Located near the small town of Augusta in Western Australia lies Jewel Cave, the largest show cave in the state of Western Australia. It is thought that a small opening in the ground had been known locally for many years (known as the “Wind Hole”), but it was not until 1957 that a local man named Cliff Spackman decided to investigate. With the help of his friends, Spackman built a rope system that allowed him to lower himself 12 meters through a solution pipe into one of the cave system’s three large chambers.
Fascinated with the vast chambers and impressive collection of stalactites and stalagmites, Spackman recruited Lloyd Robinson and Lex Bastian and these three men discovered 2km of passages inside Jewel Cave. The whole cave has a depth of 42 meters and is contained within a large area of limestone rock named Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge. Those who wander inside the cave can see several fascinating tree roots which hang down from the roof of the cave in search of water.
Interestingly, in June 1960 the skeleton of the now-extinct Tasmanian tiger was found inside Jewel Cave. This discovery was a landmark for scientists in giving information about the distribution of this animal in Western Australia. More recently, in 2011, scientists discovered footprints of the Tasmanian tiger in the same cave.
Know Before You Go
There is an area for parking outside the cave visitor center. Entry to the cave includes a one-hour guided tour.