Jenolan Caves Birding and Dining

Tue 15 May 2018 12:00am

Michael Robbins

Six people have expressed interest in joining me (Michael Robbins) on my May 2018 break at Caves House, Jenolan.
The plan for May 15 to 17 is firming up, although numbers will remain uncertain until close to 14 May.  Some people have already decided they’ll stay an extra day, so we’ll wait until about the beginning of May to firm up car sharing arrangements.
The refurbishment of the Bistro will be finished and lunches and breakfast can be bought there.  Chisholm Restaurant, which is the only place to eat dinner unless you drive into Oberon, will be operating in May but seating maybe in the function room if refurbishment of the grand dining room has started by 14/5/18.
We’ll aim to leave Canberra at about 9 am on Tuesday 15/5/18, the exact time we get away will depend on car sharing arrangements, and we’ll plan to stop at a couple of places on the way to Jenolan Caves, including a lunch stop.
We’ll spend all of Wednesday the 16th doing walks around the Jenolan Caves area.  If anyone would rather do a cave tour than join a walk that’s fine. One walk will definitely be to the old playing fields and beyond, but as it will be an out and back walk, if anyone wanted to stop at the old playing fields and wait for us there that will be fine. On Thursday 17th the plan is to visit Kangangra Walls with probably one other stop on the way back to Canberra.
It is highly unlikely we’ll have a large enough group for a group booking.  Therefore it will be up to individuals to book their choice of accomodation from one of the three level of room in Caves House, or a bed in the backpacker ‘lodge’ or a room in the motel style unit. Please make sure to let Michael (mrobbins at know if you’re interested in joining him and haven’t already done so.

Post event report

Nine COG members travelled to Jenolan to accompany Michael Robbins on his regular break at this historic location. On the trip down (and on the trip back) some of us stopped at the Bummaroo Ford Camping Area in Abercrombie River National Park, where Varied Sittellas were found on both occasions. We had plenty of time over the four days to explore the River Walk and Blue Lake behind Caves House, where the local platypus and wombat appeared regularly. Superb Lyrebirds were seen regularly, even in the tiny rose garden metres from the front of our accommodation! A day was spent at Kanangra Boyd National Park, with spectacular scenery and LOTS of steps on most of the walks. Some in the party were treated to great views of Bassian Thrush, which posed quite nicely for photos. After checking out the Boyd River camping area, and viewing the valley from the lookout we ventured down to the Dance Floor Cave, then a number of us undertook the more strenuous Plateau Walk. New Holland Honeyeaters were darting everywhere, and when we stopped on the rocks for lunch several groups of White-naped Honeyeaters passed overhead. There were short excursions down several of the firetrails running off the main track, and on the Kowmung firetrail Matthew spotted a Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo in a hollow. The other main excursion was a walk through McKeowns Valley to Mammoth Flat. The highlight was a group of four Red-browed Treecreepers (three more further along the track) and two Crested Shrike-tits. This walk also gave us the opportunity to see a lyrebird display mound, and admire the glorious tail feathers of several of the birds. There was a tantalizing clue that the Sooty Owl which frequents the area was active (a Sugar Glider tail was found on the track), but we did not find the bird itself on a subsequent night excursion. Sandra Henderson.

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