Caving - Mt Eccles

Mt Eccles

Volcanic eruptions in the area began about 20,000 years ago and continued for the next 12,000 years, the last eruption occurring 8,000 years ago. This has created an extensive network of caves

Aboriginal tribes resided in two areas around Mount Eccles - one area south of the park at Lake Gorrie, the second at Lake Condah, west of the Park. They constructed stone huts in both areas and stone fish traps at Lake Condah, and lived on fish, native plants and animals. They were permanent residents in these areas until European settlement slowly pushed them out.

Mount Eccles was declared a public purposes (picnic) reserve in 1926. The 35 ha were managed by a committee of local people who built the existing picnic shelter and the track down to and around the edge of Lake Surprise. After World War 2, management was taken over by the Shire of Minhamite until 1960 when the park was declared a National Park. In 1968, 400 ha were added by incorporating part of the Stones Flora and Faunal Reserve west of the mount. When the remainder of the Reserve was added in 1985, Mount Eccles National Park increased to 6120 ha, its present size, which covers the majority of the lava flow from Mount Eccles.