This month Naracoorte Caves in the state’s south east is celebrating its discovery as one of the world’s greatest fossil sites.
Naracoorte Caves National Park will host Mega Fest, a festival celebrating 25 years of the caves being inscribed on the World Heritage list and 50 years since the discovery of the main fossil chamber in Victoria Fossil Cave.
Department for Environment National Parks and Wildlife Manager in the Limestone Coast, Nick McIntyre, said Mega Fest will recognise the importance of the Naracoorte Caves in understanding history, and also the significant contribution the park makes to the state and local economy.
“Naracoorte Caves attracts around 55,000 visitors annually and the popularity of our cave tours continues to grow,” Mr McIntyre said.
“People are fascinated to learn that the caves originally acted as pitfall traps and became the final resting place of different vertebrate species that roamed the area 500,000 years ago.
“The caves preserve the most complete fossil record we have for this period of time, spanning several ice ages, the arrival of humans in the area and the extinction of Australia’s iconic Megafauna roughly 50,000 years ago.
On Sunday 24 November 2019 a number of fun social activities and cultural events are planned during Mega Fest at the caves.
Flinders University Professor Rod Wells and Grant Gartrell, (who discovered the Fossil Chamber), will be joined by former Cave Manager Brian Clark in Blanche Cave to talk about the discovery, its significance and the journey to World Heritage Listing.
Visitors can take part in a variety of different fun runs on the day, ranging from the 22km Mega Fauna Run to the 1km Fossil Dash.
Visitors will also be able to indulge in regional food and wine and enjoy a farmers’ market, along with other social and cultural activities between 10am and 4pm.
Throughout the day staff from the University of Adelaide will run fossil displays and demonstrations at the Fossil Lab and fossil dig sand pit.
There will also be live entertainment by the Naracoorte Singers, Limestone Coast Symphony Orchestra, local musician Matt James and the James Morrison Jazz Academy.
Caves staff have worked with the Naracoorte Lucindale Council, and the Naracoorte Lucindale Business and Tourism Association to develop Mega Fest, which is partly funded by the Commonwealth Government’s Building Better Regions Fund.