my view of the natural world

Going down…….. Princess Margaret Rose Cave

On New Year’s Day, my friend John and I took a trip down across the border into Victoria, to visit the Princess Margaret Rose Caves, near Nelson.  I LOVE caves, and this one had been on my to-do list for some time.  It is possible to take a cruise from Nelson along the Glenelg River to the Caves,  however on this day it was raining, and we decided to drive direct to the caves instead.  Yes, the caves are named after the English Princess…..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA simple but adequate building from which the tours depart – the entrance to the caves is within the building.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe guides explained how important it was for visitors to refrain from touching cave decorations, to avoid damaging them.  Here’s a piece that CAN be touched.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe original entrance was a 17metre vertical shaft, and the first explorer, a very brave man, was lowered via a rope by his friend and with only a faint lamp, he went off exploring for the next two hours, leaving his mate on the surface, wondering just what was happening!  That was in 1936.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThanks to them, we can all now experience these wonderful creations of Nature.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese formations don’t take place overnight – less than 10cm every thousand years.  And like tree rings, they are a way to look into the past – but in a way even better than tree rings. 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere are a great many steps leading down…. and down…. but it is well lit, and there’s a hand rail which makes it a lot easier than the first visitors had.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe guide used a torch to point out particular pieces of interest and explain more about them.  A lot of information to take in, and I think I need another visit…. any excuse will do :-)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAObviously I wasn’t the only one who thought this formation worthy of a photo! :-)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis formation was called the candelabra – the one for poor people, as there’s a huge one for the rich elsewhere!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd photo opportunities abounded….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you look closely, you can see tree roots making their way to the floor of the cave.  These roots have been traced back to the tree on the surface, and that tree has been highlighted with a sign.  It is many metres above.  Never underestimate the power of trees :-)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAll too soon, it was time to go back up, and up, those steps – I joked with my friend that he had to keep talking while climbing the stairs, to show how fit he was, but he declined – and I wasn’t about to argue :-) Access is generally quite good, but do be prepared for the steps as they are not for the fainthearted or weak-kneed.  I didn’t get the same sense of being underground, as I did at the Naracoorte Caves, which have that wonderful cave atmosphere, although once the lights are switched off by the guide, you most certainly realise just how very very dark it gets down there.

Back up on the surface, we did a quick check on where the cruise boat mooring is, but alas, we’d missed the boat :-)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACanoes can be hired for those wishing to explore the river further.

There is also a campground nearby, and I was interested to check it out for a possible future camping trip.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA cute little cabin if sleeping on the ground in a tent isn’t your idea of fun.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the campsites, showing the fire pit, and picnic table.  Water is connected, but not suitable for drinking.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs you can see from this site, there’s plenty of space for all your needs.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIncluded in the facilities is a camp kitchen over near the ablutions block.  Very retro dining setting.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe even came across this flamingo taking a holiday in the cooler climes :-)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABeautiful bushland to walk through, with a strong chance to see at night, kangaroos and wombats. During the day, birdlife is most plentiful, for any twitchers out there.

All in all, this area has much to offer the visitor whether it be for a day visit or a longer trip.  Did I mention the fishing? :-)  Yep, there’s plenty of that too!

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6 responses

  1. I remember going to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky with my folks when I was a kid. It was interesting – overwhelming, actually – but I’m not much of a cave person. A bit of claustrophobia, perhaps. I don’t do well with diving, either. Snorkeling is fun, but I’ve no desire to go down, down, down in the water.

    I did dive Thunderball Cave in the Bahamas. I’m glad I did, but once was enough.

    Now – I could and probably would do that cave tour. Walkways, lights and guides do make a difference. But that river and the campground look marvelous – what fun that would be!

    January 7, 2014 at 8:08 am

    • eremophila

      There’s some wonderful snorkeling places near to where I live, although sadly I cannot snorkel – unless there’s a way to do it wearing glasses….
      Many people do a three day trip in a canoe down the Glenelg River, and really enjoy it. Being in the air is more my preference – not that I think I’m up to hang gliding unfortunately!

      January 7, 2014 at 7:25 pm

  2. I can’t believe there is a river in Australia called the Glenelg! I went to primary school at Glenelg Country School, in a small town called Glenelg in Maryland in the US. I’ve never heard the name anywhere else before. Spelled the same way forwards and backwards :)

    January 7, 2014 at 11:20 pm

  3. Hi Enivea, I last visited the Princess Mary Rose Caves some years ago. Part of the attraction of the caves is their name – the name just rolls off the tongue.

    I was staying near Nelson at the time and the holiday included cruising along the Glenelg River in the evening. As we were returning down river, it began to rain. The night was very dark and the lights from the boat lit up the rain drops so it looked like golden rain was falling.

    January 9, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    • eremophila

      Wow, that sounds like a wonderful trip Margaret!

      January 12, 2014 at 3:48 am

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