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A Day at Wombeyan Caves

2017

There are not many motoring directors who can fit as much into a day as Kerry McPherson. We left Canberra in sunshine, travelled through Goulburn accompanied by a chilly wind, reached the caves in relative warmth, came out of the caves into light rain and then drove home through snow.

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For all the exciting and changeable weather it was a great day. Leaving Macca’s carpark on Northbourne Ave, we travelled via the highway to Goulburn for a quick comfort stop and then on to Taralga for morning tea at the Ploughman Cafe. Taralga has really developed over the last 10 years or so and has become a lovely small town. All the buildings have been refurbished and there is an air of prosperity. The original stone houses and hotels looked wonderful and it has become a popular destination for local car and bike clubs.

It is only another 33 k’s to the caves, half being tar and the rest well formed dirt. I had not been there for 15 years, my last visit being on a motorbike. I remember it well as I nearly fell off being a bit eager on the winding descent into the valley.

As you will see from the photo’s we corralled the cars around our picnic table to stop the wind.  The sun was still shining and both company and food were excellent. It is a very pretty place and is now run by National Parks and Wildlife along with a lot of kangaroo’s.

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Most of us elected to do the Wollondilly Cave guided tour while Brooke and Jackie Thorpe and the McPherson's did the self guided tour through Fig Tree Cave. Robert and Kerry Care headed for home after our picnic lunch in their hybrid E class. They passed us on the way to the caves and the car is so quiet it is almost impossible to hear aside from wheel noise on the road.

The cave tour was terrific, with plenty to see and admire, some of it, startling in its beauty. There were plenty of ladders to climb and descend with the odd narrow passageway to navigate. We all made it, though some with metal knees were a little slower than other’s. Our guide, a Canadian emigrate, was full of information and made the whole tour very enjoyable.  On reaching the surface light rain was falling and on driving out once we reached the top of the hills we all drove through gently falling snow (photo above). As I have previously mentioned, the day had it all.

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I should mention those hardy souls who attended, Yola and Dennis Murphy, Peter Kunz and Sophia Zimoc, Terry and Elaine Larkin, Robert and Kerry Care, Kerry and Lynne McPherson, Di and Myself and last but not least Gus and Helen Sharpe. This was Gus and Helen’s first club event and so two new faces have joined our band of travelers and I wish them much happiness as members of the club. Gus drives a W123, 300D with 700,000 plus K’s on the clock and I must say it went like a train. On a personal note the Sharpe and Jackson families have a long association as we both grew up in Orange.

It was and excellent day out and many thanks must go to Kerry and Lynne who keep finding these interesting local places to visit. So next time join us as there is always something of interest to see and the company is terrific.

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Most of the group.  And below a vintage hauler now a billboard for the Ploughman Café in Taralga.

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Richard Jackson

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