Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Postcards from the Limestone Coast: Tantanoola Caves

It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see. ~Henry David Thoreau

Tantanoola Caves are a sight to behold. Our expectations of this magnificent single chamber dolomite cave were definitely exceeded. A friend had told us that Tantanoola was the cave most worthwhile visiting on the Limestone Coast. We are so glad we received this recommendation as we may have driven right past this knowing we would soon be visiting the World Heritage Naracoorte Caves.

The colours of this cave provided by the dolomite component were enhanced by the recent rainfall we have had. The chocolate, yellow, cream and burgundy colours were glossy and bright due to the wetness of the cave. The surface rain is soaking through and effecting all the stalactites. There were puddles on the floor as well. So locals were visiting the cave to see how it looked this season in the wet. It has been so dry for so long. While visiting Naracoorte Caves we noticed a sign encouraging people to view Tantanoola Caves also as they are a sight to behold at the moment. This reaffirmed our decision to stop and take in the beauty of this fascinating cave.

So for our first cave visit we were all thrilled, and held in absolute awe. One of the main things Ess was looking forward to on our holiday was visiting caves and she certainly delighted in this one. She was so excited to finally set her eyes upon some real stalactites, stalacmites and helictites. We also learnt about straws and columns, calcite and dolomite.

The cliff top walk above the cave was enjoyable too. The various flora blossoming during spring was delightful and the seeds of certain grasses became "pingy things" for my dear Ess who threw them at Daddy to see how many would stick to his shirt. It wasn't long before she had a little helper as well. Dad was absolutely covered in them and it was quite a job to remove them all before we could jump back in the car.

The wildflowers were very unique and interesting to me, who was brought up in north west New South Wales, far from any Limestone Coast. I have no idea what these are but would love to know if you know.

It still amazes me to see just how porous limestone is. This wall is an excellent example of limestone.


Homestay Mama said...

Cee, these pictures are superb--and so interesting, too!

I have never seen flowers like that before, so I'll be no help in identifying them!

Cee said...

Glad you like the pics> It is lovely to see some different things isn't it!! I just have soo many pics to share now! :)

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tomdupuy said...

These postcards are great!

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