Many caves and sinkholes surround Naracoorte, including the incredible World Heritage listed Naracoorte Caves fossil site. The caves were inscribed into the World Heritage list in December 1994 for the incredible fossil deposits found within the caves. Only nine sites in the world are inscribed to the world heritage list for fossil deposits.
Guests can experience the fossil site in a range of ways. The excellent Wonambi Fossil Centre recreates the climate and environment that the fossil finds lived in. Self-guide free tours of some caves are provided, while fully guided and interpretative tours allow you to explore a live fossil site. Adventure caving can also be booked that takes you into the more inaccessible cave systems that house many other fossils.
Bool Lagoon and surrounding wetlands are listed as sites of International Importance under the RAMSAR convention on wetlands. It is home to a vast array of birdlife, many visiting from the northern hemisphere. Boardwalks and bird hides allow guests to get up close and see some of these visiting friends.
In years of high water up to 10,000 ibid breed. In addition 47 of the 75 waterbird species recorded in the lagoon are known to breed in the surrounding waters. It is also the only South Australian site to have large numbers of Brolgas. Entry to the lagoon is via a self-registration permit at the gate.
Naracoorte is a rich agricultural centre that produces fine wines, outstanding meat and livestock produce. Cellar doors allow you to sample some of the fine Wrattonbully wine produce.
The Naracoorte Livestock Exchange is the largest in the southern hemisphere and is a hive of activity leading up to the weekly sales days.
The award winning Sheep Banck Museum is located in the heritage listed 1870s Simpson Flour Mill. It is also home to the town’s visitor information centre and gives a great insight into the regions development and outstanding local production.
Naracoorte has many fine bed and breakfasts and self-contained accommodation houses. Supported by a wide range of motels and hotels, travellers are sure to have a great stay in the heart of the Limestone Coast.
Fossils from time forgotten
South Australia’s Naracoorte Caves have been World Heritage listed following exciting fossil finds – everything from giant prehistoric kangaroos to long-extinct marsupial lions. Sixty known caves lie beneath limestone and marshland ranges. Infrared cameras reveal bent-wing bats flitting past and an interpretative centre provides background before you enter the caves.
If you feel like a snack, the aptly-named Caves Cafe is open every day. A campsite nearby offers electric power, showers, toilets and laundry facilities, with camping permits obtainable from Wonambi Fossil Centre.
Wonambi Fossil Centre, opened in 1998, was created by palaeontologists from Flinders University of South Australia working with a special effects company to recreate the Naracoorte region as it would have appeared 200,000 years ago. Robotic, life-size models of extinct megafauna stride around an ancient landscape.
Victoria Fossil Cave, a series of interconnected chambers with magnificent calcite decorations, was discovered in 1894. In 1969, cave explorers squeezed through a narrow passage and emerged in a chamber containing fossil bones of amazing diversity and antiquity. The entrance has been enlarged to allow visitors to view the progress of a dig in which scientists are still unearthing the remains of prehistoric animals dating back 200,000 years.
Perhaps visit the Wet Cave, a series of spectacular domed chambers adorned with impressive, dripping calcite formations.
- Locality: Urban locality
- Naracoorte Postcode: 5271
- State: South Australia
- Region: Limestone Coast
- Latitude: -36.95622
- Longitude: 140.74142
- Elevation: 61m
- Population: 5960
- Median Income: $33436
- Area (Sq/km): 114.192
- Timezone: Australia/Adelaide
Accommodation In Naracoorte
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Tours In Naracoorte
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