Cutta Cutta Caves Nature Park covers 1,499 hectares of limestone
(Karst) landscape, which is limited to only a few locations in Northern
Australia. Spectacular features such as Karst formations and complex
cave networks are a feature of the Park. Tower-like masses of Tindal
limestone with some supporting large boulders and various surface
depressions are other features of this landscape.
The park is open daily all year, however during the Wet Season
(December to April) the caves may be closed due to flooding. The most
comfortable time to visit the park is between May and August.
The park concession conducts daily guided tours, generally conducted
on the hour, of the cave system. A small kiosk sells tour tickets,
refreshments and souvenirs. Toilets, picnic facilities and covered
seating are provided.
The cave tours are guided, so please do not enter the caves
unattended. While underground, do not touch or damage the calcite
formation. Keep to the walking tracks and remember all cultural items
and wildlife are protected.
A Tropical Woodland walk begins near the carpark and enables
visitors to experience the open tropical woodland. Allow 10 to 20
minutes to complete the walk.
Plants and Animals
The cave environment is home to a variety of wildlife. The harmless
brown tree snake, Boiga irregularisis, is often seen coiled upon cave
ledges. Five species of cave-dwelling bat occur in the deeper areas of
the main cave, although most are rarely seen. Two of the species
recorded, the ghost bat, Macroderma gigas, and the orange horse-shoe
bat, Rhinonicteris aurantius, are rare and highly specialised species.
Two species of blind shrimp, Parisia ungius and Parisia gracilis,
which have no body pigment and are completely blind, inhabit the cave.
The only other closely related species of shrimp is found in
Madagascar, off the coast of Africa. Around 170 species of birds have
been recorded in the Park, including the hooded parrot, Psephotus
dissimilis, and the endangered Gouldian finch, Erythrura gouldiae.
The Park is dominated by open woodland, however at the entrance to
the cave systems and covering some areas of limestone are unique
clusters of tropical rainforest/vine thicket. These scattered thickets
are the remains of rainforest which once covered the northern parts of
Australia. The most striking feature of this habitat is the native fig,
Fiscus virens var. dasycarpa. The caves provide an easy passageway for
the figs long roots.