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River Cave

Tour Length : 2 hourshours

Number of Steps : 1298

Tour Size : 25 people

Click here for a map of the River Cave

This tour has one of the largest numbers of steps of all the show caves. Fortunately they tend to be evenly spread throughout the tour and the guides do not expect visitors to sprint. This cave does require a near vertical ladder to be descended so guests should take this into account. Some women may get embarrassed if they are wearing short skirts so it is best to wear slacks or shorts if intending to visit this cave.


Of all the cave tours available this tour seems to attract the majority of guests on their second visit. The River Styx is seen on a number of occasions although it appears more as large pools of blue water rather than flowing streams. The Pool of Reflections is a highlight, being illuminated from beneath the water. Much beautiful formation is seen throughout this tour as well. The cave was discovered in 1903 by James Carvosso Wiburd

Points of Inspection

Tower Chambers - The River Cave is approached by passing through the last chambers of the Lucas Cave. An ascent is made from river level and the tour commences in the Tower Chambers. This section presents an excellent photo opportunity with the stalagmite known as the Minaret.

Pool of Reflections - For many people this is the highlight of the tour. A large pool of water is illuminated from a variety of directions, casting a multitude of reflections, culminating in illumination from below water level to show the blue colouring of the water.

Queens Canopy - A large canopy of flowstone extends out from the wall. At one time a bank of mud stood in this area and water flowed over the surface depositing a layer of flowstone. Later the mud was washed from below the flowstone leaving the canopy suspended above the floor.

Queen Esthers Chamber - This is an offshoot of the main passageway. A very tall chamber, it is very well decorated.

Mons Meg Chamber - The centrepiece of this chamber is an enormous piece of formation that has fallen to the floor. It was considered b the early explorers to resemble the canon, Mons Meg, which is on display in Edinburgh Castle. At one time the canon had been fired and it had exploded. With some imagination the likeness becomes apparent.

Olympia/Grand Column - This is the most southerly point of the cave inspection. The chamber is dominated by a large column, predominantly a stalagmite, known as the Grand Column.

Mud Tunnels - A return trip is made back towards Queens Canopy. The passageway is low in sections and at one point the observant will gain another view of the underground river.