Royal Arch Cave, Chillagoe



Royal Arch Cave

Royal Arch Cave

The Royal Arch Cave car park is about 6 km from Chillagoe and generally considered to be one of the earlier caves to be explored in the area and has about 1.5 Kms of passage which are reasonable level due to the silt build up after many years of flooding. There is no doubt there are sink holes within the system, but the path taken by the guide does not expose visitors to any. The Royal Arch is an important bat breeding cave and restrictions have been put in place to protect these areas within the cave. The bat population and easy access has created a ferrule cat problem and cat traps can often be seen while on tour. Ferrule cats are difficult to catch and are becoming an issue within the cave systems because (among other things) they are causing the demise of the White-Rumped Swiftlet population, a bird those nests in colonies on the cave walls and endemic to the region.


Chillagoe (94)

Flowstone on the floor of the Royal Arch Cave

Because of the quick evaporation within this sprawling system, unique secondary formations occur called cave coral, with the more common stalactites, stalagmites and flowstones found in areas of slower evaporation. The quick evaporation also dramatically lowers the temperature of the cave and during the early days, visiting the cave on a hot summer’s day and perhaps having a picnic was popular. Many truck loads of rubbish had to be removed when it was decided to make the Royal Arch a tourist cave. The ranger also often tells a story of how some of visitors become lost in the cave and after a few days one of the more agile had to climb up a fig tree to escape the system to seek help.

More information can be found at

or have a look at the Perentie Tours home page



About Gary Bondeson

Gary has been directly involved in tourism in Far North Queensland since the 1990’s. His passion for the area was inspired by the rich history and many points of interest concentrated in the region and felt a strong desire to share this with others. Gary is heavily involved with tourism development and even co-hosted an episode of the popular travel show 'The Great Outdoors’ with Tom Williams showing the limestone caves of Chillagoe located 200kms west of Cairns. After being away for 5 years, Gary has now returned to the area that he holds so dear to his heart to share his knowledge and experience with those who wish to have a Fair Dinkum Ozzy experience.

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