Caves, mountains and a pademelon

It rained all night last night, and we set off to Cradle Mountain in drizzle. On the way we stopped to visit Mole Creek Caves… at least the rain wouldn’t matter, deep in the rocks.

We chose to visit the Marakoopa Caves and do the Great Cathedral and Glow Worms Tour. The guide led us into the cave, along a stream, then up lots of steps through several chambers. At the start of the tour we weren’t allowed to use cameras so the light didn’t upset the glow worms… it can stop them feeding so they die. The guide switched dim lighting on and off as we passed though each chamber, and he stopped regularly to explain how the caves formed. There were lots of different rock formations, in all sorts of colours. It was beautiful. When we reached the largest cave at the top… the Great Cathedral… the guide switched the light off to show how dark it is, and sang to demonstrate its acoustics!

On the way out, the guide switched the lights off again so we could see the glow worms on the ceiling of the cave. Glow worms are fly larvae and they glow to attract small insects to eat, and stop glowing when they’re full up. They also flash when they want to attract a mate. There was a bit of flashing going on when we were watching!

After the cave trip, we drove to Cradle Mountain where we got some lunch then checked into our cabin at Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village. I love it! It’s like a little house in the rain forest, with lots of big windows overlooking the bush, even from the spa bath! We had a friendly pademelon right outside the front door, and I’m hoping to see a wombat.

The rain has continued on and off all day. This afternoon we drove up to Dove Lake, where we could see the top of Cradle Mountain shrouded in cloud. It was pretty, but must be a very beautiful spot on a better day. We then went to the visitor centre to find out which walks might be suitable for tomorrow as the weather looks unlikely to change.

Back at our little cabin, we’ve had a bath and are now about to go to the restaurant for dinner. The food on the menu looks delicious. I’m eating far too much… I think it’ll need to be a long walk tomorrow, even if it is pouring with rain!

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