Dam Cliffs- Danger the whole family can enjoy

Once upon a time the powers that be decided to build a dam.

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The dam is situated to a series of massive cliffs.

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The locals told me to try the “spiral staircase”.

We climbed down this ladder thinking it was the spiral staircase. Quite possibly it wasn’t, because there was no spiral.

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We ended up on the underside of the dam, which was kind of spooky, but standing on slippery pillars above a sheer drop to dubious murky waters was a plus.

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But let’s forget about the underworld of the dam, and have a look at what the actual dam has to offer.

Firstly, the water is very deep. It is clear and swimming with tiny fishes that nibble on your feet and possibly free you from dead skin cells.

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Sploosh!

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Secondly, because it is so deep, almost everyone that comes here jumps off this cliff.

It’s shaped to conveniently allow you to jump off gradually higher and higher. I had a friend who started at the top, took a look down, then climbed down to the second highest level. He looked down, then climbed to the lowest level. He gave up, sat down, and said, “Today, I did not give in to peer pressure.”

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Jumping off this cliff does not lead to any injuries. However, if you don’t pin drop with your legs closed together, you may find that you leave the water feeling strangely violated, as water rushes quickly upwards and into your buttocks. For those of you that want a good clean, this may prove to be a blessing.

This cliff is also spectacular for rock climbing. You don’t need a harness because if you fall off – you just plummet into the water, instead of into your doom.

The reason I called this post, “Danger the whole family can enjoy” is because of a particular cliff swing.

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Now I am all for a bit of swinging. I’ve swung on much lower cliff swings. However, this cliff swing left me looking like THIS:

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This is an actual picture of my body following the incident.

Needless to say, it was a very funny experience. One second, I’m swinging down, feeling the rush of wind in my glorious hair. The next second, the water has smacked me in the side, and half of my body is in immense pain. I don’t normally swear, but I was pretty sure I was yelling out a combination of obscenities as I tried to stay afloat.

My partner (who is normally a bit hesitant about jumping) leapt off without a hesitation and swum me to shore. My hero!

I have pretty much recovered apart from a nasty bruise, but I actually don’t regret the experience, and maybe in the future I might try it again. I think I have terrible grip strength, and with a bit of practice, in time I will be able to do the swing.

Apparently there were two young boys lining up behind me, who saw me smack into the water, and said, “Um… maybe not”, and ran off.

Would I recommend the swing to other people? Absolutely. If you’re a strong young male, it should be no problem. If you’re a delicate flower like me? Probably not.

 

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Blue Lake River Walk – Because Australia’s water is normally brown.

Jenolan Caves is normally well-known for its grand archways and stalac-whatevers, but if you’re short on cash and you live in the Central West, you can go on a walk that will take you to see actual blue water. Not murky brown, not yellow ochre, blue.

My first impression of the Blue Lake River Walk was that there were signs everywhere.
“Don’t swim in the blue lake.”

“Don’t climb on the weir.”

“You shall not pass!”

Sign #1: Don’t walk on the Weir

As the Blue Lake comes into view, a sign forbidding me to walk on the “Weir” appears. I do not know what a Weir is, but I assume it is these flimsy looking boards. I try to test the boards, and quickly work out that the signs are pretty damn accurate

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Have a look at that blue water. That is some good looking water. #nofilter

Sign #2: Don’t swim in the blue lake.

If you go on a walk with the title “Blue Water”, you expect there to be swimming. This sign made our hearts sink.

However, although they put this sign up at the beginning of the walk, if you continue on you will come across the coldest brown Australian water you will ever step into. It comes directly out of the caves, and it feels like you are swimming in a fridge.

We celebrate the discovery by imitating the explorer statue in Machattie park.

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* We are posing like this ironically.

If you want a bit more adventure you can actually jump off the rock, or slide off the waterfall (we did both) as the water is relatively deep. Always test the water though, or be ready to become a negligence case that law students will laugh at (Jenolan Council v Idiot).

Sign #3: Only one person can walk across this bridge at a time.

The one place on this walk that deserves a sign, is this death bridge. It is visibly rusty, and when you walk across it you really feel like you are a Donkey on a bridge. We completely didn’t see the sign until we were completely across, but we regret nothing.

The view was both terrifying and mesmerising.

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If you want a safe walk that you are guaranteed to be protected by signs every step of the way, this is the walk for you.

I can see why they chose this as a popular tourist destination though. None of the photos have a filter, the trees are actually that green. The light actually shines through the trees at just the right angle that allows you to see the star-shaped leaves gently waft down the trees in a dreamy halo. The water is fresh and gurgly and not at all rank and swarming with mosquito larvae.

In short, take this walk if you want to experience the Australian Bush as a kind loving mistress, rather than a harsh nagging wife.

Behold, soft mossy logs that spring softly when you step on them.

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Water that gurgles like a laughing baby.

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Water, water everywhere, running through your feet.15991815_1265839583462180_30937685_o