Niah Caves

The Great Cave of Niah is enormous by any measure. The floor area of the cave has been calculated at almost 10 hectares and in places the cave roof rises a majestic 75 meters above the rubble-strewn floor. It has been the site of around 40,000 years of human occupation.

The earliest phase of cave occupation is referred to as the Paleolithic (old stone age) and occurs in the late Pleistocene epoch. The Pleistocene ends with the beginning of Holocene epoch around 10,000 years ago. During the Holocene there were many exciting changes in the way humans occupied a wide range of environments across the globe.

At Niah, human use of the caves changes from a location of intermittent use by mobile foragers during the early Holocene and becomes a major repository of the dead around 4,000 years ago. At the same time, there is evidence for the use of pottery as funerary gifts and also as burial jars, with much later evidence for the deposition of imported metals, ceramics and glass.

Niah Cave is a two hours' drive from Miri. Access is made possible by accessible roads, therefore National Park headquarters is easily reached by car. Navigation is made easy with the large road signs showing the distance and way. Batu Niah is the nearest township - from there is is a pleasant boat ride or 45-minute stroll along the riverbank to the National Park.