I went caving this weekend but it turned out a little different from what I was expecting.
Scott and I went out to Britannia Creek Caves, near Warburton an hour’s drive from Melbourne. Neither of us had been there and we didn’t have very clear directions. So we spent the next hour or so looking for the caves driving aimlessly around the dense forest looking for a sign. Thank god for the internet though. We searched Google on our Iphones and found suitable directions and stumbled upon the entrance. As you can see from the next photograph, it wasn’t easy to find!
Britannia Creek Caves are granite caves of which there are only a handful in Victoria. You follow a subterranean stream through a jumble of boulders. Follow is used loosely as you have to squeeze through tiny tunnels and gaps between the boulders. Sometimes you have to get into the stream in half flooded tunnels.
Crawling through these squeeze holes I felt like an intestinal parasite in someones gut.
You would not want to be in here if it starts raining. As these are granite caves there aren’t any of the interesting formations such as stalactites which you find only in limestone caves.
This isn’t everybody’s idea of a great day out and it takes a special degree of connoisseurship to truly appreciate this sort of activity.
There are number of entrances to the cave where shafts of light break the darkness. This is good as navigation inside these tunnels is very difficult. Even having the direction of the stream to use as a guide, we got completely lost and kept travelling in circles.
The caves are home to glow worms and all kinds of bugs. Scott even saw a scorpion in a hole. I was hoping there weren’t any snakes.
We had a great time and spent a couple of hours crawling around in the dark. Caving is one hell of a workout as you are squeezing, crawling, slithering, climbing, wading, ducking, slipping, sliding, tripping, pushing, pulling, wiggling, grunting, huffing and puffing. We emerged wet, muddy and tired from one of the many exits.
I took these photos with my Sony RX100. The poor camera got bashed around in the tunnels, got covered in mud and damp from the stream. It somehow survived the experience. I am not sure how many caving trips such a camera would survive. Maybe next time I might take my shockproof and waterproof camera.