Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Yarrangobilly Caves

Another beautiful day with clear blue skies and the tribe is looking forward to visiting the Yarrangobilly Caves. The caves are situated off the Snowy Mountains Hwy between Talbingo and Kiandra, down a gravel road. The folks at the information centre are extremely helpful and offer great advice on what is good for families with young kids.

Of the many caves open to the public, we venture to the South Glory Caves, which is self-guided unlike others which require booking a tour with a guide. The cave entrance is a 400m walk from the car park near the information centre, along a bush track that overlooks the gully that heads towards the thermal pools.

As we enter the cave, the tribe need reassuring due to the impending darkness that it will be totally fine and fun. The strategically placed soft spot lights that line the concrete path through the caves offer just enough lighting – we call these ‘candles’ which makes it special for the tribe, as candles are magical!. The further we walk into the caves, tribe’s confidence grows with Kaydin marvelling the experience – to the extent that he said to Zak, who showed signs of discomfort, “it’s okay, I’m here”.

We enjoy the many features typical of caves – stalagmites, stalactites, shawls and pools – which the tribe marvel. This is an adventure for them as well as an opportunity for them to exclaim “Whoooooo!” hoping for an echo. After about twenty minutes we climb the stairs towards the exit – we know it’s the exit as it is marked so on the exit door (who’d had thought there be a door to the cave?).

Feeling hungry, we find a park bench next to the carpark where we feed ourselves – and what a wonderful place to snack as we are joined by a male lyrebird foraging in the grass just 20 metres from where we are seated. The tribe watches, intrigued by its long, decorative tail as it fossicks through the tufts of grass and dirt for food.

After it nourishes itself, the lyrebird, upon yours truly trying to get closer for ‘that great photo’ hurries back into the undergrowth, only to start making a variety of other bird calls, mimicking a handful of other local native birds – to the extent, I have no idea what the lyrebird call is.

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