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“Fascinating, but over-priced”
Review of The Crystal Caves

The Crystal Caves
Ranked #3 of 23 things to do in Atherton
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Recognised as one of Australia's most unusual attractions, this world class natural history museum gives visitors a very exciting glimpse at what happened millions of years ago beneath our earth's crust. Rene Boissevain is a man with a passion. He has spent a lifetime travelling to every corner of the world to collect crystallised mineral specimens, gemstones, fossils and rocks. He searches only for the best - the most perfect, the most extraordinary, the most valuable, the rarest and the biggest. To house his growing collection of more than 600 individual pieces, Rene has built 250 m2 of tunnels and grottos for you to explore. Visitors are given a helmet and a catalogue to identify the specimens and explore the caves unguided. This virtual cave gives the feeling of finding these natural formations yourself. Carefully positioned and delicately lit, you are free to discover in your own time and encouraged to touch and photograph the crystals. Open your mind and put all expectations aside, this is not your average museum...
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed September 8, 2012

I was really looking forward to seeing the "Empress of Uruguay", however, paying $20 per adult to see it was very disappointing and soon changed my mind. The gift shop and Amethyst Room was absolutely stunning!

Thank Donna S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JimatTheCaves, General Manager at The Crystal Caves, responded to this reviewResponded February 18, 2013

Thanks for taking the time to write your review.
Glad you rated most aspects of our attraction as "stunning", but sorry to hear that you were disappointed by the value offered. We do know that our pricing is very competitive with other attractions in the far-north here, and we're actually quite proud that we've been able to keep our ticket costs at the same level for over two years now.
Thanks again.

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329 - 333 of 346 reviews

Reviewed September 3, 2012

The huge amaythest is worth a look - it is amazing....especially if you love crystals. Many great purchases to be made in the store. Take a day trip to Atherton and explore the tablelands aliong the way.

Thank Misspiggylovespink
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JimatTheCaves, General Manager at The Crystal Caves, responded to this reviewResponded February 18, 2013

Thanks for your comments.
We very much appreciate your thoughts.
It seems like you realised that a great number of the items that we offer in our 'Fascinating Facets' gift shop are unique, and will not be found elsewhere in Australia. We're really proud of the quality and pricing that we offer with the many items that we source directly from our overseas partners.
Thanks.

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Reviewed August 23, 2012

I wish I'd looked this up online prior to making the dizzying drive along the winding road that seemed to have more turns than Hana and less to see. We did like the rolling hills on the other side, but got to Atherton and were quickly disappointed. The "Crystal Caves" were a huge rip off and clearly a clever tourist trap. They're advertised (full page) on all tourist literature, yet aren't caves at all. The "caves" appear to be made of foam and are constructed in the basement of a jewelry/geode store. We were actually embarrassed after paying money to go inside. With coupon (and thankful for that), it was $50 Australian to enter what appeared to be someone's geode collection spread out in an attempt to make it look cavelike ... it wasn't! To make it even more of a ripoff, these weren't even Australian ... they were imported from other countries and some uplift crystals even appeared to be made from plastic. It seems criminal that this place be permitted to advertise itself the way it does, I was tempted to call my credit card company and ask them to refuse the charge ... and that was within 3 minutes of entering the "caves"!!! Do yourself a favor and skip this joke of an establishment. The drive to Atherton may be worth it if you review some other points of interest ... we were so frustrated, we turned around and headed right back to Cairns. In stark contrast, we'd been to Kuranda the day before and loved the train, town, river cruise and skyrail back.

2  Thank debbiehEverett_WA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JimatTheCaves, General Manager at The Crystal Caves, responded to this reviewResponded February 18, 2013

Thanks for this review.

We regret that the reviewer clearly didn't enjoy their time here at The Crystal Caves, but of course we still appreciate them publishing their opinions here so that we can respond.

We take this opportunity to correct some of the many factual errors or clear misunderstandings in the review;

1/ We must respectfully object to the words "rip-off" directed at our business. While the reviewer is naturally entitled to their opinion, this is a defamatory and incorrect description. We have many thousands of comments in our visitors books going back over twenty eight years that will refute it.

2/ The same applies to the words "Tourist Trap" which is also both defamatory and incorrect.

3/ The Crystal Caves complex is not constructed in the "basement of a jewellery store" as the reviewer states, but in fact stretches for a full block in length and well beyond the main building above it.

4/ If the reviewer paid AU$50 for entry then there has been an error of some sort. Our adult ticket price is $22.50, so two would total just $45.00

5/ The description that the reviewer gives of the collection on display in The Caves as "appears to be someone's geode collection" is incorrect and misleading. The collection comprises over six hundred significant specimens, including some of the largest and more rare specimens of all types, crystals, minerals fossils and the largest Amethyst Geode in the world.

6/ The reviewer correctly mentions that many of the pieces in the collection have been imported, which is actually a huge positive - this collection is the result of our owners and founders traveling the world to source the very best of each specimen type that is available anywhere, most of which simply do not occur in Australia in any form.

7/ There are definitely no "plastic" crystals, or any other artificial specimens anywhere at The Crystal Caves. Every specimen is 100% natural.

8/ The word "criminal" in relation to our advertising is again defamatory and incorrect. Our business has been here for twenty eight years and we continue now to advertise and promote factually, honestly and ethically in every respect, as we always have.

9/ Referring to a long established business that continues to be adored (according to our visitors books) by thousands of visitors every year as "a joke of an establishment" is again defamatory and does an injustice to the reviewer.

We do appreciate the opportunity to correct the inaccuracies presented by this reviewer.
Thanks.

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Reviewed July 23, 2012

Amazing to see what nature can make. Crystal Caves easy to find and reasonably priced. They have made the caves very real. Hard to stop at just a few items when shopping there. Very helpful staff. There is no rushing you.Staff very good also with kids had all the time to answer any questions. Would definitly go again.

Thank wassink04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JimatTheCaves, General Manager at The Crystal Caves, responded to this reviewResponded February 18, 2013

Thanks for taking the time to post this review.
Good to see that this reviewer appreciates the many examples of natures amazing creations on display here at The Crystal Caves. That's really what we are all about, simply showcasing the amazing things that nature presents to us.
Thanks again.

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Reviewed July 9, 2012

Let's be clear: this is not a cave, it is a polystyrene basement underneath the shop. Most of the stones are imported from other countries and are not Australian - something that is not made clear before you pay $22.50 for a ticket.

The 'cave' is cheesy, poorly lit and expensive. We felt ripped off and compelled to leave this review, as the 'cave' is heavily marketed in the region.

1  Thank Kel G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JimatTheCaves, General Manager at The Crystal Caves, responded to this reviewResponded February 18, 2013

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Yes, as this reviewer says, let's be clear; The Crystal Caves is not definitely a natural cave, nor is it promoted or advertised as such. In fact we go to considerable lengths to ensure that no-one can buy a ticket from us with any sort of misunderstanding about what we present.

So to once again clear up any possible confusion; The Crystal Caves is a world class crystal, mineral and fossil museum that has been built over many years to feel like a cave. Judging from what our guests write in our visitors book, we've been rather successful in that as about 95% of them DO appreciate the feel of a natural cave, AND very much appreciate seeing and touching the hundreds of beautiful and rare specimens on display there. (Specimens that by the way could never be seen in a natural cave).

The reviewers comment that many of the specimens are imported is actually a tribute to the efforts of our founders and owners, who sought the very best of each type of specimen from throughout the world, regardless of distance or cost. They would have compiled a very small and low quality collection if they had limited themselves to Australian specimens only - for instance the very best Amethyst in the world comes from Uruguay, and we just don't have Mammoth jawbones available in Australia.

The Crystal Caves complex stretches far beyond the boundaries of the shop above it, way back to the next street in fact so it's a lot more extensive than the reviewer would suggest - we wonder whether this reviewer actually saw the full complex.

One final error in the reviewers comments; there is absolutely no "Polystyrene" used anywhere in the construction of The Crystal Caves.
Thanks again.

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