After hiking the 12km Ghost House Trail in July we returned in early August to explore the shorter 4km Caves Trail. The trail is a loop trail and the most popular starting point is from McNess House Visitor Centre where the trail passes by the koala enclosure, crossing the road for a section behind Treetops Adventure - you may not see the zipliners swinging between the trees but you will hear them! It shares this section with a number of other trails before emerging opposite the campground at Henry White Oval. Here you can choose to hike the trail in a clockwise or anti clockwise direction. Having previously hiked this trail anti clockwise (and ending up hiking the 12 km Ghost House Trail in error) we decided to hike clockwise so headed left at the campground towards the entrance to Boomerang Gorge and the Dwerta Mia Trail - another fully accessible short loop trail.
Before entering the gorge we diverted left onto an older trail with stone steps and soon emerged at Cabaret Cave which can be booked for functions. There are toilets here but they are not open unless there is a function. Caves Trail continues past the toilet block and then splits to the right from the Ghost House Trail and Yanchep Rose Trail, a short distance further along.
Caves Trail heads through coastal heathland which was awash with Djilba colours of yellow and white. The trail crosses the top of Boomerang Gorge with views down into the gorge. Watch your step here especially with younger children!
One of the bushes smelt divine and perfumed the air along the trail. This trail definitely shines in wildflower season!
The trail emerges at the Crystal Cave carpark where you will find toilets (open while cave tours are operational). Be careful to stay on the Caves Trail as the 17.5km Cockatoo Trail veers off here heading south.
After the car park the trail is wider as it approaches an intersection. If you veer left you can walk the short distance to Yonderup Cave which is the cave we explored some years ago - this is not a walk in cave and we had to clamber over rocks and squeeze through very narrow passages with head lamps the only source of light - not easy but definitely an adventure!
We backtracked and took the right hand trail which led us past Henry White Oval where we encountered some lazy kangaroos and then back into the bush before crossing the campground access road and following a trail alongside the road to the trail intersection point leading back to the koala enclosure.
We parked at Boomerang Gorge for this hike which reduces the hike to about 3km and it took us 45 minutes. Add on another 15 minutes if you are walking back to the koala enclosure and Loch McNess.
To read more blogs go to:
In the spirit of reconciliation Out and About- Family Nature Connection acknowledges the traditional owners of the Wadjak boodjar (Perth land) and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and emerging and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.
As always when hiking in the bush please help to reduce the spread of Phytophthora Dieback by sticking to the tracks and paths, staying out of quarantined areas and, if possible, clean your shoes before and after hiking. A spray of 70% methylated spirit and 30% water can be effective.