Visiting The Capricorn Caves With Kids
The Floor is Made From What!
“Do you know what the floor in here is made from?” our guide asks.
Little Miss two has been “spirited” so far throughout this 60 minute tour of the Capricorn Caves. We are about 45 minutes into the tour and she is now squatting down attempting to dig a rock out of the ground with her little finger. I suspect she plans to throw it at her brother. It’s the first time since the tour started that she hasn’t attempted to run off, squeeze into a hole she isn’t suppose to, or yell “pick me up” or “no…put me down” at the top of her voice.
I get a sinking feeling in my stomach as one of the other people in the group yells out “guano!”
“Yep, that’s right. The floor is made out of compacted bat poop”, our guide replies.
I look down at Miss Two in horror just as she sticks her chubby little fingers in her mouth.
If I’m being honest, it’s probably not the worst thing she has ever put in her mouth. I tell myself its ok because it’s not fresh bat poop. This is bat poop that has taken thousands of years to compact into the floor surface that it is today. It looks just like a regular dirt floor so it’s just like tasting regular dirt. Right?
The Capricorn Caves are actually really beautiful and the tour is pretty decent. Unfortunately, you can only visit on a tour though. Wandering around at your own pace would definitely be easier with kids. However, I understand they do it this way to protect the caves.
Nearing the end of the tour, we are all led into the Cathedral room. Opera concerts and wedding ceremonies are held in this cave due to its fantastic acoustic properties. Everyone sits down on the sturdy church style bench seats and the room is lit by candles. A wonderful acapella version of ‘Hallelujah’ is played through an MP3 player to show how great the acoustics are.
Mr Four is a bit bored, but sitting quietly enough. He is content knowing that he will soon get to finish the tour by negotiating a zig zag passage and cross a swaying suspension bridge.
Unfortunately, Miss Two is inching dangerously close to naughty hyper stage which means that I have misjudged her nap time. Whilst the other guests are enjoying the special moment of the music in the cathedral cave; she climbs onto the seat in front, bends down till her head is under her bottom and breaks the tranquility by screaming, ”Mum…..I can see my buuuummm!”
I avoid eye contact with everyone until the end of the tour.
The caves are located 23km north of Rockhampton. Basically if you are on the highway heading north, you can’t miss the signs. The caves honeycomb around a limestone ridge and there are more than 1.5 km of passages to explore. You can take the popular cathedral tour like we did, or there are some more adventurous options to choose from.
The cathedral tour is wheelchair friendly. You will see cave coral, stalactites, bats and dangling fig-tree roots. All of the caves are beautiful but the cathedral cave is really something special. I would love to experience one of the popular opera performances held in here.
If you visit during Summer Solstice (early December to early January), the sunlight beams directly through a very small vertical shaft into Belfry Cave, creating a very special natural light show.
You should definitely go out of your way to visit these caves if around the Rockhampton area. In general, kids will like this tour even if they are a bit bored by the tour guide. The bats, interesting formations, climbing stairs in the dark, the squeezie zig zag tunnel and the suspension bridge are enough to keep them occupied.
…..unless you misjudge nap time with your two year old like I did!
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