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Platypus and water rats burrow into the river banks. Reed beds along quieter stretches shelter ducks and moorhens. Azure Kingfishers and herons fish in the shallows. Emus, Eastern Grey Kangaroos and Red-necked Wallabies are common, as are Brush-tailed Possums, Koalas and Echidnas. The park also has small colonies of wombats and Yellow-bellied Gliders.
The geological characteristics were formed millions of years ago when sea creatures, deposited on the ocean floor, compacted into limestone. Eons later the water receded, exposing the seabed. Water, percolating through and dissolving the limestone, formed the caves. Aboriginal people lived in the area for many thousands of years and had an intimate knowledge of its geography, flora and fauna, all of which had great spiritual significance. They suffered greatly from the effects of European settlement, but their descendants are now involved in park management and in recovering their heritage. European settlement began in the 1830s but fortunately large areas remained uncleared. Today these are mostly protected in the national park.
In terms of plant life, the park is where east meets west. Gullies at Moleside Creek contain the most westerly tree ferns in Australia and at least 60 other plant species which are found no further west. At the same time many West Australian plants occur here - the edge of their eastern range - so that a total of 700 species, including 50 orchids, can be found in and around forest, heath, swamp and river.