Caves to Caves - June long weekend 2013
Caves To Caves
June 8th, 9th and 10th
Attendees: Driscoll A, Moore, Higgins, Lamb, Van der W’s, Gartland, Driscoll E, Watt and Gale families
Visitors: The Ringrose family
Saturday morning greeted us with overcast skies and a slightly damp run up to Mt Victoria. Our trip was off to a perfect start from a logistical point with 36 of the 40 (the Gartland family drove separately) actually being at the meeting point and ready to go ahead of time (yes even the Driscoll’s made it). We were soon on our way and heading out through Little Hartley to the turn off to Jenolan Caves. Our original plan was to head down to Kanangra Walls and the lookout but with the persistent fog and low cloud the consensus was that we would not be able to see past the end of our arms so gave it a miss and turned off for the decent to the Kowmung River. After a brief delay to allow what seemed like a couple of hundred trail bikes come past we finally got down and all negotiated the crossing without incident (once we locked our centre diffs.....). We pressed on to Dingo Dell where we made a brief comfort stop and were rather surprised that nobody was camped there on a long weekend. The sun had finally broken through by now and it was looking like a promising afternoon as we continued on to Mt Werong for lunch.
We had intended to do the walk from Mt Werong to the Ruby Creek mine ruins but on closer inspection worked out that it would be a 2 hour round trip so we decided to drive further on and walk in from the main track which is only a few hundred metres. There is not very much left other than a few holes in the ground which was a little disappointing but at least we can say we’ve been there. We then continued on the last 50 or so km toward Yerranderie. An incident free drive looked like being on the cards till with just 5 km to go Daryl dropped the left side of his new Jayco van into a rut, destroyed a tyre and rim and bent the axle in the process. Some hasty track side repairs got him mobile again and he made it the last couple of Km without any problem.
After setting up camp, getting a good fire going and taking care of dinner a few drinks were had, stories told and trips discussed before turning in for the night.
Sunday saw clear blue skies and the start of a perfect winter day. Everyone spent the day exploring the town, the mines and a few of us went on the ghost walk out through the old cemetery. We also jumped in the cars and drove back up to a point where the care taker had told us we could get some great views back along the cliff line and the valley. The kids all made sure the fire was kept burning through the day and with most of us doing roasts of some kind it was good to have plenty of coals at the ready. Andrew, Earl, Edwin and Ciaran played a few games of Kubb before darkness made the throwing of bits of wood a somewhat dangerous pursuit then kids took over on a smaller field using Edwin’s spot light.
Post diner was a repeat of Saturday night with most of us keeping warm by the fire with a few drinks before calling it a night.
Departure was delayed on Monday morning as everything was extremely wet from the dew and frost. Just when we looked like getting some sunshine the clouds started to roll in from the west and we had little choice but to pack up slightly damp. We finally got away about 11.30 but with a few of us having other commitments and Daryl’s wounded Eagle unlikely to make the rest of the trip we split into 2 groups one heading back to Oberon and home and the remainder heading through to Wombeyan caves. After a couple of emergency stops for car sick kids we got down to Wombeyan at about 2.30 and after consuming some microwave pies and sausage rolls (you think a place that could afford a pie oven) we took the self guided tour through the Figtree cave. Pretty awesome all in all and several of us are keen to come back for a weekend and tour the other caves in the near future.
After letting the kids run around and burn up some energy for a bit we all said our goodbyes and hit the road again for the run out to Mittagong for dinner fuel and home.
Thanks to everyone for coming out and making it a great weekend.