Your chance to celebrate 25 years of Naracoorte Caves’ World Heritage status

Your chance to celebrate 25 years of Naracoorte Caves’ World Heritage status

EVENT: Ready for some mega-fun? Join the cel­e­bra­tions at the Nara­coorte World Her­itage Fes­ti­val this November.

Do you know about the Aus­tralian megafau­na that roamed South Aus­tralia 500,000 years ago, includ­ing giant mar­su­pi­als like the two and a half metre kan­ga­roo (Pro­coptodon goli­ah) or the biggest mar­su­pi­al ever found which hap­pens to look like a giant wom­bat (Diprotodon opta­tum)?

While it sounds incred­i­ble – like some kind of strange sci-fi fan­ta­sy – we know it’s true from the sci­en­tif­ic evi­dence pre­served deep below the ground in the Nara­coorte Caves.

Your chance to celebrate 25 years of Naracoorte Caves’ World Heritage status

The Nara­coorte Caves are locat­ed in the state’s south-east, about an hour dri­ve from Mount Gambier.

This year the site cel­e­brates 50 years since the dis­cov­ery of the main fos­sil cham­ber in one of its caves – Vic­to­ria Fos­sil Cave – and 25 years since the caves were inscribed on the World Her­itage list.

Here’s how you can be part of the celebrations:

Mega Fest Festival

The activ­i­ty-packed Nara­coorte World Her­itage Fes­ti­val and Run, dubbed Mega Fest, will be held on Sun­day 24 Novem­ber at the Nara­coorte Caves.

If get­ting active is your thing, you can take part in the World Her­itage Trail Run where can you run or walk your per­fect dis­tance, from the 1km fos­sil dash to the 22km megafau­na run.

Maybe you pre­fer to kick back and relax? No prob­lem – you can indulge in region­al food and wine, and enjoy oth­er activ­i­ties like sci­ence talks, live enter­tain­ment and a farm­ers market. 

Arrive ear­ly to see per­for­mances by Pro­fes­sor Flint, a singing palaeon­tol­o­gist, who will tell the sto­ry of the Nara­coorte Caves.

In the after­noon you’ll have the chance to hear and meet Pro­fes­sor Rod Wells and Grant Gartrell, who dis­cov­ered the main fos­sil cham­ber in Vic­to­ria Fos­sil Cave in 1969.

For­mer Caves Man­ag­er Bri­an Clark, Pro­fes­sor Wells and Mr Gartrell will be hold­ing an in-cave dis­cus­sion on their most sig­nif­i­cant dis­cov­ery and will also dis­cuss the site’s World Her­itage List­ing in 1994.

Event details:

When: Sun­day 24 November

Fes­ti­val: 10 am to 4 pm

Trail run: 7 am to 12 noon

Where: Nara­coorte Caves Nation­al Park

Cost: The Fes­ti­val is free to enter. The Trail Run costs between $30 and $60, depend­ing on what dis­tance you choose. Entry fees for the spe­cial tours oper­at­ing on the day will be adver­tised at the site.

Extra details: Check the web­site to find out more.

Know before you go: South Australia’s only World Her­itage site

Did you know Nara­coorte Caves Nation­al Park is SA’s only World Her­itage site?

The caves pre­serve the most com­plete fos­sil record we have for this peri­od of time, span­ning sev­er­al ice ages, the arrival of humans in the area, and the extinc­tion of Australia’s icon­ic megafau­na rough­ly 50,000 years ago.

If you want to learn more about pale­on­tol­ogy at Nara­coorte Caves, you can join a World Her­itage tour or take a walk along the World Her­itage trails all year-round.

Love her­itage?

There are 19 World Her­itage sites in Aus­tralia includ­ing Ulu­ru, Kakadu, the Great Bar­ri­er Reef and Nara­coorte’s sis­ter fos­sil site, River­sleigh in North Queens­land. Check out this full list­ing of World Her­itage sites.

You might also like to take a look atthis guide to under­stand­ing South Australia’s State Her­itage Placesor7 her­itage places in SA you might not know about.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living