Jenolan Caves

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Caves House

Our accommodation for two nights.

Well the day has arrived and we’re here! We started the day with a walk around the Blue Lake which was formed when they dammed the Jenolan River with a weir to develop Australia’s very first hydroelectric station. This short, pretty walk starts at the Great Arch and takes you along the river to the Blue Lake, the water of which appears to be blue due to the refraction of light on the limestone deposits and bedrock of the lake, past the weir, a waterfall and back over a suspension bridge. It’s well-shaded and cool, regardless of the weather.

There are numerous tours through different parts of the Caves. We chose two – the Orient Cave and the River Cave. I won’t write much about them except to say that I was completely in awe, amazed, impressed and so very pleased we’d finally visited one of Australia’s must-see places. Please take a few minutes to look at the photos from these tours, and if you haven’t already been yourself, put it on your bucket list. View Orient Caves photos. View River Cave photos.

And so the evening of the The Opera arrived. It didn’t disappoint. The walk through the Caves to cave in which it was held was a treat in itself, followed by the closeness of our seating to the singers and the wonderful acoustics. Once more they sang popular songs from various operas which we thoroughly enjoyed. Unfortunately we were asked not to take any photos during the performance. To see the photos from the Opera click HERE.
Thanks Nick and Kim – it was a pretty cool gift.

Can you see Steve?

Can you see Steve?

Days 30 & 31: Opera in the Caves then Gympie

Starting where I left off, at Waterpark Creek Camping area, we had a good rain downpour our last night there, and very pleased to report that Arty kept as dry and warm. It delayed our departure the next day though as we didn’t want to fold the tent up wet. While waiting for it to dry we got to talking to a couple who were wandering around the campsite taking bird photos – twitchers! Both had decent cameras to capture lovely photos – fast and with good magnification. We are seriously tempted – need guidance Deb!

Headed back through Yeppoon to Rockhampton and The Caves. Tonight is the night for Opera in the Caves. The Caves has a camping ground – bonus … just walk back to our tent after the show! Sounds good, except that an unpowered site cost us $30, camp kitchen didn’t have a cooktop, the kettle didn’t work at all, no hot water, no internet and the lights are on an automatic setting and they didn’t come on until after we’d made our dinner in the dusk! Not impressed and definitely won’t be recommending this spot to anyone.

Opera in the Caves

Darian Di Stefano-Johns, Baritone; Glenn Lorimer, Tenor; Susan Ellis, Soprano; Louise Dorsman, Mezzo-Soprano.

Opera in the Caves

Hard to show perspective of the towering roof of the cave.

However – the Opera in the Caves. Wow – wow, wow, wow! It was amazing, surreal, fantastic, incredible. Loved every second of it and didn’t ever want it to stop. Yep – you’ve probably guessed that we enjoyed it. The singers were fantastic, the venue (the Cathedral Cave) outstanding. There were about 50 in the audience, which was about 2/3 capacity, there was just a single piano and the singers (a baritone, a tenor, a mezze soprano and a soprano). It was so personal and so awe-inspiring to have these incredible singers right beside us, their voices soaring to the tops of the cave. And a few bats flying around added even more atmosphere. We’ll definitely be looking to see where their next performances are. We’ve got our sights on their Jenolan Caves performance and their Mt Isa in the mine performance – maybe even the Spring Hill in the water reservoirs too.

Click here to view more photos of The Opera.

Well that concluded our last real camping day. Today we’re heading for Gympie to spend the night with our friends Patrick and Sally. We’re currently in Childers having driven the last leg from Bororen. It was very stressful driving with so much road works happening – not so much being delayed, but more the continual changes to speed limits – 60, 40, 80, 90, 100 (briefly) and backwards and forwards on those speeds all the time … then the cars behind you that see no reason to stick to 80 for many km (neither did I frankly, it seemed pretty average 100 territory); who then roar past me at the slightest opportunity that may or may not be safe and speed away. Not happy Jan! Either make the speed limit what they want, repeat it often and then police it, or leave it at 100 which we all expect.

Finished lunch now, with some peanuts from the Peanut Van and maybe a Mamimo icecream.