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Chillagoe-Mungana Caves National Park offers walking opportunities ranging from 440m to 9km. The times are calculated for people of average fitness who are wearing the correct footwear. If you are walking with young children or have below average fitness, allow more time. Carry a water container, especially in the summer time.
Balancing Rock track (Grade: moderate)
Distance: 440m return
Details: From the Balancing Rock car park a rough track climbs up a rock formation, providing views of Balancing Rock—a spectacular limestone outcrop. Take a moment to enjoy the view and photograph the surrounding open woodlands.
Donna car park to Balancing Rock car park (Grade: easy)
Distance: 2km return
Details: The Balancing Rock track can also be accessed from the Donna Cave car park, 1.8km from Chillagoe. Meander through open woodland featuring eucalypts and ironwoods. Listen for the 'kook-kook-kook' as kookaburras 'laugh' from above and look for agile wallabies and wallaroos seeking shelter from the heat.
Royal Arch track (Grade: easy)
Distance: 9km return
Details: From Balancing Rock car park, 2.5km south of Chillagoe, the Royal Arch track passes the Wullumba Aboriginal rock art site. This pleasant walk then winds past several striking limestone outcrops called tower karsts—features of world scientific interest.
As you cross Chillagoe Creek, notice the huge paperbark trees lining its banks. The track continues through open woodland featuring bloodwoods, Cooktown ironwoods, tea-trees and grevilleas.
At the Royal Arch bluff—an imposing jagged limestone outcrop rising abruptly from the surrounding woodland—the vegetation changes again. Here you will find scrubby deciduous plants such as native bauhinias and helicopter trees.
Exploring the caves
Visitors can explore the caves on ranger-guided cave tours or through self-guided cave tours.
- Find out more about ranger-guided cave tours.
To ensure a safe visit to the self-guided caves, visitors must be well prepared and responsible for their own safety.
The Archways (Grade: easy)
Distance: 220m return
Details: This self-guided cave commences at the Mungana Archways car park. Follow the rock-strewn track through deciduous vine thicket as you explore this semi-open cave. Skinks (small lizards) dart across open spaces to find refuge in the rocks. Common crow butterflies flutter in the shade of the rock walls. Torches are required.
Pompeii Cave (Grade: difficult)
Distance: 600m return
Details: Pompeii Cave can be accessed from the Donna Cave car park, 1.8km south of Chillagoe. From the car park, a well-formed track with many steps leads through deciduous vine forest to Pompeii Cave—a cleft in the rock filled with large boulders, the remnants of a previous collapse.
Inside this small cave, look for bats sleeping high in dark crevices and rock-wallabies hopping from boulder to boulder. A short but steep climb to the bottom reveals a dark passage and some attractive formations. Be careful not to walk on or touch cave decorations such as flowstone or cave coral. Torches are required.
Bauhinia Cave (Grade: difficult)
Distance: 300m return
Details: Bauhinia Cave is accessed from the Donna Cave car park, 1.8km south of Chillagoe. From the car park a short walk brings you to the entrance of Bauhinia Cave. You enter the cave via a dark, narrow crevice requiring a steep scramble down large boulders. In this small cave, look for interesting cave decorations such as cave coral—be careful not to damage these brittle formations. Torches are required.
Ranger-guided cave tours
Visitors can explore Donna, Trezkinn and Royal Arch caves on ranger-guided cave tours.
View the ranger-guided cave tours information for booking details.
Visitors can explore Donna, Trezkinn and Royal Arch caves on ranger-guided tours of the Chillagoe Caves.
- Temporary closure: ranger-guided tours of the Donna and Royal Arch Caves, Chillagoe-Mungana Caves National Park 11 January to 1 February 2021
- Temporary closure: Royal Arch walking track, Chillagoe-Mungana Caves National Park 4 January to 31 March 2021