Caves, Cliffs, Honey & Salmon
Mole Creek Travel Blog› entry 125 of 206 › view all entries
We has breakfast in Sheffield this morning, the town of murals. Almost every shop here has had a painted mural on the side depicting either the original shop use, a historical depiction of the current shop use or some local scenery. As we dotted around the streets, Zoe pointed out a large and hairy dog sitting on a lead beside a gentlemen sat outside a coffee shop. She wanted to know what kind of dog it was, I told her gently that it was a llama....
Our next stop was at Mole Creek where we had the choice of visiting two types of caves, one was dry and full of calcium carbonate formations, the other was wet and showed the largest collection of glow worms in Australia. Snce Zoe had not seen glow worms yet, she opted for the wet cave and Rose and I, despite having been to many caves before decided to go to the dry cave.
Often caves would be discovered like this, or by people following rivers of water right back to their source and venturing into the rock caverns.
The first visitors were allowed access via a lowered rope. The smoke damage from the acetylene lighters (and the generator itself) is still visible on some of the formations, and although some have begun to be covered over with more sediment, others are not recovering so obviously. Also, at the end of the historical tour, visitors were allowed to take a souvenier, so there is much vidence of broken off stalactites and stalacmites. While the tour guide admits this is sad, he also explained that it's an important part of learning, and that we are still learning all the time about how not to damage the caves. No person is allowed to touch the caves as oil on the hands can lesson or stop growth, but all credit to the historical tour operators, as soon as they realised, they stopped allowing people to touch the rock.
We then drove to Alum Cliffs where we picnic lunched and then did a 50 min return walk to the cliffs themselves. These looked out over a forested valley with a beautiful, rocky river at the bottom, and beautiful rocky precipes and geological strata. We ate native cherries from the bushes, tiny berries with a stone atttached the same size as themselves (real bush tucker!).
Then onto Chudleigh where we almost made ourselves sick at the Honey Museum trying about 32 different types of honey. I am not a massive honey fan, but it was interesting to see how much the flavours differed, and it's true that perhaps I don't like honey because the types I've tried aren't pleaurable to me.
Finally we drove to Deloraine and visited a salmon and ginseng farm. No, we don't know why they combine those two random farms either. I didn't do the walk round the farm (getting slightly edgy about finances already and I'm only half way through), but I bought some smoked Tasmanian salmon and had it later with cream cheese!
We stayed the night in Launceston (pronounced Lonseston! How untidy!) above a pub. We all shared a room, which was slightly odd given that we were staying with our tour guide and friend, but Greg and Tanya are well cool, down to earth people, so they don't feel so much like tour guides as a couple of mates you don't know so well.