These caves are located close to the small rural town of Mole Creek in the Meander Valley, 23 km from Deloraine. On the slopes of the Great Western Tiers, the Mole Creek Karst National Park protects an internationally significant karst system renowned for its numerous spectacular caves. Marakoopa Cave is the larger of the two most accessible cave. It has a spectacular glow worm display. It is the only glow worm cave in Tasmania open to the public. The name "Marakoopa" is from the Tasmanian Aboriginal word for "handsome". King Solomon Cave is slightly smaller, although still spectacular and more conveniently located. The cave was named for one of the formations, which visitors see approximately in the middle of the 40 minute tour. Both show caves are home to a range of fascinating animals adapted to the lightless environment.
The Hastings Caves State Reserve offers visitors a variety of experiences, from relaxing in the warm waters of a thermal springs pool, walking in the rich forests of the reserve and, of course, the unique experience of exploring Newdegate Cave. Both the thermal pool and the trail which leads through the surrounding forests are accessible to wheelchair users. Named after Sir Francis Newdegate, the Governor of Tasmania from 1917-1920, Newdegate Cave is the largest tourist cave in Australia which occurs in dolomite, rather than limestone.
This limestone cave system is arguably one of the best and most accessible of the Tasmanian caves. These caves were formed by an underground river that still flows through some sections. Lofty chambers contain well-illuminated formations, some of which are massive. Guided tours of the cave system pass an underground river and feature glow worm displays.
The Kutikina Cave (formerly Fraser Cave) was discovered 30 years ago by Dr Kevin Kiernan. Until 1977 it had been assumed by most that the interior of southwest Tasmania was so rugged that Aborigines had not occupied it either at the time of European settlement or during the last Ice Age. But the Aborigines lived in the Kuti Kina 15-20,000 years ago and the limestone cave is a bank-vault of treasure.
During the height of the campaign to stop the damming of the Franklin and Gordon Rivers (1981), an archaeological team went to the area to investigate reports of a cave containing aboriginal artifacts. They discovered deposits that marked the most southerly migration of humans during the last ice-age. The significance of the discovery was one of the reasons that led to the demise of the plan to dam the rivers. No guided tours available.