Jenolan Caves weekend

We’d been talking about doing it for months and this weekend we finally did it.

On Friday night, after work, we bundled ourselves into two cars and drove west, out of Sydney and into the mountains, to a ‘just-twee-enough’ B&B in a town called Leura. Which we planned to use as a base for an exploration of the nearby* Jenolan Caves.

Hurlstone_Leura

The cottage had three bedrooms and there were five of us, so I was allotted the room by myself (because I go to bed first, sober, and get up earliest rather than because I smell or snore atrociously) and the others shared. 

Insomniac Animal-Lover (below) had thoughtfully prepared a delicious stew for our supper on Friday night – which meant we didn’t have to cook. All we had to do was thaw the bugger out…

thawing out the stew brick

And make a quick starter:

boiled egg anchovy starter

While Insomniac Animal-Lover and Swedish Designer got the dinner on, I lit a fire. I love an open fire – this one didn’t draw terribly well though, hence the bellows:

Firestarter

And then it was time to check the visitors book for hilariously mis-spelled write-ups:

Guest book

A fair amount of wine and chocolate was consumed, as you can no doubt imagine. So, by the time everyone hit the sack, they were rather tipsy. This led – perhaps predictably – to some pictures of the Swedish girl and the Half-Thai girl in bed together which can only be described as ‘very amateur soft porn’ being texted to two guys of their acquaintance. My contribution? Well, I helpfully pointed out that there isn’t a man on the planet who, when sent such photos, would not forward them to his mates. ‘Viral’ was the word I used, I believe… 🙂

Anyway, we were up bright and early on Saturday for our tour to the caves. Largely thanks to the scrumptious croissants thoughtfully brought along by Aussie Puppy Mummy:

Aussie puppy mummy

And it was well worth it. But first, some lichen on a tree in a ‘historic’ 19th century village en route to the caves. Because I like lichen and fungi.

lichen

So, to the caves… The Pillar of Hercules, Orient Cave – and some people for scale:

Pillar of Hercules

Crystal formations, Orient cave:

Crystal formations Orient cave

Blues and greens in Orient cave:

Blues in Jenolan Caves Orient

I will resist the temptation to caption this:

Ahem

The Indian Canopy formation, Orient cave. Bear in mind this is about 25 feet high:

Indian canopy Orient cave

A stalactite, mid-drip:

Stalactite drip

The Crystal River, which sadly I couldn’t capture properly on camera:

Crystal river Orient cave

Limestone ‘shawls’, stalactites, stalacmites, helictites, Orient Chamber, Jenolan Caves:
Orient cave 

And lastly, a view of the path through the caves which made me think of Indiana Jones:

Indiana Jones Orient cave

Marvellous, aren’t they? Astonishing what water, calcium carbonate, iron oxide and several million years in the dark can do…

And here we all are at Echo Point (well, apart from me, I was safely behind the camera) post brunch, massages and gift/souvenir shopping:

Echo Point

Oh, such japes!

 

*When I say nearby, I mean in the Australian sense – the caves were an hour and a half’s coach journey from our accommodation. But that kind of distance is nothing to your true blue Aussie.

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8 Responses to Jenolan Caves weekend

  1. What a marvelous outing! I am quite jealous.

    *suitable pause*

    So, how do I get a copy of that photo?

  2. azahar says:

    The blues and greens are stunning.

    What an amazing weekend. I might go visit some caves near Málaga next month … if someone can figure out how to actually get me into a cave, that is.

  3. noggin says:

    Lovely photos. The caves remind me very much of the Dan-yr-Ogof caves back in Wales. http://www.showcaves.co.uk/cathedralcave.html

  4. There. I was going to say that these caves remind me of Carlsbad Caverns here in New Mexico. Timpanogos Cave in Utah has soda straws and helictites galore, but the flow stone and the stalagmites are more massive at Carlsbad.

    I really perked up when I saw you mentioning “massages”. Hope yours were great, sounds like you had a perfect weekend.

    I need a getaway like that with my girlfriends.

  5. sledpress says:

    Australia sounds like Arizona, where I have not been, but which has been described to me as “the kind of place where if you go out somewhere to dinner, you need to bring your lunch.”

  6. modestypress says:

    liking lichen?
    temptation to caption?
    stalactite, mid-drip?

  7. woo says:

    David – for a small fee, it can be arranged… 😉

    azahar – yes, they reminded me of the caves in southern France and northern Spain, but without the cave paintings. The aboriginal people of this area called the caves ‘binoomea’ or ‘dark places’ and avoided them (quite sensible, really, when you don’t have electric light).

    noggin – I hadn’t heard of those Welsh caves, they look amazing. I shall add them to my list ( I do love a cave!)

    healingmagichands – I was actually reminded of you a lot this weekend – firstly with the caves because I know you love geology and secondly with the hot-stone massages. I even pictured your garden being outside the massage room while I was being massaged; even including Ruby! 🙂

    sledpress – that sums it up exactly. And it explains why I always have a chocolate bar in my bag… its not greed, its pragmatism. 😉

    Mr Random – I keep trying to drag my mind out of the gutter, but so far, no luck…

  8. The Jenolan Caves are stunning – thanxs for sharing your photo’s

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