Celebrating 50 years of local history

Festival: Sponsors and organisers of the Narcoorte World Heritage Festival and Run are all prepared for the event this weekend. Photo: Supplied.
Festival: Sponsors and organisers of the Narcoorte World Heritage Festival and Run are all prepared for the event this weekend. Photo: Supplied.

The time has nearly come when people will be lacing up their runners for the Naracoorte World Heritage Festival and Run.

Organisers of the festival are making sure all loose ends are tied up to make for a successful event.

There will be plenty on offer this Sunday to celebrate the caves' two unique anniversaries; 50 years since the discovery of one of the world's 10 greatest fossil sites and 25 years since they were inscribed on the World Heritage list.

The day will kick off at 7.30am with the run, and the festival will officially begin at 10am.

With plenty on offer to see and do, guests are encouraged to be taken back in time with fossil and cave exploring legends professor Rod Wells and Grant Gartrell.

They will be joined by Naracoorte Caves district ranger Brian Clark at the Blanche Cave at 1.45pm and will talk about the history of the caves.

Rod and Grant are responsible for finding the large amount of megafauna remains in the Victoria Fossil Cave 50 years ago.

The duo will retrace their steps that led to the World Heritage listing of the Naracoorte Caves and the discovery of a lifetime.

The discovery in the Victoria Fossil Cave, in 1969, is one of the world's 10 greatest fossil sites.

The significance of the fossils was recognised on the World stage in 1994 when the Naracoorte Caves were inscribed on the World Heritage list.

Rod has had an amazing career as a university educator, palaeontologist and explorer, and he played a major role in obtaining the Naracoorte Caves World Heritage listing in 1994.

For decades, Rod excavated caves at Naracoorte with students and volunteers, his vision not only for the scientific benefit of the caves but also for their role in tourism and education.

Brian was district ranger at Naracoorte Caves for about 15 years and was instrumental in developing the Naracoorte Caves for visitors.

He is widely regarded throughout Australasia as an expert in cave and karst management and World Heritage.

The World Heritage listing recognises the diversity and the quality of preservation of the fossils in the Naracoorte Caves and the scientific value of the fossil deposits.

The fossils found at the Naracoorte Caves allow you to step back in time, giving an insight into 500,000 years of history.

The fun doesn't stop there, as guests are invited to the Picnic Ground for a special guided tour of the Blanche Cave, led by local vertebrate palaeontologist Dr Liz Reed at 3.15pm.

Blanche Cave was the first cave discovered at the Naracoorte Caves National Park in the 1840s and is the perfect place to learn more about the rich history of the caves.

Secure a spot on the tour by contacting the Wonabi Fossil Centre on 08 8760 1210.

Sunday should provide plenty of fun for the whole family, with talks, tours, entertainment and delicious food, there's something for everyone.

A free bus will run between the Naracoorte Town Square and the Naracoorte Caves - so leave the car in Naracoorte and enjoy the fun.

Details on the event can be found at www.megafest.com.au.