity (per child) - $9.00

Other fees and permits

Venue hire fees

Wedding ceremonies - $459.00

Please contact the park office for more information.

Tantanoola Caves Conservation Park
Phone: (+61 8) 8734 4153

PDF Park Brochure