The 2 hr. Riverbend Explorer tour is family-friendly and the easiest cave exploring in the park. On some guided tours, there is a moderately strenuous uphill hike (25 min.) to get to the cave. Inside the cave, no sidewalks or railings, just a rocky floor to negotiate, like a riverbed. You will be walking on and stepping off rocks up to 1 metre (3 ft.) in size. It is possible there is water present in parts of the cave and so the rocky floor can be slippery or rocks can shift around.
Nervous is normal – don’t let it stop you from trying. Everything here is “challenge by choice”. If you feel uncomfortable in the cave, one of our guides will lead you out. On most tours you are never more than 5 minutes from the exit (except the 4 and 5 hr. Extreme tours which are, well . . . longer).
The 2 hr.Riverbend Explorer Tour is excellent for children age 5 and up. The 1hr. Main Cave Experience and 3hr. Multi-Cave Spelunking Adventure are for ages 8 and up. Longer trips such as the 4 and 5 hour expeditions are for ages 13-15 and up. Check out the minimum age requirements before you book. Self-guiding is up to you but we would never recommend carrying a baby or small toddler in your arms or in a backpack while inside the caves.
The 2hr. Riverbend Explorer does not have squeezes or crawls. The 3hr. Multi-Cave Spelunking Adventure has some climbing and narrow passages. The 4hr. Vertical Challenge and the 5hr. Extreme Cave Rappel both require some crawling and roped climbs. The crawls are similar to crawling under a picnic table.
Riverbend Cave is 384 metres (1270 ft.) long. Main Cave is 136 metres (450 ft.) long. Andre’s Annex is 54m. long (177 ft.), Lower Main is 40 metres (132 ft.) long. Most caves contain rooms 2-3 storeys high. Riverbend Cave has a seven-storey waterfall inside!
LOTS. We know not everybody wants to go inside the cave. Non-cavers are invited to learn about the caves and their geology in the Cave Theatre and Museum display. There is also a great hike with signs along the way explaining the geology and surface features. Public are also welcome to join a guided tour along the surface hikes to the cave entrances and hear first-hand about the geology and formation of these unique caves. As well there are opportunities to try other activities nearby such as rock rappel lessons or head over to the neighboring Regional Park Campground for hiking, canoe rentals, beach walking, and bird watching.
Good footwear is essential for safety. The cave floors are rocky and uneven. Running shoes or hiking boots are best. Rubber boots are better in the winter when the caves may have water flowing inside. The temperature remains at 8 degrees Celsius (47 degrees Fahrenheit) all year round. For tours up to three hours, participants should wear at least one layer of long sleeves and pants while longer tours will need a second layer (fleece or polypropylene shirts and/or nylon pants are ideal). No backpacks.
That depends. Summer and Fall are driest and cave tours depart every day. To avoid crowds, plan on visiting early or late in the day. Winter and Spring are a great time to see the caves in their wild and wet condition, but please call ahead for guided tours.
No rats, bats or snakes. In winter, the Daddy-Long-Leg (harvestman) comes inside the cave entrances to hibernate for approximately 4 months (November to February). Might also see the odd cave-cricket or moth at certain times of the year.
Unfortunately, we do not offer refunds; however, if you call at least 24 hours in advance of your booking, we will move your tour departure to a different date. The cut off for moving your tour date is September 30th.