Caving experience on old stock route

Stockyard Gully Reserve, about 3 hours’ drive northeast of Perth in the Coorow Shire, has a fascinating group of limestone caves that lead to an underwater river system.

The reserve forms part of the old North Stock Route used by stockmen in the 1850s through to the 1920s. The deep and cool gullies were used by stockmen as a holding pen for their cattle on the way from Geraldton to Perth for market.

Today, Stockyard Gully is a relaxing, tranquil and interesting  place to explore.

The largest cave extends for 300 meters and its dark interior is home to colonies of bats. Visitors will require a torch to navigate, taking great care not to disturb these little mammals. Beehives are located near the entrance.

Tall river gums, giant zamia and manna gum grow along the gully floor. On the upper slopes you’ll see wattles, parrot bush, native wisteria and coastal daisy bush. Fauna includes grey kangaroos, various lizards, Carnaby’s cockatoos,  fairy wrens, among other native species.

Owl in Stockyard Gully Cave. Photo credit: Travelling with the Joneses

Southern Boobook owl in Stockyard Gully Cave. Photo credit: Travelling with the Joneses

Vehicle access to the caves is by four-wheel drive only. Ensure you bring plenty of drinking water, wear sturdy shoes and don’t forget the torch! Additional caution is recommended in wet weather, when the rocks and walk trails become slippery.

Although camping is not permitted overnight accommodation is available in nearby Jurien Bay or Cervantes.

Stockyard Gully Cave fascinates young ‘Wilderness Warriors’. Photo credit: The Travelling Cakes