The next morning we enjoyed a decent breakfast and a stroll along the main street in Katoomba in search of some good coffee (we did). We then hopped in the van towards Jenolan’s Caves for the most breathtaking guide I have ever had in a cave. Not that I have been to many caves, but I think this is the most beautiful I have seen yet. The entrance in itself was pretty spectacular, but pretty soon we entered through one of the cracks and made our way through the beautiful champers and tunnels in the rest of the cave. On first entrance we were actually met by two wallabies comfortably sitting infront one of the lights to warm up, which the guide told were familiar faces, a mother and her daughter (who were rare rush-tailed rock-wallabies), who loved that particular light. In some places it was really snug and tight, and it would have probably been a horrid experience if you are very claustrophobic, but I felt like it was like a proper adventure and exciting! You really felt like you probably would have felt the first time entering the cave, and every new turn gave view of the magnificent masterpiece by mother nature (and calcium crystals from the limestone). At one the point the guide showed us like what the cave is really like without all the artificial lights, but in place so people can see, and switched them all off. The room went a level of black I had never experienced before. There was no light at all, zero percent. Black. You could have put your hand right infront of your face and still not seen a thing. Closing and opening eyes gave exactly the same image, and it was terribly frightening and trippey. If you were a claustrophobic who was afraid of the dark you would have had the most horrid day, haha. After barely a minute I was clinging on to Shawnee cause the trippeyness of it all was making me feel really dizzy and scared! Luckily, after the prayers of some of us he mercifully put the lights back on and we could all “uncling” from the neighbouring person.
The guide explained to us all the different formations that were common in the caves that are the result of the crystal formations from how the water runs, such as straws (form downwards from cave roof that are long, thin and hollow), stalactites (from cave roof, usually the next stage on from a straw when it clogs up on the inside and the water has to run down the outside), stalagmites (grow from cave floor, from drops coming down from the roof, often from the stalactites), columns and pillars (when stalactites and stalagmites connect), and flow stones.
Afterwards we had a spot of lunch before going to visit some friendly souls in a field! The kangaroos were so used to us we could just walk up to them and get really close. I enjoyed them more from a minor distance, letting them get on with their business of eating grass, whilst some had a beautiful encounter with a couple that were very curious as to what we were (and what food we might have). Seeing the little joeys pop their heads out occasionally was also so precious. Some of them were having a go at eating grass from the safety of the mother’s pouch, whilst others were bright red and hairless, looking very young, only popping out on a rare occasion!
After saying goodbye to the kangaroos we headed back to Wollongong, allowing for one more stop on the route to enjoy one more view of the blue mountains and breath in that “blue mountain fresh air” one more time.