State heritage nomination

State heritage nomination

The Tantanoola Caves Complex has recently been nominated for inclusion and protection on the South Australian Heritage Register.

The caves were discovered by local teenager Boyce Lane (now deceased) in 1930.

Their spectacular formations have proven to be a popular drawcard for tourists and locals alike ever since.

The Lane family were the first caretakers/managers and were followed by the then Tantanoola District Council and latterly the Department for Environment and Water.

The SA Heritage Council provisionally entered the Tantanoola Caves Complex under section 16 of the Heritage Places Act 1993.

A spokesperson for the SA Heritage Council said the Tantanoola Caves Complex was an area containing 19 karst features on a limestone/dolomite ridge exposure.

“The caves within the Tantanoola Conservation Park provide excellent exposures of pink dolomite, the result of an iron component linked to local volcanism,” the spokesperson said.

“They are the only examples of pink dolomite caves in the state and provide ample opportunity for scientific research.

“Lake Cave is recognised as a Special Purpose Reference Cave based on the Principles of Karst Management, demonstrating that it contains exceptional scientific value.

“Both caves are highly decorated for their size, containing varied and abundant cave formations, some of which are rare and appear in high concentration.

“These decorations are continuing to form and grow.”

The spokesperson said the formations contain information pertaining to previous infill events and demonstrate the rich history of the caves.

“The dolomite component of the caves will provide high scientific value in understanding the formation of cave decorations, the processes that alter limestone to dolomite and impacts on the surrounding landscape,” the spokesperson said.

“The SA Heritage Council also agreed it intends to designate the Tantanoola Caves Complex for both its speleological and geological significance after a consultation process.

“This decision to provisionally enter the Tantanoola Caves Complex triggers three months of public consultation and the SA Heritage Council would appreciate hearing the views of the public.”

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