New Farm Park, Brisbane

Thursday, November 24, 2011

IN THE BOWELS OF THE EARTH AND BLOWN AWAY

After swinging high up in the tree tops of the Karri Forest in Western Australia our tour bus took us to Margaret River. Margaret River is famous for its wines and beaches. We drove to a lookout overlooking  where the river enters the sea. It was pretty but the weather turned blustery and rainy so no photos of the famous beaches. 
The next day we visited the nearby Jewel Cave. We had a local guide who filled us with information about the caves. They were not explored until 1958 by Bastion and Robinson.  We descended via stairs 40m/150ft into the bowels of the earth.  We walked through many caverns stretching for a mile.
The Jewel cave is famous for having one of the longest straw stalactites in the world. It is 5.4m/18 ft long.


There were so many wonderful shapes.

Some looked like a forest of trees.
 Some looked like an organ pipes. We had a light show too and then it was time to climb 250 steps to get back to the surface.

After a coffee, it was back in the bus for another attraction. The Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. You can climb to the top but I didn't, the cave steps were enough for one morning.
 It is situated on the the south west corner of Australia where the Indian Ocean and the Southern Ocean meet.  The cape sticks out into the path of the "Roaring Forties" wind. It was blowing a gale while we were there.

I could lean back and rest on the wind but I nearly got blown away.

The Southern Ocean
and around the corner is....
The Indian Ocean
We gladly jumped back on the bus for a trip to a winery. 
Leeuwin Estate winery.

We had a tour of the winery.

The gardens were beautiful showing off many.....

Wildflowers of Western Australia.



19 comments:

  1. Hi Diane, HUbby and I would love this tour. He really loves to go into caves. The photos are great too. I love the shots of you and the Indian and Southern oceans. The winery looks like a great place to visit the grounds are beautiful. Great post and wonderful photos. Have a great day!

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  2. those photos took my breath away!
    gorgeous captures!
    caves can create amazing scenery!

    i've always been fascinated by them.

    xx

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  3. the cave is gorgeous and scary and I love the view you took of the lighthouse.

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  4. The lighthouse photo is truly beautiful! So dramatic. I've never been inside a cave...it must be quite an experience to see all the interesting formations in person.

    Hope you got to taste the wine at the winery!

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  5. Ah, the Roarin' Forties! I'd love to see that. The photo of you leaning into the wind was very effective. What wonderful journeys you and Bill have.

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  6. Like the lighthouse but I am surprised of the industrial winery. I prefer the traditional look.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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  7. As I was reading I wondered why I knew the name Leeuwin. It became clear as I read on. Wine. The vegetation is so flat and huddled against the wind at the Cape

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  8. The caves are stunning and to see two famous oceans at one time is great. The name Leeuwin is the dutch word for female lion. I don't think it has something to do with it, just a coincidence.

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  9. Biebkriebels, It is dutch. Dutch explorers were the first to land on the west coast of Australia. they thought it was so barren with no rich spices that they didn't bother to settle. Now it is the richest state in Australia due to mineral resources.

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  10. Those caves are so magical and Wow!a stalagtite 18foot long - a real wonder. It sure looks windy at Cape Leeuwin - I'm sure you were happy to hop back on the bus and head off to the winery.

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  11. Sara: We sure did get to taste the wine. It was very good as is most wine from the Margaret River area.

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  12. Wow, what a great excursion ! I love those caves, we have a very famous one here in Belgium and you gave me the idea that I absolutely should go there in spring !
    Lovely landscape too, with the sea behind you !!

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  13. Having visited Jenolan Caves too often with visitors I find caves rather dull. Would have loved to be at the light house however, but the wind sure looked strong -- at least you were rugged up.

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  14. Your photos have won me over - a Western Australia Wildflowers tour is on the bucket list.

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  15. Great pictures and post, thanks for sharing.

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  16. What a magnificent cave! And the color of the water is gorgeous! That is a fun picture of you leaning on the wind. The wildflower garden at the winery is really pretty too. Sounds like this was a really great day!

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  17. So many of my favorites in this post Diane! I love lighthouses, wineries, beautiful views of the ocean and flowers! Jewel Cave looked amazing.

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  18. Gorgeous stuff -- so much variation, from caves to lighthouses. There's a Jewel Cave NP in South Dakota, I think, that we've visited. (I'm going to check as soon as I send this!). Anyway your cave pix are great -- I never get much.

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  19. I have been absolutely loving these individual excursions. So much to see and much I had not heard about before this great adventure of yours into Western Australia. As Sallie says..such a lot of variation!

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