Mum and my brother were in Australia during my mid-year break. And we went on a a road trip from Adelaide to Melbourne via the Great Ocean Road. But before we even got onto the Great Ocean Road, we had to go through the Limestone coast, so we spent the first day exploring caves.
We visited Naracoorte Caves Conservation and the cave we visited was known as the Victoria Fossil Cave. This cave is great for the whole family, there is no need to crawl or squeeze through tiny openings. Everything’s nice and wide for you to walk around comfortably. There were also no steep ladders, maybe just a couple of steps to get into the cave, but that’s about it, the stairs weren’t even especially steep ones, just the regular ones you see about the city.
If you ever decide to visit the caves, you should definitely aim to go with one of their tours. The guides are extremely knowledgeable about the caves and seem really passionate about what they do. Which is always a good thing. Our guide explained to us how the cave was discovered, who found it, what they did, how the little icicle like things were formed etc. Then we were guided towards the fossil chamber, where bones of various animals were discovered. You know how sometimes you notice that animals just refuse to go to a certain area? Most likely it’s because they can heard the difference in the sound coming from their hooves/feet/paws that the ground underneath is getting thinner (?), so to avoid falling into a pit/trap/hole/cave, they just avoid the general area. Thus the theory is that these animals, maybe whilst being chased by a predator therefore failing to pay attention to the ground underneath their feet, fell through a hole and ended up in the cave, unable to get out, they died leaving behind their bones. And the bones of previous dead animals scattered by new animals falling through the cave and attempting to escape., resulting in the pit of bones below. So morbid, I know.
There are excavation sites that are currently still there where various professionals are studying the bones and the cave, trying to figure out how old these bones are and how old the cave is etc.
There’s also a bat cave (no, you won’t find Batman there) and other more adventurous caves where you have to belly crawl through tight spaces and get dirt on yourself, depending on how adventurous you’re feeling!
After that we made short stops, places such as the Shipwreck coast, on our way to Portland for the night, before heading off again. Unfortunately, being winter, days being shorter, it got dark really quickly. And in the country, with little streetlights, the freeway was pitch black, save for the headlights from the occasional car that passed by.
And one thing that Australians know when driving in the dark on the freeway is that you have to look out for kangaroos. You know those kangaroo signs along the freeway you always see? The ones being made into miniature versions for tourists to buy home? They are not for decoration, not for tourists to go ‘Oh so cute! Hahahaha’ and then grab a magnet version for their fridge after. Okay. They are to warn you to look out for kangaroos.
So, while we were driving towards our the guesthouse in Portland, I told my brother and mum to help me look out for kangaroos, kangaroos are nocturnal and they might try to get in front of our car. They said okay. Not long after I’ve warned them about kangaroos, I spotted one from the corner of my eye, hopping beside our car. We were going at about 100km/h on the freeway. This kangaroo, was trying to overtake our car. I tried to stop, I beeped at it, and unfortunately, it got hit by our car. Thankfully, there was no major damage to the car (the badge came off), and everyone in the car was okay. No one got hurt. So, people, driving in the night is a bad idea.