Caves visitor numbers steady

STEADY NUMBERS: More than 12,700 people have visited the Tantanoola and Naracoorte Caves this financial year.

VISITOR numbers at the Tantanoola and Naracoorte Caves are on track to match last year’s record-breaking number of people visiting both national parks, with 12,700 people coming through the doors in the space of three months.

National Parks and Wildlife manager Nick McIntyre said both sites had attracted strong numbers of visitors during the first week of the school holidays and expected the number of visitors to remain steady during the second week.

Mr McIntyre estimated that a majority of visitors to the Naracoorte and Tantanoola Caves were from the greater Adelaide area, prompted by border closures and warm weather.

“About two-thirds of people who are coming at the moment are from the greater metropolitan area, followed by people from other regional areas of South Australia,” he said.

“It is interesting as we are getting a lot of people who are probably coming to the Limestone Coast for the first time ever or the first time in a long time.

“We’ve got marketing which encourages visitors but then there’s this wonderful word of mouth and new connections, where people are telling their friends or posting photographs on social media and the interest in the attractions starts to multiply.”

Last financial year, more than 82,700 Naracoorte Caves tour tickets were sold – smashing its 20-year-old record of 79,000.

Tantanoola Caves also recorded a significant increase in the number of visitors with 26,000 tour participants, the highest number in many years.