Buchan Caves

by on June 15
in Victoria

A wonderful experience for kids and adults alike, the Buchan Caves are one of Gippsland’s must see attractions.  The amazing stalactites and stalagmites within the caves have developed over thousands of years.  Their almost fairytale like appearance has earned them names like the “Fairy Cave” and “Royal Cave”.

A beautiful "Fairy Castle" at the Buchan Caves

The Buchan Caves are about an hour north of Bairnsdale; a beautiful drive through rolling hills to Bruthen and then bush along Buchan Road. The first part of the drive is along the start of the Great Alpine Road which links Victoria’s alps to the coast.

Parks Victoria manage the Buchan Caves and conduct daily tours through both the Fairy Cave and Royal Cave.  Our girls were very excited to visit the Fairy Cave and thrilled when the ranger told them, “If you believe in fairies, you won’t need to duck”.  Those of us with larger frames and perhaps narrower minds did have to duck in a few places, but not so much as to be difficult.

No ducking required for those who believe in fairies!

The tour of the Fairy Cave was very informative and the group not too large (about 20 people).  The ranger pointed out many different formations and explained how they came to be.  It was fascinating to learn the ancient history of the caves.  We were shown the pitch black of a cave with no lights and even managed to see a fossil or two, that indicated the area around Buchan had once been under water.

The Royal Cave is quite a bit larger than the Fairy Cave.  We visited on the busy Easter weekend and unfortunately, due to crowd numbers, the tour of the Royal Cave was more of a self guided walk through. There wasn’t time to stop and admire the geology lest we were pushed along by the tide of people behind us.  I’d like to go back one day and do a slower tour of the Royal Cave as it too was quite beautiful with its sparkling little lakes.

A sea of calcite glitters in the cave lights

A sea of calcite glitters in the cave lights

Both tours took approximately 45 minutes.  There were a number of stairs to negotiate in both caves.

For those looking for a longer stay in the area camping (both powered and non-powered) and self contained units are available in the Buchan Caves Reserve.  Bookings are necessary during peak times (all times for the units) and can be made through Parks Victoria.

The reserve is quite a lovely destination in itself.  When we visited the many deciduous trees there (a remnant of the park’s early days) were beginning to change colour creating a beautiful patchwork when seen from up on the hill.  There is a large picnic and recreation area including BBQ’s, good toilet facilities and a great playground.  Our kids had a very extended game of hide and seek around the park over lunch.  There are some walks around the reserve as well.

The Buchan Caves Reserve is perfect for a game of hide & seek

The Visitor Centre includes a shop, an interpretive centre and visitor information.  Due to the crowds when we visited we didn’t check any of these out.

Where: Buchan, Victoria

When: Tours are conducted daily, except Christmas Day

Cost: $14 adult, $8 child, $39 family (2 adults & 2 children) for each cave tour.  A discount is available for both tours purchased at the same time.

Happy travels,

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