Yanchep National Park – One of the Oldest Park in Western Australia

That day was quite a gloomy day because it was raining early morning in Perth, but since the tour was a confirmed one, even there was drizzling, I booked an Uber so I can reached the pick-up location which is at the front of Perth City YHA hostel in Wellington Street. At first, I thought that I have to check and asked hostel lobby about the tour, but after I inquired inside, they told me that the pickup was just outside of the hostel. I went outside and had uncertainty about the tour though I was in correct pickup location. I felt that way because I did not see signs such as bus tour or even tour guide nearby. I decided to wait.

There was a car arrived at the parking area of the hostel just beside of the building. Then, a woman came in and then, went out and asked my name. Then, I realized that I was talking to the operator of the tour. She introduced herself to me and her name is Patricia. She explained to me the situation of the tour and told me that she decided to push the tour instead of canceling it, even she just had two visitors for the tour. She told me that there was another guest and we waited a bit inside her car.

The second guest arrived and we were introduced to each other. I forgot her name but I recall she is a Singaporean doing solo travel like myself. After few more minutes passed, when Patricia was ready, we started moving towards the first destination. While we were on the road, I was hoping it’s not raining on places that we will visit that day.

If the first tour that I joined headed south of Perth and the second tour was headed east of Perth, this time, the tour headed north of Perth.

We took Mitchell Freeway, Hester Avenue and Wanneroo Road to reach Yanchep National Park. We parked properly and then walked inside the park. While inside, we went straight towards the Koala Board Walk, where we discussed about Koalas. Patricia mentioned that Koalas was not native animals in Western Australia due to mostly dried weather of the states. And while walking on the board, we found some of Koalas resting in the tree branches. I was able to see again the sleepy head Koala Bears. Even though I had seen Koalas for a couple of times while traveling around Australia, it still great to see them again and again specially if they were sleeping in the tree.

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Koalas Board Walk

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Some Koalas in the trees

After enjoying Koalas, we explored the park and our tour guide discussed some of the wildflowers and we looked for them, and we found some immediately which just visible at the ground. The first batch of wildflowers that we had seen were : Weeping Bottlebrush and Red-and-Green Kangaroo Paw.

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Weeping Bottlebrush / Creek Bottlebrush (Melaleuca Viminalis / Callistemon Viminalis)

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Red-and-Green Kangaroo Paw, Mangles Kangaroo Paw or Kurulbrang (Anigozanthos Manglesii)

Our walks continued in Yanchep National Park. While walking casually, the next thing we found was great moment for me. We saw a mother and child western grey kangaroos which I dreamed to see by my naked eyes. Same with Koalas, seeing Roos became a pretty common for me. What’s special about these kangaroos? I wanted to see a mother kangaroo and its young ones called joeys inside the special pouch called marsupium. And that day, I was lucky to see one and able to capture it with my camera.

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Female kangaroo carrying joey inside its marsupium (special pouch)

So far for me, the day was nice and great, some wishes that I had has been accomplished. Then, we walked towards Crystal Cave which located at the underground of the national park.

Crystal Cave

When we reached the location of Crystal Cave, there was couple already waiting on the entrance shed. At first, I was wondering where was the entrance of the cave, then I just realized that since its underground cave, the path to the cave is not pretty obvious. While waiting, I read some information displayed in the waiting shed.

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We waited for few more minutes inside the shed. Then, the cave tour guide and other tourist came out from the ground. Then, he counted the waiting visitors which means that the tour session is open for limited numbers at a time.

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We entered the cave through passing a restricted fence and we stepped down the stairs. The moment we were down, I felt the cold weather that circulates at the underground cave.

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The first scenery that greeted us the moment we stepped down the stairs from the entrance.

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Here we first stopped for a moment while our cave tour guide explaining about the cave. Here, it was mentioned that Henry White whom the first entered the cave in 1903. Then, we took a few steps stairs towards the one of cave chamber.

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Water drips from the cave roof to the ground

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Chamber where it was emphasized to us some of the formations that can be found in the cave. It was also mentioned here the fauna that lives here. And one of them is stygofauna.

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Stalactites

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Stygofauna

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Stalactites

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Stalagmites

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Stalactites

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Columns (with our cave tour guide)

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A sample of water dripping that forms stalactites and the water formed in the ground will result to stalagmites. But these formations cannot be seen immediately at it requires hundred years or more to have even an inch of stalactite or stalagmite.

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Some columns

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Stalactites

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Flowstone

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Stalactites and Shawls

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Stalactites and Columns

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Flowstone

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Stalactites

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Stalactites with Shawls

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Shawls

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Flowstone

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Stalactites

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Stalactites with Shawls

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Columns

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Columns

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Flowstones with Stalactites

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Stalactites, Stalagmites and Columns

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Flowstones, Columns, Shawls, Stalactites and Stalagmites

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Columns, Stalactites and Stalagmites

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Fossils

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Crystal Cave Photos

After exploring Crystal Cave, before we leave the park, we did a bush walking to see and discover the second batch of wildflowers exists in Yanchep National Park. The following wildflowers found were : One-Leaf Cape Tulip, Bristly Cottonhead, Showy Eremophila, Parrot Bush, Common Smokebush, Milkmaid, One-sided Bottlebrush, Posy Trigger-Plant, Yellow Buttercup, Showy Dryandra, Flame Pea, and Cape Marigold.

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One-Leaf Cape Tulip (Moraea Flaccida)

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Bristly Cottonhead (Conostylis Setigera)

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Showy Eremophila (Eremophila Racemosa)

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Parrot Bush (Banksia Sessilis)

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Common Smokebush (conospermum stoechadis)

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Milkmaid (Burchardia congesta)

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One-sided bottlebrush – (Calothamnus quadrifidus)

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Posy Trigger-Plant (Stylidium crossocephalum)

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Yellow Buttercup (hibbertia hypercoides)

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Showy Dryandra (Dryandra formosa)

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Flame Pea (Chorizema cordatum)

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Arctotheca calendula capeweed, plain treasureflower, cape dandelion, or cape marigold

Other unidentified wildflowers

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One more thing that I was fascinated while inside Yanchep National Park, they call it Grass Trees. Literally, they look like just normal grass from the ground at the start but they grow tall as trees.

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Grass Trees

Before leaving the national park and before the heavy rain fell, I had a chance to enjoy the Yanchep Lake which also called as Loch Mcness.

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Loch McNess

That’s how we enjoyed the exploration of Yanchep National Park. Until then.

Notes :
1. Plan to visit Yanchep National Park ? Please check latest information here.
2. Location : Yanchep WA 6035, Australia
3. Directions to the town of Hyden:
Transportation :
a. Join Day Tours from Perth or
b. Drive towards Yanchep WA 6035, Australia or
c. Take train (Joondalup Line) from Perth Underground Station, then get off at Butler Station and take taxi to Yanchep National Park or
d. Take train (Joondalup Line) from Perth Underground Station, then transfer to Butler Station and take bus to Marmion Avenue After Revolution Avenue, and take taxi to Yanchep National Park
Official Website : Yanchep National Park

 

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Name Of The Place : Crystal Cave (Yanchep National Park)

Name Of The Place (Post#59) : Crystal Cave (Yanchep National Park)

Photo of the day is about the name of Crystal Cave inside Yanchep National Park. It is one of the cave that exist in the park that can be enjoyed and one of the beautiful caves to appreciate crystals and other cave formations such as stalactites, stalagmites, columns, shawls and flowstones. Other cave life forms are also emphasize, a worthy cave to explore. The photo is part of Yanchep National Park, The Pinnacles and Lancelin Beach Trip October 2016.

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Notes :
Photo : Name of the Place, Crystal Cave
Location : Yanchep WA 6035, Australia
Transportation :
1. Join Day Tours from Perth or
2. Drive towards Yanchep WA 6035, Australia or
3. Take train (Joondalup Line) from Perth Underground Station, then get off at Butler Station and take taxi to Yanchep National Park or
4. Take train (Joondalup Line) from Perth Underground Station, then transfer to Butler Station and take bus to Marmion Avenue After Revolution Avenue, and take taxi to Yanchep National Park
Official Website : Yanchep National Park

Something To Look At : The Legend of Mulka

Something To Look At (Post#21) : The Legend of Mulka

Photo of the day is about “The Legend of Mulka”. Mulka was the fruit of love between man and woman with forbidden marriage. He was born with crossed eyes that hinders him to become successful hunter. Because of this, he turned to eat children that caused his community to condemn him. Then, he lived in Mulka’s Cave. He even killed his own mother whom really worried about him. Aboriginal people hunt him down until he was caught in Dumbleyung. They left his body for the ants – a punishment for those who break the law. The photo is part of Wheatbelt Region Tour October 2016.

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Notes :
Photo : legend, story, The Legend of Mulka
Location : Hyden WA 6359, Australia
Transportation :
1. Join Day Tours from Perth or
2. Drive towards Hyden WA 6359, Australia
Official Website : Wave Rock

Mammoth Cave – “Dawn of Creation” & Boranup Forest

Mammoth Cave

After visiting Sandalford Winery in Wilyabrup, we moved again. After half an hour, we reached a cave located underground of Boranup part of Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park. The main feature that the cave is proud of is, it is the home to ancient fossil remains of long-extinct giant animals known as Australian Megafauna. The cave shows its fossil jawbone of one of the giant marsupial species embedded within the limestone wall – 50,000 years after the animal roamed the forests above.

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Zygomaturus Jawbone in the wall of the cave – “The jawbone is older than the layer of flowstone capping the deposit, which was deposited approximately 44,000 years before present”

Our cave exploration starts from walking on a boardwalk that led us to the entrance of the cave. The boardwalk itself makes the visit comfortable to any guest. Mammoth Cave itself is proud to be the most easily accessible cave in all the show caves in the region and one of just a few caves in the south-west which contains fossils. What I like about the area of the cave is, it is covered by forest which called as marri forest.

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Boardwalk towards the Mamoth Cave

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Mammoth Cave Entrance

When we entered the cave, we were greeted by an open space of the cave where anyone can see the visible stalactites and stalagmites. The boardwalk continues inside the cave near the entrance and ended beside the stream that flows during winter. Our guide emphasize one of the significant stalagmite located where the water flows during wet season.

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Open space near cave’s entrance

Since it was not my first time to be in the cave, seeing stalagmite and stalactite are now common to me. Probably the thing that I enjoyed inside of it are the different formation of stalagmite and stalactite. Some stalactite are all too pointed which means kind of young stalactite, while some are so huge which we can say a very old one. Some stalagmite at the ground looks like some ancient civilization that we lost a long time ago. If my mind were more imaginative, I can think more.

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Stalagmite and Stalactites

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Stalactite

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Stalagmite

Naturally, because the cave becomes popular tourist spot in the region, they placed stairways and boardwalk inside the cave that even wheelchair can access. These can be enjoyed by any visitors and also protect the life of the cave itself. With this, I can say that Mammoth Cave is one of the most accessible cave that I visited to date.

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Flowstone

Aside from stalactite and stalagmite, another common thing to see inside Mammoth Cave are Flowstone where some were still crystallized and some are not anymore. And the most important thing in science and history, the fossils that found inside the cave.

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Fossils

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Inside the Cave

We climbed up and down, by following the pathways to see more of the cave. It is fascinating as the cave is another proof of time. Historically, early diggers of the cave excavated fossil collection of 10,000 specimens. And the most important discovery did during excavation was the fossil of the extinct animal in Australia. Historically,  the cave opened to tourist in 1904.

Boranup Forest

Coming from Mammoth Cave, on our way to our next destination while we took the Cave Roads, we had to maneuver to a rough road and got a chance to see and appreciate the natural beauty that Boranup Forest has to offer. Boranup Forrest consist of towering karri forest on the west coast of Western Australia between Margaret River and Augusta.

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Notes :
1. Plan to visit Mammoth Cave ? Please check latest information here. How about Boranup Forrest? Check here.
2. Location : W2QH+RV Boranup, Western Australia, Australia
3. Directions to Mammoth Cave and Boranup Forrest:
a. Join Day Tours from Perth or
b. Driving to Boranup
Official Website : Mammoth Cave, Boranup Forest

 

 

 

 

View At My Window : Mammoth Cave

View At My Window (Post#40) : Mammoth Cave

Photo of the day is about Mammoth Cave. Most of the caves, that I had a chance to see are caves that already open for tourist or public, which organized and managed by either volunteer groups or government. Mammoth Cave has been opened for more than a 100 years to tourist. The cave itself can accommodate even visitors in wheelchairs. So this is not the typical cave that adventure extremist to engage in. It is protected since it is one of the few caves that has fossils. The photo is part of Margaret River (Western Australia) Region Tour October 2016.

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Notes :
Photo : cave, Mammoth Cave
Location : Caves Rd, Boranup WA 6286, Australia
Transportation :
1. Join Day Tours from Perth or
2. Driving to Boranup
Official Website : Mammoth Cave

Eco Hiking and Cave Swimming at Pagat

In my second day with Guam Adventures, I did an Eco Hiking Adventure to Pagat Point and a swimming at Pagat Cave. I was only their customer to the said adventure but still they pushed the tour even I was alone who signed-up the tour for that day.

Forgive me as I forgot the name of my guide, but I do remember that he was a mixed Chamorro and Filipino race. His facial features was a familiar one to me as he looks like a Filipino, but he doesn’t speak my language. Three of us went to Pagat. His Japanese woman colleague drove and dropped us to the site which just around 10 minutes away from their headquarters.

The parking was the starting point of the adventure. The hike category was easy to medium but having a guide is a good thing for a new foreign visitor as there is trail that leads to the Pagat Point and leads to the cave which a bit tricky which way you wanted to be first.

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Trails before we reached the Pagat Latte Site

Pagat Latte Site

Along the hike we found an ancient latte stones and some of basalt mortars which both evidences that Pagat was once location of ancient Chamorro Village. Based on history Pagat is one of the four that has been recorded with latte sites on the North East side of the island. “Pagat” means to counsel or advise in Chamorro Language.

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Ancient Basalt Mortar where frogs used it as resting haven for a while.

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Latte Site, where a house stands before as we see 8 pillars

Our trek continues in a densely forest which really great in summer where the hike is really comfortable as the trail covered by trees. I observed during the hike that we were descending and I realized the reason why until we reached Pagat Point.

Pagat Point

When we were out of the forest and as we approached the coast, I saw another spectacular scenery in Yigo Guam. We walked towards what they call the “Arch” where I was amazed how wonderful the scenery when looking down with the arch. Not far from the arch, we rested to enjoy and appreciate the natural beauty of our surroundings. Listening to the waves that struck the coast and the cliff back and forth were really nice to hear. Aside from resting in the area, we had our snacks and photo shots of myself with the scenery. The scenery are the worth prizes or rewards after the hike.

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They call it as Arch with an obvious reason

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Coast

After the Arch scenery, the coast is the next big thing for me. The coastline cliff are all amazing. The scenery is not typical coastal view, the cliff limestone makes it more dramatic. And the waves that strikes back and forth to the coast make it so beautiful that creates variety of hue in the shoreline.

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The limestones along the coast make the scenery so spectacular that I really enjoyed it. Just beware as the limestone may cut your skin if you will not be careful. The scenery makes me want more of it, if only my camera are able to capture all the beauty that I was enjoying at that time.

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If the coast side offers amazing blue color with the shoreline, the land portion of Pagat towards the inland offers surroundings with natural green setting that’s so nice to see.

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After enjoying and appreciating amazing scenic views in Pagat Point, we decided to move again to reach Pagat Cave.

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Pagat Cave

We hiked back from Pagat Point towards the cave. We trekked back by partially ascending but then we descended again until we found the cave. I prepared and put my life vest. Before we entered the cave, we found people going outside and we let them out first before we get in. We talked to the people who came out from the cave. Then, we decided to go inside. My buddy and my guide left his bag in dry area inside the cave before we go to the main area of the cave.

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We went down to the cave and immediately the depth of the water were almost knee-depth. Then we move forward towards the center of the cave where the water is at least my shoulder depth. I am not really good in swimming, I learned the basic swimming from college as my physical education subject. And I was able to do free style in a pool but when the depth of the water is beyond my height, I am not really that confident.

My guide talked a lot of stuff while we both enjoy the water inside the cave. Aside from talking to him with different stuff, I went to the deepest part of the cave and had my souvenir photos.

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After having a great time inside the cave, we decided to go back. One thing that I can say when we went back. If hiking or trekking towards Pagat Point is easy to medium, going back is quite more challenging because anyone will catch their breath as its more on assault hike. Going down is easier than going up.

Note:
Photo(s) with no marker – courtesy of Guam Adventures (licensed photos)

Discovery : Banff Spring Snail Pond

Hot Spring Pool at Cave and Basin

Discovery (Post#2) : Banff Spring Snail Pond

The photo above is previously a hot spring pool that people used before but because of endangered species of Banff Spring Snail, it has been preserved since then for the benefit to preserve the said species. Banff Spring Snail is only to be found here in Cave and Basin National Park Historical Site located in town of Banff in Alberta Province of Canada. This national park is one of the great place to discover whether you are in Banff or just around the corner of Canadian Rocky Mountains. Photo captured last May 2008.

Wandering in Jenolan Caves and Missed Flight Adventure

Wandering in Jenolan Caves

During my second visit in Sydney the last stop of the tour was Jenolan Caves which not far from Echo Point Lookout where we started. Jenolan Caves are also located in World Heritage Blue Mountains National Park. From Echo Point Road we returned to Great Western Highway, and then we turned left at Hartley and took Jenolan Caves Road.

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Grand Arch

We reached the caves but before the bus completely stop so we can get off, we actually passed a one way road and I discovered that it is called as Grand Arch of the cave and I was surprised and never expected that there are still something to see after we passed the Grand Arch. At the end I saw parking area, cafe and restaurants and hotel like a small village. Yes I was really amazed. Our bus stopped at designated area and our group walked under the Grand Arch and went to the waiting area. While waiting I realised that there were more than one cave are available for tour, our tour will be at Lucas Cave. Lucas Cave is the cave that can accommodate large group of tourist.

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Jenolan Cave was one of the caves that I visited outside my country. Most of the time I was curious what’s inside the cave and I treasured the experience with the group of people. Aside from uncertain adventures inside the cave, I was curious of what things to discover or things to learn inside the cave. It reminds me one of my childhood dreams which is to become a scientist.

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Our tour guide instructed us to get in line so we can walk smoothly along the pathway without issues while inside the cave as there are other groups which already inside and there were possibility that we will pass each other, we waited for a while and then we started our tour by climbing several stairs.

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–Waiting Area under Grand Arch

Lucas Cave has pathways to follow to avoid getting lost and I suspect that it’s the same case to other caves. The track is not simple paths to walk in but there are steep stairs to climb and stairs to go down. Initially, we started to climb almost 200 steps of stairs to reach anteroom. Anteroom was the first space we stop for a while after climbing the stairs.

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–Wandering inside the Lucas Cave by following other tourist.

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–Lucas Cave

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–Lucas Cave

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–Lucas Cave

As we saw some formations in anteroom, our guide was explaining scientific facts about the rock formation inside the cave. Honestly I can’t remember the right terms but the sounds familiar until I checked online about the rock formation found in the cave. I reminisce what our guide that time were telling us. We saw rock formations in the ceilings which called as ‘stalactite’, these are the formations created by the water dripping from the ceiling. While the ‘stalagmite’ are the formations grown from the ground.

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–Lucas Cave

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–Lucas Cave

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–Lucas Cave

Then we continued our walk and along the way we saw other formations until we reached the Cathedral Chamber. We stopped in a while in the chamber to witness how magnificent this part of the cave. The chamber has high ceiling as per my observation because I saw there were metal stairs up near the ceilings and because of the lights that they installed in the chamber, we got a chance to see clearly how high the ceiling and how amazing the surrounding area.

Cathedral Chamber

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–Cathedral Chamber

After leaving Cathedral Chamber, along the way we pass the passageway called “The Slide”. This passageway is a shortcut to Exhibition Chamber.

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–The Slide

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–Lucas Cave

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–Lucas Cave

Then, we saw what they called “The Curtain”. I was really amazed how they invented the name of the rock formations as it resemble specific things.

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–The Curtain

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–Lucas Cave

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–Lucas Cave

Then we followed our guide again as we explore Lucas Cave. Then we stopped in one of the biggest area of the cave because it features a lot of rock formations. The area is called Exhibition Chamber where The Broken Column formation can be found.

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–Exhibition Chamber

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–Exhibition Chamber

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–Exhibition Chamber

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— The Broken Column

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–Exhibition Chamber

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–Exhibition Chamber

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–Exhibition Chamber

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–Exhibition Chamber

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–Exhibition Chamber

Another section of Lucas Cave is Mafeking Section, where I enjoyed lots of Stalactites and this section shows amazing formation inside the cave

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–Mafeking Section

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–Lucas Cave

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–Lucas Cave

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–Lucas Cave

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–Lucas Cave

I was stunned with unique, beautiful, amazing and fantastic rock formations found in Lucas Cave. I knew that Jenolan Caves is huge and our tour specifically visited just one part of it, but even that was the case I had a great time discovering things that are unfamiliar and wonderful stuff that took million years before it developed. Indeed our world still has a lot to offer for our own discovery. I was inspired again by scientist and geologist who initiated to protect such cave because of them I got a chance to see it and learned something in this part of the world about caves.

One of the simple thing that myself and other tourist can do to protect such underground gems is to follow the rule not to touch them, because at the time we tempted to touch them, it is the start of their destruction. A destruction induced by humans.

Missed Flight Adventure

After my Jenolan Cave adventure, I experienced one of the unforgettable moments while venturing as a solo traveler, because I only booked an overnight hotel which I mentioned in my previous post under “Quick Peek of Sydney Darling Harbour”, I had to go straight to the airport after the tour, because I was flying back to Melbourne. As I somewhat unfamiliar with traffic conditions in Sydney which I never thought that it will cause me to missed my flight in Tiger Airways which strictly implementing 45 minutes before the scheduled flight. We left Jenolan Cave almost 4PM, at first I was relaxed while we were driving to the city, until we reached the Western Motorway almost near in the city, we slowly moving because of traffic and it was Saturday evening. I started to feel nervous because I need to be in the airport around 7:15PM and then I was thinking if there some miracle happened in the traffic so I will be able to reached before that time.

We reached the bus terminal where we started the tour in “The Star” building at 7PM, I took a cab and able to arrived at the airport around 7:30PM, I knew I am going to missed my flight and while in the cab on the way to the airport, I checked available flights around 8PM in my mobile, until I saw scheduled flight of Virgin Australia. When I reached domestic airport (Kingsford-Smith Airport or Sydney Airport), Tiger Airways desk counter were closed, and checked other Domestic Airlines and all were closed, I almost lost my hope when I saw Virgin Australia kiosk counter near the entrance. I talked to the people at their desk and I tried to inquire if I can still catch-up the last flight to Melbourne that night and I tried to negotiate with the airline as I need to go back to Melbourne.

At the time, I thought so fast and decided immediately that I prefered to buy another ticket since I already missed my original flight than to spend another night in a hotel in Sydney wherein I still need to go back to the airport in the morning. Virgin Australia scheduled flight was 8PM, the time was so tight for me, I waited for the airlines decision if I can still buy the ticket for the said schedule and it was almost 7:40PM, until they agreed and let me bought the ticket, after that, in few minutes they were calling my name as I run to the boarding gate, my heart was pounding because they were going to close the gate. I arrived in the boarding gate breathless and catching up air and then they scanned my ticket. I walked to the door of the plane still nervous and I only felt relaxed when I was on my seat waiting for the departure time.

It was the first time I experienced the situation where I missed a flight and have to catch-up the last available flight. I learned a lot on the situation, next time I will not book a flight after a tour or adventure because road traffic situation is not in my hand. A lot of things can happen to miss a flight if I will be coming from somewhere aside from hotel. It was a relief I arrived in my hotel in Melbourne that night after 3 hours.

Until then.

Theme : Cave – Batu Cave

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Theme (Post#1) : Cave – Batu Cave

Batu Cave is one of the accessible cave in Malaysia for the tourist since its location has train station and accessible from the city. It was mentioned that the cave is one of the popular Hindu Shrines outside India. The cave itself contains lots of limestone and being preserve in our time. The huge statue beside the stairs to the cave is Murugan which considered as Hindu’s God. The snapshot captured last December 2012 which still part of our Malaysia adventure together with my youngest sister.