Written for Orange Line to be used by Expedia
The Southern Hemisphere boasts some of the most expansive, post-card worthy coastlines in the world – from the white-sand islands off the Great Barrier Reef to the rugged cliff sides of New Zealand. If you look beyond the iconic beaches, you will find that the some of the most awe-inspiring landmarks are hidden, secluded among the rocks. Sea caves are some remarkable wonders of nature. Formed by the powerful and constant force of waves on a weakened spot of the shoreline or coastal cliff, causing cracks from within which expand over time, their growth encouraged by underground streams. While the Fingal Caves of Scotland or the Blue Grotto in Capri might be some of the most well-known water caves, there are a number in our own backyard that are well-worth exploring.
Admirals Arch, Kangaroo Island, S.A.
Admirals Arch is a natural rock bridge formed when an ancient cave was broken by ocean waves. Stalactites dangle down, making a jagged frame to the sea beyond – an ideal viewing point for breathtaking sunsets. The boardwalk down gives you a great view of fur seals playing and basking underneath the arch if you time your visit correctly.
Where to stay
The Ficifolia Lodge is centrally located in Pardana, making it the perfect jumping off point for touring the island. You have the option of modern or Bed & Breakfast style rooms and access to free wifi during your stay. Its friendly staff and homely rooms make it an ideal place to return to after a day of exploring.
Located right on the waterfront, this old style hotel boasts great views, friendly staff and an excellent restaurant. Cool down in the outdoor pool or lounge at the onsite bar while planning your next day’s adventures.
Natural Bridge at Springbrook National Park, Q.L.D.
Spend the day exploring the World Heritage Springbrook National Park and you will come to a picturesque rock formation. Nestled in the lush rainforest, surrounded by ancient trees and flowing with spectacular waterfalls, the Natural Bridge is a magical place to visit. Take a picnic, relax and marvel at nature’s beauty. In the evening, you can join a guided tour to view the protected glowworms that call the arch home, and if you go in the summer you’ll also be able to see fireflies.
Where to stay
Mt Warning Forest Hideaway
For a true hideaway in the middle of the rainforest, away from the hustle and bustle of city life, you’ve found your place. With no internet, tv or mobile coverage, so you will be able to really turn off and unwind to the sound of rolling creeks. A true rainforest experience, keep an eye out for wallabies, koalas, platypus and many species of birds always close by.
Give yourself some time to explore as the Margaret River Region is home to over 150 limestone caves – and it’s hard to choose just one. From viewing stalactites through reflections in the lake of Lake Cave, to learning aboriginal legend at Ngilgi Cave. Walking through the limestone chambers transports you to stories of monsters and magic, with a feeling that a group of dwarves scurrying through the background wouldn’t be out of place.
Where to stay
This country-style B&B tucked into a glorious garden has become known for its cosy rooms, friendly breakfasts and welcoming hosts in Jane and Keith. If you’re feeling fancy you can even charter a 1956 Rolls Royce for a day out exploring. Set close to local shops, the world-famous wineries, expansive caves and post-card worthy beaches, it is an ideal spot to begin and end your day’s adventures.
Their great central location that’s close to local shops and attractions makes these apartments ideal for your stay in Margaret River. The spacious rooms and the expansive property completely shelter guests from the hustle and bustle of the outside world and their apartment-style accommodation makes it a great option for families.
Margaret River B&B
The Margaret River B&B has been called perfect by a number of its guests – many of them by the time they leave are well acquainted with the attentive and welcoming owner, Dirk. Situated in the middle of a beautiful forest surrounded by flowers and greenery, you will spend breakfast serenaded by tropical birds on the patio and watching kangaroos roam nearby. The rooms are well equipped and complimentary breakfast is included.
Cathedral Cove, North Island
Cathedral Cove is one of the most magnificent sights to see once you’ve braved the windy, narrow road up to The Coromandel. After an hour long walking track beginning at the north end of Hahei Beach, you will emerge onto a secluded cove. There you will witness the naturally formed, cathedral-like archway, framing the adjoining cove in all its majesty. Pack a picnic, swimmers and comfy shoes and stay awhile – you will likely fill your camera memory with images of this natural wonder. Take note, the cove is only accessible at low tide, so be sure to check the tides before you begin your trek.
Where to stay
Catlins Kiwi Holiday Park
The Catlins Kiwi Holiday Park is the ideal central location with many of the iconic attractions just minutes from their doorstep. The Whistling Frog – the award-winning on site restaurant – does simple food brilliantly. The rooms offer free wifi and parking close by with a clean, shared kitchen if you wish to whip up your own feast.
Waitomo Caves, North Island.
If you venture under the rolling hills of Waitomo, you will find yourself immersed in a dark, limestone labyrinth. The name comes from the Maori words wai (water) and tomo (hole). With over 300 caves in the area, the Glowworm cave attracts the most visitors. Walking through the damp, cathedral-like cave, glowworms stare back at you like you are looking into the sky on a clear night. The caves suit casual tourists as they are accessible by walking or boat; as well as adventure seekers who would rather approach them through blackwater rafting, abseiling or zip lining.
Where to stay
With its beautiful and quiet setting and large comfortable rooms, it’s the perfect place to stay during a family visit to the Waitomo Caves. You will find yourself fully relaxed after a dip in the outdoor Jacuzzi before sinking into cloud-like beds. Although there isn’t much to do in Waitomo is famous for its caves, many guests wish they had booked longer just to eat a few more delicious breakfasts at the Redwood Lodge.