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Ths author is a Chartered Professional Engineer, providing specialized consultancy services in International Broadcasting Engineering. He is graduate of the Royal Melbourne Instiutute of Technology.and holds the rank of Member, Institution of Engineers Australia . he is a recipient of the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for Services to Shortwave Radio, and was employed by the PMG's Dept/ATC/Telecom Australia from 1956 until 1997...

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Buchan Caves, East Gippsland




About 350 km east of Melbourne, near the township of Buchan, lies a honeycomb of caves full of spectacular limestone formations. Buchan Caves were formed by underground rivers cutting through limestone rock.

The formations are created by rain water seeping through cracks and dissolving some of the limestone. As each droplet comes through the roof it deposits calcite which crystallises in a small ring. In time, stalactites are formed on the roof of the cave, and stalagmites build up from droplets which fall to the floor.

The Reserve was established to cater to the needs of the thousands of visitors who visit the caves each year.

The caves were reserved in 1887, though largely by accident - they were on land set aside for stock camping. The government commissioned an exploration soon afterwards and reserved the land to protect the caves.

A network of walking tracks radiates from the Visitor Centre, offering good views of the Reserve and Valley.

In 1907, Frank Moon discovered the Fairy Cave which was opened to the public later that year. Royal Cave was discovered in 1910 by Frederick Wilson and after an entrance tunnel was excavated, it was opened to visitors in 1913. The Caves Reserve was set out and planted mostly in the late 1930s.

On Christmas Day 2009 I visited the Buchan Caves Reserve with my brother - disappointingly the Visitor Cente was closed, which meant that there were no tours into the caves.

Almost exactly 50 years ago, in December 1959, we had visited the Reserve and explored the Caves. I have i included a picture of what the entrance to the Royal Cave looked like on our 1959 visit!

See all of the Photos of our visit!

Go to the Parks Victoria website for details about the Reserve and to download a Brochure:

http://www.parkweb.vic.gov.au/1park_display.cfm?park=74 -

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