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Coolah Cave?

After the waterfall hike yesterday we both woke up with stiff calves and knew that we had to walk them otherwise we wouldn’t be able to move come this afternoon.

We were clearly the only ones in the campground without a New Years Eve ticket as everyone else was packing up and heading off and it looked like we might be left with the campground all to ourselves.

We decided to head straight out for the walk this morning to try and avoid some of the heat as we weren’t sure if we would be protected by the canopy.

Mullian Track

We headed up to the lookout and along the Mullian Track out on to the rocky outcrop known as Pinnacle Lookout.

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The track out is quite good and easy to follow. Accessible for most, it is a nature track with a few natural steps but nothing too big, and as the sign states about 2km return.

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We did encounter one obstacle which had obviously come down since the rangers had been out and about.

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Once you get our onto the rocky outcrop, the views are outstanding!

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pinnacle-lookout-pano

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Whilst enjoying the views a couple on their bikes joined us, and we got chatting and realised that we were all looking to explore the Lava/Basalt Caves but we weren’t sure exactly where they were.

This is another little mash up of video footage i took whilst walking the trail. It does appear that i almost walk off the top of the cliff so if heights aren’t your thing, this is your trigger warning. I actually wasn’t very close at funnily enough and it was only on playback that i was like wow that looks extreme.

We headed back out along the track and headed back towards Rocky Creek Picnic area along what appeared to be an old access road, which at times was quite difficult to find and we certainly weren’t seeing any signs for the Lava Cave and we were definitely starting to question if we were on the right track – literally! We crossed over Rocky Creek a couple of times (or Rocky trickle might have been more accurate for our trip). When the water is flowing this would be a beautiful little spot.

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We arrived at the picnic area to find the bikers and a sign indicating that we were now further away then when we first started – what the actual !!! At this point we realised the likely folly of our mistake – at the lookout the track went both left and right ( just after the warning sign if you watched the video) and we had all automatically gone left thinking it was a circular track only to now realise that it quite obviously wasn’t.

We started the trek back to the car and our bikers kindly gave me a lift to the car when we arrived at their car which was super lovely and saved us a bit of a walk as i was able to double back and pick up Tash. We headed back to camp and made a plan to go back and try to find the caves. after a little rest and re-fuelling we headed back to the lookout and this time we went right not left.

Cave Hunt

Back to our starting point from this morning, and this time we took the track to the right. From there the track goes straight down the side of the mountain along a rocky cliff edge and isn’t exactly for the faint hearted. The track is only minimally marked and at times more of a guess than an actual track. We made our way down and along the cliff edge only to either loose the track completely or due to land slippage the track was no longer passable. Either way we were buggered, there was a storm brewing and without a clue of where to head we decided to head back up the mountain.

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This is pretty much as far as we got before we lost the path completely.
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This is the only ‘cave’ that we found.
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Gorgeous baby grasstrees

Some of the trail we had to ‘follow’

By the time we reached the top we were completely exhausted and annoyed that we now had two fails at finding the caves.

Dinner Time

We headed back to camp exhausted but intent on having a camp oven new years eve roast for dinner. After a little time to relax and enjoy a beverage and get a little annoyed at the rain, we started prepping the camp oven hoping the rain was going to go around us, which thankfully it did.

We had the Snow Peak fire pit fired up for the camp oven and the fire for us – not that it was cold, its just that there is almost nothing better than sitting around a campfire and staring at the stars, although the cloud cover was probably going to rule out the latter.

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Whilst waiting for dinner to cook we watched a beautiful sunset over the campground.

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The roast was a sensation (so much so we forgot to get a picture!), and as always we had enough for a few others, which just meant that we had leftovers for tomorrow night – winning.

 

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