Pompeii Cave

North Queensland

Pompeii Cave can be accessed from the Donna Cave car park, 1.8km south of Chillagoe. From the car park, a well-formed track with many steps leads through deciduous vine forest to Pompeii Cave—a cleft in the rock filled with large boulders, the remnants of a previous collapse.

Inside this small cave, look for bats sleeping high in dark crevices and rock-wallabies hopping from boulder to boulder. A short but steep climb to the bottom reveals a dark passage and some attractive formations. Be careful not to walk on or touch cave decorations such as flowstone or cave coral. Torches are required.

Getting there

Chillagoe is 215km west of Cairns, around 3hrs drive. It can be accessed from the northern end of the Atherton Tableland via Mareeba and Dimbulah. The road is sealed to Almaden. Over the final 32km of road there are both sealed and unsealed sections. Chillagoe can also be accessed from the southern end of the Atherton Tableland via Herberton, although there are more unsealed sections along this route. Conventional vehicle access is possible in dry weather but roads may be impassable in the summer wet season.



Route/Trail notes

This walk  is easy to follow provided you can identify the smooth spots on rocks. Just look for the most weathering or 'black marks' from the oil on peoples hands to guide your way. You'll start climbing up and over boudlers towards the left and top of the cave then do a U-turn. Ultimately you'll end up exactly in front of where you start the walk however you can't walk 'as the cross flies' due to a boulder wall in the way.

Once you'are at the top of the chamber (far left from where you started), you'll face downwards and walk to the bottom left of the cave where the tunnel begins. From the top it may not be easy to see there is a path and the cave continues as this is an open daylight chamber but rest assured you will need your torch for this one.


I feel I've made these trail notes confusing but you can't get lost in the cave by any means, one way in, one way out. It just may not be obvious just how far you can go.


No associated costs

Other References

Check in at The Hub (tourist info) in Chillagoe before starting your caving adventure. It's also a good idea so at least someone know's where you are.

GPS Tracks

  • No GPS available for this walk yet.


Completed this walk as one of many done on our only day in Chillagoe. Almost left the cave without realising we could walk through a dark tunnel. The first daylight chamber is spectacular enough as it is! Wallabies/roo's clearly love this cave, watch your step!

Alice on 24 Jan, 2015


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