This Weekend with the weather looking rather horrible in the west we decided to head eastward to the Mersey Valley and try to escape it. It wasn’t looking to good to start with as it rained the whole way there, as we got closer though the clouds got lighter and the rain turned to showers and then cleared up pretty much as we where setting up camp.
We where camped on a little billabong on the Mersey River next to Dog Head Hill. As you can see it wasn’t long before the drone was out and checking out the valley
The next morning we where up bright and early after a very cold night to do a bit of exploring and the first stop was the next camp down the very overgrown track which was a great little spot also and right on the river.
Also not very far away from camp was Jawbone cave so we went for a bit of a walk to see if we could find it but didn’t have much luck all we found was a dry sinkhole which I wasn’t to keen on walking on just incase there was a hole that was covered by leaf litter but it wasn’t all wasted as on the way back we randomly came across what may have been an old mill site.
This was about all that was left along with some old bottles and possibly a grave site
Either that or someone has had some dope growing there at some stage.
From here we decided to go and check out some of the caves in the area, I’m not sure of exact numbers but there is potentially hundreds and some of them are apparently spectacular. We tried to get to quite a few but didn’t have much luck as most had a gate or you had to go through private property to get to them. We got lucky on about the 5th attempt at accessing one. Honeycomb Cave which is part on the Mole Creek Karst and as it is part of a Karst system it always makes it interesting and can create some very spectacular water features.
Honeycomb Cave entrance
Then about 20m in you come across this, a creek that simply just disappears into the rocks
About 50 meters away there is a hole that if you shine your torch down about 10m below you can see the creek continue it is quite spectacular and scary at the same time as you hope the system doesn’t collapse.
Honeycomb cave exit for us and inflow for the creek system
As you exit the cave this is the views of the mountain range. Also in the area is Wet Cave so we went and had a look.
The Walk inn was pretty overgrown but beautiful it was pretty much like a rain forest
We went in and had a look but you can’t get that far unless you want to get your feet wet as the creek consumes the cave and we had a heap more we wanted to see so it will be a next time trip. We still managed to get some good photo’s of the area though.
From here we tried headed west and tried to get into a few more caves but all we came across was locked gates which was very frustrating and there was a bit of swearing and cursing going on at those who lock them. We then came to Mersey River Camp ground and I had marked that there was a cave called Croesus not far from the area and we thought we where in luck as it wasn’t on Private land and there where no gates in site
Until we got to the bloody entrance of the cave and I was steaming if I had a battery grinder with me I would have cut the whole bloody thing off. So after I calmed down we took in the sites of the area and they weren’t to bad. It also looks as if the original entrance of the cave has caved in long ago and left a few stalactites to the elements. To add salt into the wounds I have since found out that there are over 2km of tunnel in this cave and it is apparently spectacular and very open in some areas.
After this I was sick to death of disappointment so we decided to have a look at other sites in the area and stopped for lunch at Phillips Falls
After Lunch we thought we better start heading back in the general direction of camp and went and had a look at Lemonthyme Power station although it was nothing much to see it got us closer to another site I wanted to check out which is called Lemonthyme Creek Glacials so we followed an old forestry track that is only suitable for Toyota’s As anything else wouldn’t be capable of negotiating the Ruts, so after driving as far as we could it was time to walk up and up and up and someone wasn’t happy as I said it wasn’t far (which it wasn’t just up haha). We got to the spot that I had marked and seen nothing different from any other part of the surrounding bush so I had a bit of a laugh at Jacinta and we started walking back down and it wasn’t until then and a couple of slips and falls that we realised that evidence of the Glacials where right in our face I’m no expert by any means but I’m guessing the rocks imbedded into rocks are caused by extreme pressure that a Glacier would cause.
As with this I’m not sure if the lines have anything to do with direction of flow but it looked interesting I’m not entirely sure what this is it looks like a bit of timber with stones in it but it might just be coincidence.
At this stage it was well past beer o’clock so we headed back to camp to indulge in a few well-earned cold ones and relax for the rest of the afternoon. The next morning after another very cold night we awoke to a pleasant view of clouds over the mountain and the sun also been outAfter packing up slowly (Worst part of any trip) we where on our way home via Devils Gate Dam I was under the impression that this was where they filmed that YouTube video of dropping the basketball off the dam wall and watching it curve out but it wasn’t
as anyone who would stand on this Dam wall would be insane. From here it was home. Unfortunately the weekends aren’t long enough.
Hope you Enjoyed
Brendan & Jacinta
Full Video here.
Caves are gated for a purpose Leave them intact
Instead of pointing out the bleeding obvious and been negative why don’t you give a bit of usefull information as to why they are so significant????
They are gated to stop yobbos entering them and destroying what has taken millions of years to form. You saw what Honeycomb looked like, yes? so much damage. However, there are plenty of caves that aren’t gated, and you missed out on Rubbish Heap cave, which was ‘just across the road,’ and a few more in that system. I can think of seven around there off the top of my head.
There are close to 200 caves in that area and a lot are on private property some are in national park and some are in crown land. whilst I somewhat agree with why they are gated it is rather frustrating to come across this.
There are some 500 or more in the Mole Creek Karst. People do do tours of Croesus however. That said, they are only allowed in sporadically when weather conditions permit, and with properly insured people. I’ve never been in there, too wet for my liking. I have visited the others.
That’s one heck of an adventure you had there. I agree, sometimes the gates are there for safety, the mining company that owns it doesn’t need the liability of someone falling in, or in some cases, it is to protect the natural ecosystem unique to that cave. Caves sometimes form the breading ground for unique creatures, which scientists want to protect. I have no way of knowing which but the penalty for either can be steep. Glad you had fun. Hope you didn’t find too many barriers.
As always , very interesting and great pics