Through my Lens – Clarence and Oberon

After a good night’s sleep, we set off bright and early the next morning to continue our holiday. Many years previously, the Garden Gnome and I had spent time in the Blue Mountains (without children) and had visited the Zig Zag Railway. We enjoyed ourselves immensely and had the opportunity of riding up front with the driver on the day that we visited. It was the middle of an Australian summer and it got pretty hot in there shovelling coal into the engine’s fire pit but it was a lot of fun. We wanted to visit again and this time had our little girl along for the ride.The Zig Zag Railway is located at Clarence in the Blue Mountains and is run by volunteers. Sadly when the bushfires swept through the mountains in October last year, the Zig Zag Railway was not immune and lost many carriages and some buildings. Unfortunately (and such is human nature) looters then also followed and stole what they could as well. To date, the railway has not been able to re-start (being that it is run solely by volunteers and relies heavily on donations to continue) however they are hoping to get it up and running once in the near future. The web page in my link above has lots of progress reports for those wishing to read more about this lovely train and the community that supports it. The train runs both diesel and steam engines. Luckily we picked a day that the steam engine was taking its turn.
Whilst waiting for the engine to build up steam we wandered the platform and gift shop and took lots of photos. Being me, I found some flowers and photographed them also.
This is a Banksia and one of Australia’s native species.
20100930-IMG_5088-copyThe train travels in a zig-zag down the mountain side passing over several viaducts toward the bottom and stopping in two places for the engine to shunt and reposition itself at the front of the carriages. This meant that at times we would be moving facing forward and other times facing backwards whilst never leaving our seats. At each stop, the opportunity is available for stretching your legs on the platform and admiring some of the old railway exhibits lovingly restored by the volunteers. Our carriage had a group of people with disabilities seated behind us and going through the tunnels, one of the group began melting down due to his fear of the dark however his worker thought quickly and bought out his phone (with LED light) for the man to look at. Crisis averted and a smiling face from the young man because he was so brave in the dark from then on.
20100930-IMG_5084-copyAfter leaving the railway, we travelled to Oberon which is the home of the Jenolan Caves. To get to the accommodation, eating places and car park you have to drive through one of the caves themselves.
20100930-IMG_5103-copyOn the bottom right of this photo is the road leading through to the other side. There are a great number of caves to explore and tours leave at many times throughout the day. Each tour caters for different fitness levels. We chose one that would be easy on my knees. Everyone meets inside the huge cave (in the photo above) to branch off into the hillside to explore the other caves.
If you check out the Jenolan Caves website, they have just had a photo competition that has some awesome photos taken by tourists. Looks like I just missed it though. lol
20100930-IMG_5164-copyThe stalactites, stalagmites and other formations are often lit up and it really is awe inspiring to walk through. Each of the formations has names (such as the Leaning Tower or Walled City) but I can’t remember them all. For those who don’t just wish to explore the caves, there are bushwalking tracks around the area as well.
The Jenolan Caves are somewhere that everyone should visit at least once in their lives however they are not cheap to visit and geared very much toward overseas tourists.
We took approximately a hundred photos between us all on this day and it was hard to choose just a few to share with you.

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23 thoughts on “Through my Lens – Clarence and Oberon

  1. Hi Suz, first time visiting your lovely blog… glad to have found through the MMC šŸ˜€
    You past right by my place heading to Oberon… we are near.
    I visited the Zig Zag a little while ago and took some shots… it was like a ghost town.
    We were always going to go on it, but we never did. Hopefully one day šŸ™‚

    Thanks so much also for your lovely comment on my image for last weeks MMC… so greatly appreciated!

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      1. I’m interested in all sorts of things Suz… I’d been a quilter for many years… And its nice to meet nice people šŸ™‚
        I did hear they were trying to get the Zig Zag going again, but its still sitting quietly at present.

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  2. Great post Sue, in all my army travels I have never been fortunate to be located near the Blue mountains, or get a chance to see the Jenolan caves.
    That Zig Zag train ride really looks great with spectacular views.
    We both understand the damage that our yearly bushfires do to our beautiful country.
    Volunteers on the railway are to be commended.
    Emu aka Ian

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