Kelly Hill Caves .... Kangaroo Island

I tell you, Kangaroo Island has it all!  So far we have visited wineries, great cafes, a lighthouse, a sheep cheese farm, eaten great oysters and marron (crayfish) and seen some of the most spectacular seascapes.  Well, on Day Two on KI, we visited some more beautiful bays but also toured some caves!

Firstly, we stopped at Vivonne Bay...  where the waves were spectacular.

We also stopped at the Vivonne Bay general store, where we ate the most delicious lamb burgers. (There are a lot of fat lambs bred on KI for sale on the mainland).

Then it was onto  the rather spectacular Kelly Hill Caves...

But first a little history and how they got their name:

The name of Kelly Hill Caves is a result of the story, how it was discovered. In 1880 a local stockman called Kelsy, riding on his horse Kelly, was chasing sheep that had strayed from his property. Unfortunately both of them fell into one of the big sink holes in the area. Kelsy managed to climb out, but he had to leave Kelly at the bottom of the sink hole. He returned soon with help to rescue the horse, but it was gone. Now oral tradition knows at least three versions of the end of this story, which makes the whole story a bit weird. The realistic version has it, the farmer may have gone back to the wrong hole. The optimistic version tells, the horse was later pulled to safety. And the mysterious end talks about Kelly the horse wandering off into the labyrinth of caves never to be seen again. And so its skeleton may still be somewhere in the caves waiting to be discovered.
All in all this story is definitely a good reason to name the caves after Kelly the horse. But the caves were still not discovered, just the existence of caves in this area was mentioned by the people.
The tourist history of the cave started with the local Harold Bell who explored the caves of the area and soon made the first guided tours with candlelight. He was appointed caretaker of the caves one year after the discovery and wrote a book about the cave the same year. At his time the chambers of the cave were numbered to allow visitors to find their way back.


Our tour guide was such a sweet young man, named Nick.  He was so ocker (Aussie) and unpretentious in his description of the caves and their formation.  They think that the some of the formations are over 500 000 years old!

Now, we were metres and metres underground but somehow these roots found their way down to the cave looking for water.

On our way back down the hill, once outside, we saw this rather large goanna.

On the way back 'home' to The Lookout, we stopped for another stunning photo opportunity at Pennington Bay.

If you want to backtrack to my earlier posts about Kangaroo Island, you can find them here....

Still a few more posts to come about Kangaroo Island and our trip, I hope that you are  still enjoying the photos.



Wow, dear kaey, did you so much! The beautiful coastline, caves, culinary experiences, everything is great!
Thank you for sharing!
Greetings heartly!
Margaret said…
I'm enjoying all your posts. What an amazing place Kangaroo Island is! Wow!
Melody said…
You certainly visited some gorgeous spots. Hope we get to catch up in person soon. xx
Bea said…
Spectacular, both the bays and the caves. It boggles my mind what can be under our feet and we know nothing about it.
Anonymous said…
wow Kaye amazing pics,such wonderful places,you have me very excited ,thankyou for sharing xx
butterfly said…
Wonderful photos , looks very much like parts of Devon where I live and Kents cave , amazing.
CJ said…
Great photos. I could feel the ocean spray. TFS.
KimM said…
Great pictures....great sad to hear about Kelly, though. I love horses.....I was hoping for a happy ending 😬
Fantastic photos. I love the stalactites and stalagmites. I don't mind caves as long as there is plenty of head room!
Summer said…
Gorgeous photos ♥
Barb said…
I would love to visit Kangaroo Island, there are so many beautiful natural things to see. Thanks for sharing.
Tiffstitch said…
Wow!! Those caves are amazing, and an interesting story of how they're named as well. Plus great photos of the waves and beaches too.
Ariadne said…
What an amazing cave. I love visiting caves!AriadnefromGreece!
Brigitte said…
It seems that this island has such a lot of things to offer - wild coastlines, dunes and even caves. Thanks for sharing the story of how the caves got their name. And fantastic pictures again.
Heather said…
Beautiful photos I love the cave ones!

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