It’s funny – it only takes a week or two and suddenly it’s hard to remember what order things happened in!
Day 3 we got up early and went to see the Ngilgi Cave which was just round the corner from where we were staying.
I found this quote
Ngilgi Cave is associated with a rich Aboriginal legend describing a battle between a good and an evil spirit. The local Wardandi people tell the story as: Ngilgi, a good warrior spirit, lived near the sea and Wolgine, an evil spirit, lived in the cave. Concerned for the welfare of his people, Ngilgi gathered together the spirits of the waves, lightning, rain, thunder and wind and they created a huge storm. Ngilgi attacked Wolgine and he gradually drove Wolgine back through the cave. So fierce was the battle that a tunnel collapsed, cutting the cave off from the sea. At last Wolgine was driven up through the earth creating the present entrance. Wolgine was banished from the cave and Ngilgi claimed it as his own
So there you go.
The caves are pretty cool – 37 meters deep at the deepest regular tour level and 45m deep if you take the extended special tour and are willing to squeeze through narrow gaps into unlit sections with nothing more than a hard hat and a miners lamp (no thanks!)
Its 10 meters down through the only opening into the cave – it opens out to a wide platform overlooking a large cavern topped with thousands of stalactites. Its pretty humid in the cave, with CO2 levels also pretty high making it harder to breathe and clamber about. In the main cavern it’s pretty open and you can look up at the roof at all the thousands of needles pointing down at you.
The other side of the cave is where things get tricky and it’s pretty steep and claustrophobic in places – tight steps and dark twisting turns to get to the very bottom. It’s worth it though – the formations are beautifully set off with subtle lighting.
On the way back up, the humidity and CO2 levels make themselves felt – with burning legs we emerged out to the way out again. Well worth the visit.
We went to Yallingup Maze after this – the children had seen it on the way to Hay Shed Hill and Margaret River and desperately wanted to go. It’s basically 4 towers and a load of fences arranged in a maze like fashion. There were loads of screaming kids and running teenage foreigners with cameras and it was hot and frustrating. In the end, we only made it to 2 of the towers before the kids got fed up and wanted to leave. So much for fun aimed at children!
After a really good lunch and a beer at the Bootleg Brewery with my mum and dad, the kids decided they were tired and went back to the chalets for a swim and a rest and I went with my mum and dad to Canal Rocks.
Its an outcrop of 700 million year old pinky coloured granite gneiss which has long joint lines that form ‘canals’ through the rocks. There’s a little wooden bridge out from the land to the first major block of rock and you can see the water rushing in and out as the large waves pound on the outer rocks, filling the canals with water. It’s quite impressive.
Some folks were fishing there and we passed a couple of spear fishermen who were lugging massive fish as big as they were over their shoulders. Crazy. We chatted to a few people, took a few photos and then went on our way.
We still had some time to spare, so we stopped off at Cape Naturaliste Winery
Its a small family run business that specialises in limited run traditionally made wines, focusing on quality not quantity.
We tasted some wines, it would have been rude not to! As you’d all know by now, I’m a red drinker, particularly shiraz and the ones I tried were very good. The lady behind the bar was a real character – very English and posh and very funny which made the whole thing a very enjoyable experience. A couple of people came in on a wine tour from Drop Top Tours – they were pretty cool too . It’s not a big vineyard, but one I’d heartily recommend visiting if you’re in the area – it’s only a few mins down the road from Dunsborough and is a real tiny treasure in amongst all the big wineries that surround it.
Sampling some more wine, just for good measure, I bought a couple of really nice (and extravagantly expensive) wines and we returned to see how Jay and the girls were getting on.
Next up – well, it’s Wednesday, so we have a local Margaret River wine to be thoroughly reviewed! Stay tuned!