Limestone Caves walking track

Kwiambal National Park

Overview

Limestone Caves walking track is a short, easy walk in Kwiambal National Park, near Ashford. It’s popular with families keen to explore the caves, spot the local bats and enjoy a picnic.

Where
Kwiambal National Park
Accessibility
Hard
Distance
0.6km return
Time suggested
5 - 15min
Grade
Grade 2
Price
Free
Opening times

September to October and March to April. Restricted access during summer breeding and winter hibernation seasons.

What to
bring
Raincoat, drinking water, sturdy shoes, hat, sunscreen, snacks, suitable clothing, torch
Please note
  • Please limit exploration to the first 50m of the caves.
  • Beyond 50m access is restricted as the caves narrow and ground is uneven, the bats are easily disturbed and it’s easy to get lost.
  • The Main Cave can be smelly and messy with bat droppings (guano) and urine, which can expose you to infection.
  • Please help us protect these endangered species by keeping noise and light disturbance to a minimum.
  • It’s completely dark in the caves, so remember to bring a torch.

This gentle 300m walking track takes you through open woodland and ironbark forest to Limestone Caves. The caves were once a mining site for bat droppings, a low-grade fertiliser. Today, they’re a protected breeding site for the rare large bent-wing bat and eastern horseshoe bat.

Switch on your torch and quietly explore a short way into the maze of tunnels to the Main Cave. The effects of mining and guano mean there are only a few cave decorations intact. Fossilised bones of ancient kangaroos and pygmy possums have been found in and around the caves, dating between 30,000 and 2 million years old.

There are toilets and a picnic area near the caves' entrance, making this spot popular with school groups and cave enthusiasts. On the way back to your car, keep an eye out for eastern grey kangaroos and emus. You’ll also see native birds among the cypress pines, including the spiny-cheeked honeyeater and diamond firetail.

After your underground adventure, drive to Macintyre Falls lookout and picnic area for stunning views of a waterfall in the deep granite gorge, and the nearby natural plunge pool. Base yourself at Lemon Tree Flat campground or Kookibitta campground to explore more.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/walking-tracks/limestone-caves-walking-track/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Limestone Caves walking track.

Track grading

Grade 2

Learn more about the grading system Features of this track
  • Time

    5 - 15min

  • Quality of markings

    Clearly sign posted

  • Gradient

    Flat

  • Distance

    0.6km return

  • Steps

    Occasional steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track

Getting there and parking

Limestone Caves walking track is on the southern edge of Kwiambal National Park.

To get there from Ashford:

  • Take Wallangra Road northwest
  • Turn right onto Sandy Creek Road
  • Turn left onto Limestone Road and continue into Kwiambal National Park
  • Turn right onto Limestone Cave Road and continue to the carpark.

Road quality

  • Check the weather and road conditions before setting out. The road to this walking track can become boggy when it rains.
  • Please drive carefully and look out for wildlife.

  • Unsealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

Parking is available on Limestone Cave Road, where this walking track starts.

Facilities

  • There’s no drinking water so you’ll need to bring your own supply.
  • Rubbish bins are not available, so please take your rubbish with you when you leave.

Toilets

Toilets and picnic table are available at the end of the walk, near the entrance to the caves.

  • Non-flush toilets

Picnic tables

Carpark

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

  • To help bats, only enter the caves during September to October or March to April, to prevent bat disturbance, infant abandonment, and death during summer breeding season and winter hibernation.
  • Eastern grey kangaroos live in this area of the park. They’re powerful animals, so please appreciate them from a distance.

Adventure sports

Adventure sports like climbing, caving, canyoning and abseiling offer a thrilling opportunity to explore our unique environments. Before you head out, be aware of the risks and stay safe during adventure sports.

Bushwalking safety

If you're keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, always be prepared. Read these bushwalking safety tips before you set off on a walking adventure in national parks.

Fire safety

During periods of fire weather, the Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service may declare a total fire ban for particular NSW fire areas, or statewide. Learn more about total fire bans and fire safety.

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

Accessibility

Disability access level - hard

Wheelchairs can access this area with some difficulty.

Prohibited

Camp fires and solid fuel burners

Camping

Camping is not permitted along this walking track. Please camp at designated campgrounds.

Gathering firewood

Generators

Pets

Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the pets in parks policy for more information.

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Learn more

Limestone Caves walking track is in Kwiambal National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Aboriginal cultural heritage

Macintyre Falls, Kwiambal National Park. Photo: Michael van Ewijk

Kwiambal takes its name from the aboriginal people of the Ashford district. Rich in food, water and materials, the area provided a year-round living environment for their ancestors, with sacred sites and hunting grounds spread throughout the park.

Animals

Eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus), Kwiambal National Park. Photo: Michael van Ewijk

There are five rare or threatened plant species in the park: severn wattle, Rodd’s star hair, caustic vine, daisy bush and toadflax. Feel free to look, but please be careful not to damage the plants. In the warmer months of September to March, the wildflowers bloom throughout the bush. Like its flowers, Kwiambal is home to dozens of notable animal species, including 32 types of reptile, 11 frogs, and 30 species of mammal. Some 18 species are threatened or endangered, including koalas, squirrel gliders, and five-clawed worm skinks. There are also an astonishing 101 types of bird, making the park a hot spot for avid birders. Keep an eye out for painted honeyeaters, barking owls, hooded robins, and diamond firetails.

  • Dungeon lookout Where Severn River enters a steep gorge, you’ll find The Dungeon, with this lookout offering superb views down into the swell, particularly after rain.
  • Limestone Caves walking track Limestone Caves walking track is a short, easy walk in Kwiambal National Park, near Ashford. It’s popular with families keen to explore the caves, spot the local bats and enjoy a picnic.
  • Macintyre Falls lookout Adjacent to a well-equipped picnic area, Macintyre Falls lookout offers scenic views over the river, with nearby swimming, hiking and fishing opportunities.
  • Slippery Rock walking track Slippery Rock walking track in Kwiambal National Park, near Inverell, offers spectacular gorge views as well as fishing, birdwatching and vibrant wildflowers in spring.

Historic heritage

Macintyre River, Kwiambal National Park. Photo: OEH

The flat areas of the park have been subjected to farming of tobacco, giving way to cereal crops and the mining of various minerals and sapphires. Unsurprisingly then, there are a number of historical landmarks within the park, including tobacco-drying sheds, woolsheds, fruit trees, storage sheds, and the remains of a house. History enthusiasts will want to seek these out on a visit.

Native rainforest

Slippery Rock walking track, Kwiambal National Park. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

Kwiambal contains 15 per cent of the native dry rainforest left in NSW. The vegetation is dominated by white cypress pines, silver-leaved ironbarks, and tumbledown gums. Unfortunately, much of the planning area has been subjected to logging in the past, though considerable regeneration makes it a worthy destination for nature-lovers. 

  • Dungeon lookout Where Severn River enters a steep gorge, you’ll find The Dungeon, with this lookout offering superb views down into the swell, particularly after rain.
  • Junction walk Junction walk offers a stroll through ironbarks and pine trees to the meeting of Severn and Macintyre rivers, with swimming, picnicking, and birdwatching opportunities.
  • Limestone Caves walking track Limestone Caves walking track is a short, easy walk in Kwiambal National Park, near Ashford. It’s popular with families keen to explore the caves, spot the local bats and enjoy a picnic.
  • Macintyre Falls lookout Adjacent to a well-equipped picnic area, Macintyre Falls lookout offers scenic views over the river, with nearby swimming, hiking and fishing opportunities.
  • Slippery Rock walking track Slippery Rock walking track in Kwiambal National Park, near Inverell, offers spectacular gorge views as well as fishing, birdwatching and vibrant wildflowers in spring.

Education resources (1)

Macintyre Falls, Kwiambal National Park. Photo: Michael van Ewijk/NSW Government