Thursday, 1 December 2016

Margaret River Region - Eagles 'n' Owls



Today we went to visit the birds at Eagles Heritage. The centre rescues injured birds and where possible returns them to the wild. Those that cannot be returned to the wild are given a permanent home. We took the bush walk around the aviaries and then watched the free flight bird show. Our presenter had lots of great information about the birds. Did you know that owls can see the ultraviolet light from mouse urine and your perfume and antiperspirant! Owls can also rotate their heads 355 degrees. Sadly we also found out that Australia is the only country in the World that allows the shooting of their national eagles including those listed as endangered.







Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Margaret River Region - Mountain Biking


Today we cycled about 10km around Margaret River including the new pines mountain bike trails. Everyone did really well especially L on her tiny bike with no gears.




We also tried the sensory trail through the forest. A rope leads the way whilst you are blindfolded.


Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Margaret River Region - Two Last Caves


Today we visited Mammoth Cave (named for it's size, not because there were mammoths there) and the unlit Calgardup Cave.

Mammoth cave was truly huge and full of beautiful formations. Many fossils of extinct and living species have been uncovered here including marsupial mega-fauna. The cave has an informative audio guide about the cave's formation, discovery and wildlife.








We took the short bush walk back to the visitor centre


Our last cave of the trip was Calgardup cave. It was exciting to descend into the darkness with just a torch and hard hat. Although there was no rock scrambling we had to crouch down low in places. We managed to spot some tiny cave shrimps in the stream running through the cave.

Stalactites with tree-like growth rings




R spent the afternoon on the beginners mountain bike trails.



Monday, 28 November 2016

Margaret River Region - Lake Cave


Today we visited Lake Cave which has one of only three suspended table formations in the World, and the only one open to the public. You can see the table formation above lit up in pink. Stalactites suspend the "table" about a foot above the underground stream. It weighs a couple of tons and was formed as the stream eroded the cave floor. The formation lit in yellow is the "dragon".

It's quite a hike into the cave through the collapsed cave roof.







The cave visitors centre had a crawl through tunnel experience which the kids enjoyed and lots of interpretive exhibits like the prehistoric, marsupial, cave-lion skeleton below.




The afternoon was spent at the beach and gourmet food stores.



Sunday, 27 November 2016

Margaret River Region - Into the Depths


Today we were joined by L's friend for a trip into the Giant's Cave. This is a real caving experience and you need to be prepared with good shoes, a helmet and torch. The journey through the cave includes steep steps, ladders, boulder scrambling, crawling on hands and knees, narrow squeezes and a rope descent. We had great fun!


A frog near the cave entrance


Rope descent

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Margaret River Region - Historic House


Today we took a walk to Ellensbrook Historic House. As well as the house itself you can take a short bush walk along the stream to the grotto and mossy waterfall.








After that is was down to Margaret River-Mouth Beach for a swim.



Margaret River Region - Underwater World


The weather has been great for a stroll along Busselton Jetty and a swim in the ocean. The jetty is the longest in the Southern Hemisphere. At the very end we descended to the sea floor inside the underwater observatory.