Gunns Plains Cave is in the Gunns Plains State Reserve, approximately 30 kilometres south of Ulverstone in northwest Tasmania. This ten hectare area was one of the earliest cave reserves in Tasmania, being proclaimed a State Reserve in 1918.
The cave was discovered in 1906 by Bill Woodhouse during a hunting trip after, it is reputed, his dogs fell into a hole that formed part of the cave. It has been used as a show cave for most of the 20th century. It is renowned for its magnificent formations, including calcite shawls and flowstones, and has a glow-worm display.
The cave was formed by an underground river that still flows and contains freshwater crayfish, fish and eel. Platypus sleep and nest in the sandy banks along the river.
Interpretive guided tours of the cave are run daily at 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm. For further information on tour times and costs, please phone (03) 6429 1388.
Upon entry a steep flight of 54 concrete steps are descended and from this point the pathway is fairly level apart from a short ladder to be climbed down. The tour route through the cave is some 275 metres long. Occasional dampness underfoot is not troublesome provided visitors wear low-heeled walking shoes. It is not recommended for those with health or mobility concerns.
How to get there
Follow the Bass Highway to Ulverstone, and then take the Gunns Plains Road (B17) south to Gunns Plains. Continue on for four km to the Reserve. The trip takes approximately 45 minutes from Burnie, and 1 hour 15 minutes from Devonport or Launceston. The cave entrance is situated 30 metres from the car park.
The Reserve overlooks the beautiful Leven Valley farmland and has toilets, a wood barbecue and a shelter hut. A shop at Gunns Plains sells food and petrol.
For further information contact Gunns Plains cave guide, phone (03) 6429 1388