When we booked this ‘excursion’ I wasn’t 100% on board. I wouldn’t say I have any major fears or phobias, but caving is something I have never wanted to do. The claustrophobic spaces, darkness, and inability to quickly get out, terrifies me. However one of my favourite things we have done since getting to Australia is our trip to the Jenolan Caves. I find the history of caves and the formations, so amazing, but this is when they are high and airy, well paved and lit up. The Black Labyrinth tour that Alice had booked us on to was neither of those things. It wasn’t just the confined spaces that I was worried about, this tour has you jumping down waterfalls and floating down underground rivers. Both tasks to tick off the ‘things that make me nervous’ list. Anyway worry aside, I was curious and I do love caves, so decided to give it a go.
^^ After putting on our wetsuit layers, which were cold, and wet, and so even harder to put on (really wondering why I am doing this), we posed for our team photo. I even look excited here! ^^
^^ We caught a lift down to the cave entrance and chose our tubes… And had to check they fit ^^
We then had to practice our jumping backwards onto our tube ready for those cave waterfalls. Alice tried to pass off her photo as me. Sorry love the twinning is not happening here.
^^ I can’t not laugh when I look at these ^^
^^ Not that my expression is any better but Alice’s does make me chuckle ^^
We couldn’t take our Go Pro in with us as they say no cameras in case you lose it or spend too long posing in potentially dangerous spots. Of which we were told there were a few. Hidden holes, strong currents, and sharp rocks to name a few. But all in all, it was a fairly safe tour. We were fully guided and so unless you were a total tool and ignored instructions, we were always safe. It was a combination of scrambling through tunnels, floating in our tube through caves full of glow worms, and the odd daredevil jump off a waterfall.
There were a few squeezy situations where we had to swim with our tube through the water where the cave ceiling was pretty low. But thankfully these were only short and so over pretty quickly. The part where we floated down the river in our tube gazing at the glow worms above was pretty amazing. They are such odd and slightly gross creatures, but create an amazing spectacle in the dark. Like little twinkly stars.
^^ This was our ‘ we made it’ photo. See the elation on my face! I was feeling pretty happy to be out in the open again ^^
The photographs that we have were taken by the company and were ones that we purchased afterwards. They included some other promo photos for us to keep, like the ones below. However I am a little disappointed it doesn’t include any of the glow worms in the dark showing off their full affect. Ah well, you can always Google it to get an idea. For us that image is stored away up top.
^^ Here are a couple showing the glow worms up close ^^
Off to Auckland next for our last two days and to say goodbye to our faithful camper. It will be an emotional day for all.