Gunns Plains Cave
The cave was discovered in 1906 by a local Gunns Plains man, Bill Woodhouse, while hunting for possums. A possum eluded him down a hole which led him directly to the cave. This opening served as the original entrance to the cave and early tourists needed to descend by rope from it, three stories to the cave floor. 54 steps were later constructed from concrete, leading from the natural cave floor to a new entrance cut into the hillside. This steep and narrow staircase still exists in its entirety and remains the only public entrance and exit to the cave.
Because candlelight and torchlight were troublesome, power and fixture lighting was installed throughout to illuminate the walking track and the cave's unique features. In 2003 the system was updated to be of more benefit to visitors.
The public section of the cave runs 275 metres, is well lit and is for the most part a simple walk. The only hazard lies in taking caution of low ceilings and protruding walls. Aside from the entrance staircase and the occasional step, there is a small permanent ladder used to navigate through one narrow gap.
A further one kilometre of wild cave was mapped in the early 20th century, but due to difficulty it is not readily open to the public, with at least one section requiring crawling through a low opening on ones knees through shallow water.
The cave is a host to an assortment of wildlife. The cave is inhabited by the endangered Tasmanian Giant Freshwater Crayfish, Platypus, freshwater fish and eels. Glow worms (Arachnocampa) can be consistently found dangling from the ceiling on silk threads. Cave crickets and spiders are also present.
- Blanden, Stephen (2004) Caves of Gunns Plains, Gunns Plains, Tas. ISBN 0-9752026-0-X
- Blanden, Stephen (2008) Gunns Plains Cave: Tasmania Gunns Plains, Tas. ISBN 978-0-9752026-1-6
- Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service: Gunns Plains Cave
- Australian Speleological Federation (ASF), a national environmental organisation promoting the protection of Australia's unique cave systems.