Naracoorte World Heritage Festival and Run 24 November 2019

The Naracoorte World Heritage Festival and Run will celebrate two unique anniversaries, 50 years since the discovery of the fossils in the Naracoorte Caves and 25 years since the significance of the fossils was recognised on the World stage when the Naracoorte Caves were inscribed on the World Heritage list, with a Mega Fest of activities at the Naracoorte Caves.

The celebrations kick off at 7.30am with the inaugural Naracoorte World Heritage Trail Run.  There’s a course to suit everyone, choose from the: 22km Mega Fauna Run, 14km Stoney Point Run, 5km Dippy Run and the 1km Fossil Dash.  Appreciate the bushland and pine forest trails, the local kangaroo population and other native wildlife, pass sheep farms, vineyards, and not to mention experience the unique limestone formations that are the Naracoorte Caves.

The Big Fun of the Festival runs from 10.00am to 4.00pm.  The activities start with the Welcome to Country, official opening and Trail Run presentations at the Mega Stage. 

Big Stories will be told in the Blanche Cave: join world renowned singing palaeontologist Professor Flint on a musical adventure celebrating the extraordinary animals found in the Naracoorte Caves.  Including songs about thylacoleo, and wonambi, “Dancing with Diprotodons” is a journey of discovery to the place Prof Flint first experienced these amazing animals that once dwelt in and around Naracoorte.  It is a journey shared with many Australians, and people from around the world.  A journey to the learn about creatures of the World Heritage Naracoorte Caves.  Book your tickets at the Wonambi Fossil Centre on 08 8760 1210.

At 12.45pm in the Blanche Cave the Naracoorte Caves Music Ensemble premieres Ivan Skawronski’s composition “Adventure To The Limestone Caves”.  The Naracoorte Caves Music Ensemble commissioned Ivan Skawronski to compose music for the Naracoorte World Heritage Festival.  In Ivan’s words “This music is a tale of exploration, an epic romp through the wilds and down into an uncharted cave system. Like any great adventure, the piece is exciting, rich, and a little exotic, with something new around every corner.  It celebrates the spirit of adventure and scientific endeavour, as well as the discovery of a national treasure: a massive trove of fossils that acts as a tiny window into a lost world, giving hints about the extraordinary prehistoric animals that once held coveted places in Australia’s pantheon of iconic fauna.”

The Naracoorte Singers will set the scene for “Adventure To The Limestone Caves” with a performance of the song “This is Naracoorte… This is who we are” at 12.30pm.

At 1.45pm in the Blanche Cave take “A trip back in time” with fossil and cave exploring legends Professor Rod Wells and Grant Gartrell, the men responsible for finding the immense amount of megafauna remains in the Victoria Fossil Cave 50 years.  Hear Rod and Grant, two blokes with a passion for the unknown and a spirit of exploration, retrace their fateful steps that led to the World Heritage listing of the Naracoorte Caves.

Local vertebrate palaeontologist Dr Liz Reed will run a special tour, Picnic Ground to World Heritage, at 3.15pm.  The Naracoorte Caves World Heritage Area is the major research site for the University of Adelaide’s paleontological research team, where Dr Reed is a Research Fellow in Paleontology.  Book your tickets at the Wonambi Fossil Centre on 08 8760 1210. 

Throughout the day the University of Adelaide Palaeontologists will provide fun filled activities including fossil displays and demonstrations at the Fossil Lab and fossil dig sand pit.  Palaeontologists work to reveal the secrets of the caves by excavating fossils revealing the earth’s evolutionary history and telling the story of Australian’ mammals. 

Throughout the day there will be special cave tours, join the Fossil Hunters Discovery Trail, taste local Wrattonbully Wines, feast on food, explore the Farmers and Makers Market and explore the mega range of other activities. 

Later in the afternoon sit back and relax at the Mega Stage and enjoy the performances by Australian Country Musician, Matt James and the Alex Keser Quartet. 

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The Festival and Run has received funding of $20,000 from the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund, helping to drive economic growth and create stronger regional communities into the future.  The Naracoorte Lucindale Council and the Naracoorte Lucindale Business and Tourism Association are also contributing $15,400 and $5,000 respectively. 

The University of Adelaide, Naracoorte Lucindale Council and the Naracoorte Caves are supporting the Festival and Run with in kind contributions.