Ask any little boy if he would like to visit a cave and his answer would probably be yes. However I wasn’t too sure if a cave visit would live up to the expectations that Jah had about what a cave really is like. So given that Margaret River has several caves to offer, I really had to research and think it through quite a bit before we finally decided that we would give Ngilgi Caves a shot.
Joel and I had visited a cave in Margaret River once and I remember that it was a long long walk down and back up. We had joined a Caves Tour and that meant that we had to keep up and move at a certain pace. Totally not ideal for the kids. We decided to go with Ngilgi Caves because its tour was a semi-guided tour.
There were tour slots available every half-hourly so we decided to go for the 1030am slot which allowed us to make a breakfast pit stop at Margaret River Chocolate Factory enroute to the caves. Yes who has chocolate for breakfast right? Well we do! :p
We got to the Cave about 10 minutes before the tour slot started. We were advised to bring the kids to the toilet first as we would probably spend about 45 minutes or so in the cave. We met our guide at a pre-designated spot (above ground) where we read about the story of the cave. The kids loved the story about good versus evil and it was a really good start to their ‘cave adventure’.
Our guide brought us underground into the cave and explained the direction that we should walk in and some ground rules. We essentially went down some steep stairs to get underground but the kids were ok with that. We were told that we would have to walk 500 steps down and then 500 steps to get back up. I started to get abit worried but was comforted by the fact that we brought our toddler carriers around in case the kids needed to be carried mid-way. Thankfully we didn’t need it because our 2 troopers were more than happy and excited to finish the 500 steps up and down. Jah was so busy counting stairs but yes eventually lost count!
Most of the steps were well-built and paved except for certain low hanging areas or some areas where proper in-built steps were not possible and the steps had to be carved out from the rocks/ walls. So I would advise for 1 able-bodied adult to handle 1 child and make sure they don’t lose their footing or lean to one side (as the stairs can be very narrow). Give very specific instruction to your kiddos and if they can’t follow the instructions that you might need to carry them. Recommended in a carrier because you also need your hands free to hold railings while climbing or find your balance. We finished our walk in an hour and the kids were absolutely elated and pleased with themselves. Excuse our really dark photos. 🙂
Because we had finished at 1130am and still had abit of time to spare before lunch (we did have a really filling breakfast at 930am), we decided to pitstop at Canal Rocks which is a 5 minutes drive away. I’m so glad that we took that stop because the view at Canal Rocks was absolutely wonderful! I have this thing for the oceans and magnificent crashing waves as you may have noticed by now. So this place was an absolute gem! We were wondering why we had never been here in all our years of visiting Margaret River. We could have stood there in awe all morning. Videos can be found on our Instagram account.
We headed to Laurence Wines for lunch after that breath of fresh air. Honestly I don’t quite remember much about the food or wines there but the reason I am mentioning it, is because there is a pretty decent playground right next to the outdoor tables. Decent enough for the kids to play and expend their energy while you do your wine tasting at your own table. Yes, Laurence Wines allows you to purchase a tasting paddle and you can taste 6 different wines at your table. So no need to stand at the cellar door while worrying what the kids are up to. That being said, I would advise you to keep a look out for the kids as the playground is not enclosed and they might run in the direction of the open lake which is about 500m away.
Now for our 4 hour drive back to Perth and the second half of our adventure!