Looking for Crystals in Yanchep National Park Caves

Visiting Crystal Cave in Yanchep National Park

Did you know there are caves to explore just outside Perth, Western Australia?

In fact, there are over 580 caves beneath the far northern suburb of Yanchep, a 50-minute drive from the Perth CBD.

Whilst many of those caves are not available to explore by the average person, within the Yanchep National Park public cave tours are available.  For the daredevil, there is an adventure cave tour.  However, I am not so brave.  Instead, I purchase the $15 Crystal Cave Tour ticket from the Yanchep National Park Visitor’s Centre.

Discovering Crystal Cave on a day trip to Yanchep National Park Perth, Western Australia

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The Crystal Cave Tour

Our tour begins nine metres below the Earth’s surface in the cool, slightly damp, dimly lit first chamber of Crystal Cave.  Listening to our tour guide, she reflects on tours that began in the early 1900’s.  Back then tourists would have to clamber down ropes, scramble with lanterns through narrow tunnels to reach each chamber and sometimes sludge through the then natural streams.  Today, thanks in part to a large donation the Yanchep National Park received in the 1930’s we are able to walk down wooden stairs – though there are no ramps, along structured dirt paths with iron rails, all lit by electricity.

Discovering the history of Crystal Cave on a day trip to Yanchep National Park Perth, Western Australia

Tunnels and paths built for tourists

Looking for the crystals I see small pretty wall cavities lit by coloured red and amber lights, but – no crystals.  Ducking my 163cm (5ft 3in) frame I make my way through a narrow tunnel.  It opens out into a large limestone chamber.

To my right is a 10m diameter pond of water.  In front of me limestone stairs invite me to view tradition cave formations; large beige stalactites hang from the ceiling along with sheer glistening shawls and straws, some stalagmites are popping up from cavity floors – but no crystals.

Discovering Crystal Cave on a day trip to Yanchep National Park Perth, Western Australia

Strange little glass red tags look as if they are holding cracks in the limestone walls together – surely they’re not the crystals.  No, they are the alert system for rock movement.  Every day before the first tour, a tour guide walks the 250m cave trail to ensure all the tags are still intact.  To date, none of the glass tags have broken.

Learning about safety of Crystal Cave on a day trip to Yanchep National Park Perth, Western Australia

Our guide asks us to all be quiet as we gaze at the aptly named reflection pond – but it’s not a crystal looking pond.  Not a sound is uttered and it is eerily quiet.  You cannot even hear the sound of water trickling into the pond.  The Perth underground water table has receded and so too have the natural cave ponds – the water is now pumped in for the tourists.  Lack of water has also caused the loss of small micro-animals that once lived in the cave.

Learning about the water in Crystal Cave on a day trip to Yanchep National Park Perth, Western Australia

Sections of the cave that once had water

But it still feels damp inside the 12m deep cave.  The guide swings her torch up.  A moist sheen covers the rocky ceiling, it looks like – crystals.

Our 45min Crystal Cave Tour draws to a close.  Our guide points out one consolation due to the lack of water in the Yanchep cave system.  Cave cavities that were once filled with water are now dry, allowing speleologists to access new areas and discover even more caves below Yanchep.

Top Trip Tips

Website

Location

Entry into Yanchep National Park is $12/car or $22 for a year pass.

Cave Tour Prices

  • $15/adult
  • $7.50 /child
  • There are four tours per day

What to Take With You:

  • Day trip bag with at least a camera and handy to put your hat and sunglasses in whilst on the tour.
Discovering Crystal Cave on a day trip to Yanchep National Park Perth, Western Australia

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Sally-Ann
Hi, I'm a Perth born and bred travel tips blogger/writer with 20+ years experience in airlines, hospitality and tourism. I love sharing my travel lessons learned to help you have a better holiday with my travel tips for trips. Please follow along to receive all my travel tips and destination inspirations.

10 Responses to “Looking for Crystals in Yanchep National Park Caves

  • We love exploring caves! As we’re just starting to put ideas together for an Australia trip, this one is going right into our planning. Thanks for the heads up! Wait…that’s a bad thing in a cave, right? 😉 Curious now…what happens if one of those red tags falls?
    #TheWeeklyPostcard.

    • If one of the red tags fall, Rob and Ann, tours for that day are cancelled, they then have experts check for movement and only reopen when it is deemed safe. By the way, back in 1968 the biggest earthquake in WA was recorded (6.9 on the Richter Scale) at the time there was a tour being conducted in Crystal Cave – they didn’t feel a thing!

  • I love exploring caves. It is just mind boggling how it takes so long for the stalactites and stalagmites take to grow. #TheWeeklyPostcard.

  • Ooh fun! These remind me of the Carlsbad Caverns in Arizona I visited as a little girl! Haven’t been to one since! #TheWeeklyPostcard!

  • In the truest sense of the word 😉

Trackbacks & Pings

  • #TheWeeklyPostcard - 26 May 2017 - TravelLatte :

    […] we’re starting to plan an Australia trip, we were happy to see Travel Tips 4 Trips’ post on the Crystal Cave and Yanchep National Park in Perth! Would you call that going down under Down Under? […]

    3 months ago

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