Margaret River (caves...and more food!)October 7, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 12 °C
Faced with more dismal weather on Saturday, we figured it was a great opportunity to check out some of the caves in the region. We headed to Lake Cave on telephone advice to "just rock up for a tour" to find that a group of 12 had just registered and beaten us to it (the pitfalls of school holiday travelling!) so we confirmed a later booking, bought our 3 cave pass and headed 10 minutes back up the road to Mammoth Cave. Mammoth Cave offered a self guided tour using headphones and an audio player which the kids really enjoyed. The tour takes anywhere between 30 min to 1 hour depending on how much time you spend at each "station" and whether you choose to listen to the additional audio content (a bit too academic for most kids, but definitely some interesting information).
The cave itself was a good introduction for the kids - easily accessible walkways and stairs and well lit stations guided our way through the chambers. Confirmation that the kids had been listening was when they asked "where is the red shawl?" - this stunning formation is only viewed from the top most platform in the cave and because we'd had to weave in and out of other visitors the audio had ended before we arrived at the destination! We headed up the 160+ steps from the cave to the surface and crossed the main road (!!) to the walking tracks back to the car park. Owing to our booked tour at Lake Cave we opted for the shorter route back to the car park, however it would have been nice to do the slightly longer walk to see if we could spot some wildflowers in bloom amongst the giant Karri trees.
Back at Lake Cave, we joined 30 other people (29 when someone suffering claustrophobia had to make a quick exit as we descended!) and entered the cave via a sunken entrance first discovered by a young girl on horseback in 1901 (it took 30 years to re-find the spot!). The cave itself was much smaller than Mammoth but it was very active (meaning water still dripping through....we later learned this is mostly accountable to human intervention - scientists concerned with dropping water levels in the cave have been harvesting rain water and carefully pumping it through the cave daily) and we saw the amazing "suspended table", held above the water below by some super strong columns!
Full of awe and newly acquired cave-lingo we headed back to Margaret River and dropped the car at the campsite to make the short walk for a long, late lunch at the local Margaret River Brewery. Owned by 3 local families who had the vision for a spot the locals could walk to, we all enjoyed some (more!) fabulous food and Jen and Roy sampled some of the local beer and wine offerings while the kids wore themselves out on the grass and neighbouring playground.Read more