Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sydney Road Trip Day 3: Jenolan Caves and Drive to Sydney

We set out early in the morning for a 1.5 hour drive. We knew it would be a tricky path so we gave ourselves enough time to navigate the mountain roads and arrive in time for our 10:30am tour.

The further up the mountain we drove, the narrower the roads got. Towards the top, it's basically just wide enough for one car. They even close off the road out for a few hours each day to give tour buses enough space to drive up.

As we drove along, I snapped scenery pictures like nobody's business. Then, we spotted this hole in the  mountain that looked a little different. We knew we must have been close to the caves. 

We didn't think we'd actually drive through that hole! 

It turns out, that's the entrance to the Jenolan Caves area. You drive through this tunnel and there's a cute little tourist village just on the other side of the mountain.

Andrew had called in the day before to book us in for the Diamond Caves tour, which was a good thing because the tour was completely full by the time we arrived. In fact, we looked on the board and it seemed like every single one of their tours were sold out. 

We saw all sorts of different formations. Our guide explained what each one was called and how they were formed. 

There was just enough information and moving around to capture and keep the boys' attentions. 

Can you spot the bacon, buddha and crocodile?

The bacon is in the top left corner, buddha is just in front of that tall column just under the bacon and the crocodile is in the bottom right corner.

Here's a better view of the croc.

Here's one of my favourites. It's like looking at a little town from a distance.

Here's our happy little family at the end of our tour, before we headed back to ground level.

After having lunch, we decided to take the self-guided tour. We each had our own electronic tour guide. Even Caleb had one, though the guy handing them out was a little hesitant to give one to him.

The boys loved having their own little machine to listen to. Caleb loved pressing the buttons and holding it up to his ear even though I'm not sure how much he actually understood. He just liked being like the rest of us.

This set of caves was a little different from our first tour. The first part is a massive, open area. You walk in and you're at the bottom of this cave. Then, you start walking up many sets of stairs until you're at the very top of this expanse. It was an incredibly long way up.

By the end of the tour, Caleb had had enough of being held. He was squirming violently and I was getting so nervous about him throwing himself down the stairs I ended up sitting on the floor with him in my lap as we finished listening to the electronic tour guide.

Then, we began our walk down. Look at how high and how steep these stairs are!

The drive to Sydney was a bit of a blur for me because the boys slept in the back and I had my nose stuck in an book (okay, e-book) the whole time. 

It wasn't long before Andrew alerted me that we were getting close to the city. He's very good at letting me know whenever something photo-worthy is approaching. Thanks to him, I get all these great shots during our drive without having to sit with a camera in hand, staring out the window the entire time which is what I probably would do.

We decided to venture out after dinner to check out a few of the vantage points suggested to us. We found this one near the Harbour Bridge, across the water from the Opera House and it was spectacular. 

There are people who live right by where we took this picture. How amazing it would be to have this view every single night?

1 comment:

  1. very cool!!!
    LOVE the sounds of the caves!!!

    glad you love the sydney do i!!!!



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