So...you've decided to take a journey into Tunnel Creek after all! Well it turns out our friend Garth is down there today, and he has generously offered to be your virtual tour guide. He's already inside the cave system, so if you want to see what Tunnel Creek is all about, you had better hurry up and join the tour!
"Hi Folks! My name's Garth. Welcome to Tunnel Creek. I really hope you're wearing a good pair of walking shoes that you don't mind getting wet. We've got to walk across quite a few rocks, and in some places we'll have to wade through the water - often as far up as our knees. As you can see, I've just turned my flashlight on, and the batteries are charged right up, so keep close to me and I will lead you through the tunnel. Don't worry...I don't bite!"
"If you look back over my shoulder, you'll see the cave entrance. It's only about a 6 minute walk from the carpark to this point, but as you can see at the mouth of the cave there is a couple of big boulders you've got to climb over to get in here."
"Oh well no point looking back, lets get going! Just as well I brought a torch - it's pretty dark in this tunnel! There's a fair bit of water in here, looks like we might have to get our feet wet in some places. This section of the tunnel has a bank of sand and rock for us to follow."
"Boy, it sure is amazing in here! Imagine how deep the water must be in the wet season!"
"Did you know the rock in this cave is limestone - it is part of the same ancient devonian reef as Windjana Gorge and the Napier Range. But here, the limestone rock has been slowly cut away over millions of years by the creek flowing through it, forming this incredible tunnel."
"Hey look over there...What's that bright light?..."
"...It's just someone coming back out of the cave system carrying a torch. Sometimes it's really easy to forget there's other people around, when you're exploring a magical place like Tunnel Creek. If you're in the tunnel when there's a tour group coming back out carrying all their torches, it looks like a scene out of Lord Of The Rings...You really expect Golum to climb over a rock at any second!"
"In some areas of the tunnel, sunlight seeps in from above illuminating the cave walls."
"I wonder what's around the next bend!?"
"Hey...Take a look what I found over here. It's a Wotjulum Frog commonly known as a Rocket Frog. They jump really quickly over the top of the water in the tunnel just like little rockets. They have to move really fast to give any hungry fish beneath the surface a run for their money. But don't worry the fish in the tunnel arn't carnivorous, so your feet are safe!"
"In some areas in the tunnel you'll see Stalagmites rising from the floor, and Stalactites growing from the roof of the cave walls. Did you know these occur within limestone caves from the dripping of mineralized solutions, and the deposition of calcium carbonate? They form when minerals solidify out of a water solution, onto an existing rock surface. Please do not touch these formations as they are still growing and forming. Did you know the oil from our skin acts like a lubricant, and disturbs where the mineral water will cling, thus seriously inhibiting the growth of the Stalagmite or Stalactite? Oils and dirt from the hands can also stain the Stalactite or Stalagmite changing its colour permanently. So to help preserve the cave ecosystem, when you are visiting Tunnel Creek, please do not touch these formations, especially if you're wearing suntan lotion or insect repellent."
"Hey...Here's another surprise. A bat! There's quite a few of them in the tunnel as well"
"It's true what they say - there is light at the end of the tunnel! After about a 30 minute walk it looks like we're nearly at the end of the cave system!"
"Well we made it folks! This is the end of the tunnel. Right in front of this tunnel exit there's a big waterhole that's great for swimming in. So I'm going to take a dip in there for a while, before heading back through the cave system to the carpark. So I guess I'll catch ya later! Hope you've enjoyed the adventure as much as I have."