Caving in the Buchan Caves Print E-mail

Today 1A and 1B went caving in the Buchan Caves.

Caving at The Buchan CavesWe all left at 8am in the morning and I used the hour long bus trip to get some sleep. I don’t know about everyone else, but waking up at 6:30am everyday really isn’t my thing and I’ll be really glad when I can sleep in again. So once we got to the Buchan Reserve, we looked around in the Visitor’s Centre and the gift shop. It was really cold outside and I didn’t have the brains to bring a jacket, so to keep warm I put on my yellow overalls and I wasn’t feeling too happy about that, because I don’t look so great in yellow. But I felt better when everyone else was jumping around the place in their yellow overalls.

Eventually our tour guide Marie came and the other group left for the ‘dirty’ cave (We had a rock off to see who was going where. Thank god my group got the clean cave). We met Marie at the entrance to the cave and went downstairs into the cave.

The first cave really wasn’t what I was expecting, it was clean (hence the name) and it was designed for tours like ours. It was fun to learn about how the caves formed and it’s not just a bunch of rocks, it’s crystals and water and only some rocks. We walked around there for a while and got to take a lot of photos of the cave. It was so much better than I thought it would be.

After we left the cave and went back down to the Visitor’s Centre, we went to the playground for a bit and there was a Noughts and Crosses board. I lost spectacularly to Miss Howard about five or six times. We were still waiting for the other group to get back (they had the food so we couldn’t start cooking), so we started up the barbecue anyway and we were all crowding around it to stay warm.
It took a while for the other group to get back and once they did, we cooked lunch (chicken sandwiches) and it tasted pretty good. We had to wait for a while before we could go to the second cave so we stayed around the barbecue. It had started hailing and my hands were freezing and so I was running towards the bus to be able to turn on the heater when we were able to leave.

CavingWe drove out about 5km from Buchan Reserve and we met our two caving instructors, Phil and Dave. They gave us helmets with torches on them and we set off for the second cave. I thought the second cave was going to be a cinch until I saw the hole that we had to slide down and because my balance really isn’t that great, I got really nervous. So I was the last one to slide down the hole but once we got through it, the cave was bigger and I wasn’t too nervous anymore.

We walked around for a bit in the space, climbing up and down rocks and sliding down them once in a while. Then we split up into two groups (guys and girls) and set off separately. All the girls (Karen, Jamie Lee, Mingara and I) and Dave had a challenging time getting through the whole cave. I was really scared at first, but then I realised that caving wasn’t too scary so I started having fun. We slid through spaces that I thought I’d get stuck in and we were crawling through tiny spaces in the rocks. I think the helmet was really useful, I hit my head a lot. It was really fun and I didn’t want to get out of the cave. But then I thought of the shower I was going to have when I got back and I got out of there as fast as I could. We were really dirty... the overalls weren’t yellow anymore. And I had dirt on my teeth.
We left the Buchan Caves after that and drove back to school.

I think caving was one of the most awesome experiences I’ve had and I really want to do it again. I don’t know why I was so nervous in the first place!

Kelly- Pakenham


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School for Student Leadership is a Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET) initiative offering a unique residential education experience for year nine students. The curriculum focuses on personal development and team learning projects sourced from students' home regions. There are four campuses in iconic locations across Victoria. The Alpine School Campus is located at Dinner Plain in the Victorian Alps. Snowy River Campus is near the mouth of the Snowy River at Marlo in east Gippsland. The third site is adjacent to Mount Noorat near Camperdown in Victoria’s Western District, and is called Gnurad-Gundidj. After consultation with the local aboriginal community, this name represents both the indigenous name of the local area and an interpretation of the statement "belonging to this place". Our fourth and newest campus, currently known as the Don Valley Campus is located at Don Valley, Yarra Ranges.
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