Walltopia Caves Bring Knowledge to Life
Sunshine Coast Recreation Center
Caves are rich in stories to tell and are an unforgettable experience for both adults and children – they give you a sense of what life looked like as far back as 500 million years ago. You can even feel it by touching the rock formations which hide fossils of some of the first living beings to ever roam the planet. This way, you can see frozen in their daily behavior ancient animals, such as the trilobites, that were here long before even the first dinosaurs hatched.
Caves also give you the opportunity to walk in the steps of ancient humans and see traces from their life, including the earliest artworks in existence. You can see the handprint of a Neanderthal who lived in a Spanish cave some 64,000 years ago or a bull drawing made by a Borneo island inhabitant some 40,000 years ago. These artifacts don’t only give us information about our ancestors, but also bring us much closer to their way of life.
And last but not least, caves themselves are a sight to behold – they vary greatly in size and shape, as well as structure. They’re full of amazing cave formations, such as stalactites hanging from the ceiling or stalagmites rising from the floor. These incredible formations are composed of lava, minerals, sand or other material and take shape over millennia, some of them dated back to 100 000 years ago.
Nature-Inspired and Recreated
All this makes caves a remarkable opportunity for exciting discovery and an experience that is fun and educational at the same time. This is why, stepping on our background in the climbing and active entertainment industry, we developed the artificial cave experience – a combination of exciting learning and exploration, sports, fun and a healthy dose of adrenaline.
The rock realistic surfaces of their caves come with authentic cave features: stalactites and stalagmites, fossils, lava, sumps. In order to achieve that, we offer either of two materials widely used in the production of artificial caves – glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) which means sculptors shaping the concrete on the spot or glass fiber reinforced plastic (GFRP) which means it is composed by molds taken by real cave rocks.
GFRC can recreate any artistic impression while GFRP eases the process dramatically since it requires no work on the field. The choice between them is not intuitive as both can do the work, but if you aim at building a cave that can be an anchor attraction by itself, GRP is preferred. Experience-wise, that might be the biggest difference between the two. However, the authenticity of the cave experience doesn’t end with just the way they look.
More than Cave Walks
Explorium National Sport and Science Center
As with most things in life, first impressions matter in caves too. If done right, your experience – from the first step till the end, will feel like a real adventure, not just like a walk within beautifully made artificial rocks. The tour starts with the operator’s briefing and then, depending on the length and complexity of the cave, can continue as a guided or not-guided tour.
The guided tour brings in added value for parents and educational institutions as it gives kids both the adrenaline of the walk and the richness in knowledge. Having someone guide the dozen excited kids in a dark, tight, enclosed space and tell them where to stop and pay attention to different sites – as hand marking or animal painting – is key to maximizing the experience.
This way, the kids will have the chance to learn more and explore the wonders of speleology, walking through topic-related chambers dedicated to ancient life or stalactites. While on their quest, they will pass through tall tunnels resembling a real cavern, dive into sumps and hunt for treasures.
On their way, they will pass through various rock formations and learn about the underground world formed by nature. In some places, they will be crawling through narrow tunnels with a variety of routes, squeezing through tiny holes and passing different obstacles which will challenge them physically, just like in a real cave. The experience has that “wow” effect on people and is outstanding thanks to the variety of activities offered to the visitor, and as with many edutainment experiences – the more, the better.
The Caves are also gamified to enhance the adventure, feeding the kids’ natural curiosity for exploration beneath the surface. The Gamifier platform encourages kids to collect points by hunting for hidden fossils or filling the volcano with lava as fast as they can. Other games include repeating the pattern of shining lights or choosing fossil animals or plants – a great way for the kids to learn while playing.
Real, Scary, Fun and Safe
Dunmore East Adventure Centre
During their cave visit, kids are treated just like the little explorers they are and are given helmets, headlamps, knee and elbow protectors, as well as torches. They will not only be able to see and touch what a real cave is like, but also enjoy the sound and special lighting effects too.
Last but not least, as much fun as it is to think about all that one can experience in a cave, it’s important to remember they are enclosed spaces and as such, safety considerations are a must when buying one
The cave must have a good ventilation system and emergency exits on every 10 meters for the tunnels. To maximize these measures, you can also add LED emergency lights and fire-resistant GRP.
We provide you with the opportunity to build your custom cave and ensure all safety measures are in place. This is why artificial caves are considered an excellent way to provide for your visitors a fun and secure encounter with knowledge about this world. Real, scary, fun and safe don’t usually go together, but that’s only until Walltopia steps in.