Dienstag, 14. August 2012

Capricorn Caves - Rockhampton - Biloela

This morning we visited the Capricorn Caves. We were on the first tour at 9am together with the Hardy family from Melbourne. They have two boys, William and Laughlin. Laughlin is at the same age as Jonah and the boys got on very well. We all sat around the fireplace last night.

The caves were discovered by the Olson family in the 19th century.

They are still owned by the family.

Most famous and impressive is the cathedral cave. Weddings are held here as well as opera concerts.

After the cave tour it is time to say goodbye to the Hardys. They head on to Agnes Waters Beach Caravan Park. We would have joined but the park is fully booked. However, we sure stay in touch.

In Rockhampton we visit the Archer Park Railway Museum.

The have a fully operational steam tram as it has been in operation in Rocky from early 1900 to 1939.

There is a diesel and a steam engine, too.

The steam engine got a repaint for a Harry Potter photo shoot at Movie World.

Normally the engine is painted in brown, known as the brown bomber.

As costal campgrounds seem to be very busy, we take the inland route. First bit on the Capricorn Highway again. It takes us to Mount Hay where there are many Thundereggs.

Thundereggs are spherical - bubble like - structures developed in Rhyolite Lava due to gases and chemicals interacting in the hot mixture.

As the bubbles start to cool this causes them to crack allowing gases to escape but also to allow mineral solutions to travel in and fill the gas hollows of the bubbles. These minerals crystallised as they cooled to form the crystal center of what is now a Thunderegg.

After millions of years the lava breaks down to allow the bubbles to become free of the rock... Thundereggs can contain Quartz Crystals, Agate, Jasper, Opalite and Calcite Crystals. At Mt. Hay they are also called Volcanic Birthstone as they developes over 120 Million years ago when Mt. Hay was an active volcano.

So we do a bit of fossicking and find a larger number of small Thundereggs.

We also find Perlite, volcanic glass. The Thundereggs are cut in halfes for us so we can see the wonderful structure of the enclosed Agate.

It is quite late now and we have to move on. We decide to stay in Biloela for the night, this is another 1,5 hours to go - we thought...

The sun is already starting to go down.

When we arrive in Biloela it is dark. As the park right in town was full, we chose one "a bit" remote. It actually was 40km away on a small road with the last 5km gravel.

A very remote place with a very basic camping camp. However, the kids got something to eat and another night at a fireplace - just perfect.
Now we are all curious to see how the place and surrounding area looks lik at daytime. Tomorrow we will have to drive more than 500km to get to Dicky Beach.
(c) Dirk Frantzen 2012 — published via iPad

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