Marakoopa Cave is a wet cave and contains spectacular decoration, sediment deposits relating to past periods of glaciations and significant communities of cave fauna – including the largest glow-worm display in any public-access cave in Australia. Marakoopa Cave is also home to the fascinating Tasmanian Cave spider.
Typical of a wet cave, Marakoopa Cave displays signs of former stream activity in its upper levels, including stratified deposits of sand, clay and conglomerate.
Marakoopa Cave contains numerous attractively decorated chambers on different levels, extensive areas of flowstone and a variety of other interesting formations.
Marakoopa Cave has four surface openings associated with the entrance and exit of the two creeks which run through the cave, three of which are navigable. These two streams, known as Long Creek and Short Creek, begin as runoff from the slopes of Western Bluff, some 100 metres above the cave, and have created two independent cave passages.
A little background on the development of Marakoopa Cave
Like King Solomons Cave, Marakoopa Cave was first discovered in 1906 and it was initially known as Byards Cave. Two boys, James and Harry Byard, are believed to have originally entered the cave via its top entrance. The boys kept their discovery a secret, returning to the cave in 1910. James Byard obtained a land grant which included the cave area and its discovery became common knowledge in 1911, by which time a track had been cut to the river entrance, which is currently in use, and a heavy iron door covered the entrance.
In 1912 Marakoopa Cave was opened to the public, lit by 24 handheld carbide bicycle lamps which were carried by James, Harry and their younger siblings. In 1921 the cave was purchased from James Byard by the Tasmanian Government Tourist Bureau, but Harry stayed on as a guide for a number of years and helped with the installation of the first electric lighting system, switched on in May 1940 by the then Premier of Tasmania.
Come on out and learn more about this fascinating cave, its history and its unique fauna from your friendly Marakoopa Cave guide.