It is currently school holidays here in Tasmania, so the whole family went to visit the local caves. Why did we do this? Well, it was something to do to keep us busy… it can be hard to keep the children entertained during the school break. It was also to educate the kids about the natural beauty of the region, and for a bit of fun (they haven’t been into a cave before). The caves we went to are in the Hastings Caves State Reserve (the actual name for the cave is Newdegate Cave) and they are apparently the largest tourist cave in Australia (which I am not sure is true. I recall that the Jenolan Caves were larger and much prettier). Regardless, we took the drive there through the Southern end of the state, enjoying the scenery on the way.
Once at the cave, I was impressed with the wonderful natural forest surrounding the location. The area used to be heavily logged, so you can still see the remains of fallen trees amongst the undergrowth. I took my time walking up to the cave entrance, attempting to take note of all the different layers to the forest. I was especially interested in the undergrowth layer, and the Understory Layer. These are the two layers I am trying to recreate on my property, through planting of Understory shrubs, and keeping the Undergrowth I might be able to improve the quality of my plants with little effort.
As I mentioned above, the caves were pretty impressive. The group I was with was probably a little too large for such a small cave (the group after mine was twice the size… I was glad I wasn’t in that group). It meant that it was hard to see all the sights properly before it was time to move on. If you intend to visit the cave, I would recommend going early in the morning, as you should avoid the crowd.
My younger son had a hard time in the cave. I did not realise it at the time, yet he was very afraid while we were on the tour. Yet, up until the end, he did not let on that he was scared. Kitty knew about this and when the tour guide asked us to make our way to the exit, my son was the first one out, almost running all the way. I am very proud of him, for being so afraid, yet keeping control of it until the end.