Buchan Caves

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This article is about the caves. For the town, see Buchan, Victoria. For the river, see Buchan River.
Buchan Caves
FairyCave BuchanVictoria.jpg
Fairy Cave
Map showing the location of Buchan Caves
Map showing the location of Buchan Caves
Location of Buchan Caves in Victoria
Location East Gippsland, Victoria, Australia
Coordinates 37°29′44.88″S 148°9′47.16″E / 37.4958000°S 148.1631000°E / -37.4958000; 148.1631000Coordinates: 37°29′44.88″S 148°9′47.16″E / 37.4958000°S 148.1631000°E / -37.4958000; 148.1631000[1]
Length 3–4 kilometres (1.9–2.5 mi)[2]
Discovery 1907 (European)[3]
Geology Devonian Limestone[3]
Entrances 6[2]
Show cave opened Fairy Cave
Show cave length 400 metres (1,300 ft)[3]
Lighting Electricity [3]
Website http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/buchan-caves-reserve

The Buchan Caves are a group of limestone caves that include the Royal Cave and the Fairy Cave, located south-west of Buchan, in the East Gippsland region of the Australian state of Victoria. They have a total length of between 3 and 4 kilometres (1.9 and 2.5 mi), and six entrances. [2]

The limestone rock at Buchan was laid down during the Devonian period about 300 – 400 million years ago. At the time, the sea covered this area of East Gippsland which was alive with shellfish and coral. Their remains were deposited in layers and over the years compacted to form limestone. The caves were formed by solution of the limestone.[4][5]

The Buchan Caves are located approximately 360 kilometres (220 mi) east northeast (or five hours' drive) from Melbourne, along the Princes Highway, north of Lakes Entrance.


The caves are a major tourist attraction of the Buchan town. Daily tours are conducted in Royal Cave and Fairy Cave. Royal Cave features calcite-rimmed pools and in Fairy Cave features elaborate stalactites and stalagmites. Both caves are lit, have walkways and have a constant temperature of 15 °C (59 °F).[6]

The Buchan Caves are situated within the Buchan Caves Reserve. The area is surrounded by trees and wildlife, which includes bellbirds, lyrebirds and kangaroos. Amenities include a swimming pool, picnic ground, playground, campsites and an information centre.


Aboriginal history[edit]

The traditional custodians of the land surrounding the Buchan Caves are the Australian Aboriginal Gunaikurnai peoples.[7]

European history[edit]

The caves were accidentally reserved in 1887, as they were on land set aside for stock camping. The government commissioned an exploration of the land and, on the recommendation of the geologist Albert Ernest Kitson, reserved the area to protect the caves.[8]

In 1907, Frank Moon discovered the Fairy Cave which was opened to the public later that year. Royal Cave was discovered in 1910 by Frederick Wilson and after an entrance tunnel was excavated, it was opened to visitors in 1913. The Caves Reserve was set out and planted mostly in the late 1930s.[9]

The site is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register and is included a Heritage Overlay.[10]


  1. ^ "The Buchan Caves Area". Victorian Resources Online. Government of Victoria. 2 May 1966. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "Buchan River: 11722". Vicnames. Government of Victoria. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Duckeck, Jochen. "Buchan Caves". Show Caves of the World. Retrieved 5 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "Buchan Caves Reserve: park notes" (PDF). Parks Victoria. August 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  5. ^ Visit Victoria Buchan Caves
  6. ^ "Buchan Caves Reserve". Buchan Community. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  7. ^ "Buchan Caves Reserve". Explore national parks. Parks Victoria. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  8. ^ Kitson, Albert (1907). "Proposed Reservation of Limestone Caves in the Buchan District, Eastern Gippsland". Records of the Geological Survey of Victoria. Volume 2, Part 1. pp. 37–44. (Note: Kitson's report was written in 1900 and published in 1907). 
  9. ^ Parks Victoria Buchan Caves Reserve
  10. ^ "Buchan Caves Reserve, Victorian Heritage Register (VHR) Number H1978, Heritage Overlay HO241". Victorian Heritage Database. Heritage Victoria. Retrieved 2010-09-16. 

External links[edit]