Western Australia – Day 8 – Lake Cave

There are perhaps about half a dozen well-known ‘show caves’ in the Margaret River region, each having its own special look, feel and accessibility into the cave itself. We were uncertain which one would suit H and P best, and especially the latter since the thought of having to carry him up as down several hundred stair steps was unappealing. We would be doing one or more caves with Hank on Day 8, so left it to the actual day to decide which best to visit, and also depending on weather and the rest of the itinerary along with that.

Day 7 had seen a heavy downpour from the early afternoon onwards, and the first half of Day 8 experienced light drizzles still, but Hank was able to work an itinerary around that, and after some discussion, we decided on Lake Cave on account that this cave is the only one with a permanent lake in it and casting beautiful reflections, though you’d have to climb 300 or so steps down (easy) and then back up later (ouch!). So, after checking out Surfers Point, we raced back to Caves Road and arrived just in time to join the 11:30AM guided tour.

The cave is reportedly one of the deepest in the region – about 62m below the surface – and is reached by walking down well-constructed wooden steps supported by steel beams (i.e. safe and rock solid) around a spectacular ‘doline’ – a large cavity in on the surface. The guided tour itself takes about 35 minutes, with great commentary that provided insights into various interesting structures inside the cave. The cave also has illuminated board walks with railings on one or more sides. And at various points, lights came on and off to showcase different parts of the structure – including one spot at the far end when the guide switched off all lights to give us a sense of what it would be like to be in total darkness.

The boline. There are various viewing platforms and also rest stops for those who get tired with the climb down and up.

The still waters casting a beautiful reflection on the stalagmites. The famous suspended table formation is on the right.

The cave is well-known in the region as it’s the only one in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge with a permanent lake that flows out to the ocean via Margaret River.

It was a full-guided tour group for the 11:30AM, but a very well-behaved group who were all respectful of the environment we were in.

The cave itself isn’t very large, but the itself is level once you get inside (i.e. no more climbing up and down).

A close look at the Suspended Table formation. The cave is also a little different from others: that it’s possibly one of the most child-friendly ones in that it’s a steep but doable climb down via stairs, then level all the way through the cave. You only need to climb back up when leaving (which was a lot more exhausting LOL).

The almost perfectly still waters cast mesmerizing reflections on the stalagmites. The cave has some ambient lights to showcase the interesting bits and also for the board walk. But all the pictures here were taken handheld at about 1/4s. The m4/3 sensor stabilization worked incredibly well in this series!

I was the last in the group to exit the cave, so took my time to take shots sans humans.

We didn’t have time to check out the caves, but if we’re again ever traveling to this area, we’d want to.

P.S. Peter could handle the steps going up – albeit slowly!

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