Creating the ultimate bucket list for visiting the caves of the Nullarbor? After visiting the Weebubbie and Murrawijinie Caves, don’t forget to drop by the Caiguna Blowhole! A hidden attraction in the Nullarbor Plain, this cavernous blowhole provides a sneak peek to what lies beneath the rocky Australian ground.
Located in Western Australia, Caiguna is the second stop east of Norsemen on the journey across the Nullarbor Plain. ‘Caiguna’ is believed to have derived from an Aboriginal word that means ‘spear track’, pertaining to the speargrass abundant in the area. The townsite was established in 1962 to assist traffic in the Nullarbor plain to make way for the Commonwealth Games.
Aussie travellers, ranging from grey nomads to committed spelunkers keep coming back to this small town because of the Caiguna Blowhole, which is located 5 kilometres west of Caiguna and 10 metres on the Eyre Highway. You can easily spot the Caiguna Blowhole since there’s a visible sign pointing to the area, so don’t miss this oddly interesting road stop.
They say that the hills have eyes, but are the caves alive? The answer is yes, but not for a frightening reason. When caves ‘breathe’, air pressure falls and rises. The periodic reversal of air flow is caused by the pressure equalisation between the underground cavities and the air pressure above the ground, while the speed of breathing is related to the volume of air contained in the cave as well as the cross-sectional area of a cave’s entrance.
The Caiguna blowhole, just like Nullarbor caves, breathe more vigorously than all the other caves in Australia – in fact, air movement at cave entrance has been measured to be around 72 kilometres per hour. As you get closer the the blowhole, you can feel the earth breathing through the air currents, which, according to Aboriginal legends, were believed to be the breath of spirits. You will also see that the Caiguna blowhole is connected to a tiny cave that has roughly 1.5 metres clearance. These blowholes on the Nullarbor have been formed by both chemical and physical weathering processes through underground cavities.
Getting to Caiguna
Good news: it won’t cost you a dollar to explore the Caiguna Blowhole, since there is free public access to the area. The blowhole is located on the westbound side of the Eyre Highway. Caiguna is situated at the eastern end of the Ninety Mile Straight – one of the world’s longest straight stretches of road. Since Caiguna is an isolated area and this could be one of your longest road trips ever, get a full tank and take food and water supplies with you before you begin your journey.
The Caiguna blowhole proves that the Outback has surprises in store for every traveller. Come visit this famous geologic feature in the Outback when you cross the Nullarbor.
Your trip to Caguna can be a lot less tiring when you know you’ve got a place to stay on the vast Eyre Highway. Contact us at the Nullarbor Roadhouse for accommodation right at the heart of the outback.