When Mr Incredible suggested Jenolan Caves for our anniversary I was skeptical… 6 months pregnant and a toddler in tow, how would we cope and would it be worth it? Are the caves really that good? Speaking of the caves, there’s more than one! Which one do we choose??
Pre-kids, Mr Incredible and I explored the caves at Waitomo, NZ and did the Black Abyss tour with The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co. http://www.waitomo.com/caving-adventure.aspx . This was incredible and we have very fond memories of the time. It was filled with fun that my pregnant body now couldn’t cope with and loads of beautiful glow worms. It was against this high standard that I’d been holding any caving trip, and one that we’d only walk through with a tour group better be really beautiful if it was going to compare at all. Thankfully, I was really blown away by the Jenolan Cave we visited – yes, we only walked through but the decorations of the cave were incredible and it was very well conducted.
A few tips:
- We used The Jenolan Caves Guide (http://members.optusnet.com.au/rawhyte/) to help us choose which cave was best for us. We wanted a cave with a low number of people in the group, not too strenuous but also really beautiful. In the end we chose the Orient cave and were not disappointed. The guide gives you a description of each cave and also has the tour numbers.
- Take a baby carrier, not a hiking backpack. We rocked up to the ticket office with Adventure Girl in her hiking backpack and were informed that she wouldn’t fit through some of the cave areas! Thankfully we had the Ergobaby in the car and we used this instead.
- Pre-book! The tours fill up fast.
Little one rating: 2/5 – it was doable with a toddler, but not an activity for a toddler. There was one point in the tour where the lights went completely out and she got very scared. We carried her the entire time and there was also one element of our tour that we couldn’t take her into, so I stayed with her while Mr Incredible went into the well. Let’s face it, at 14 months this adventure was more for us!
Pregnancy rating: 4.5 – While there was quite a lot of walking combined with ups and downs, there was also HEAPS of stopping. With this in mind it wasn’t as strenuous as I thought it would be and I finished the tour feeling refreshed and energised.