Sunday drive: Wombeyan Caves

Do you know what wholesome families do on Sunday’s? Me either. However, I think that they may go on family drives, or excursions, doing things that the whole family would enjoy, featuring in most cases, the great outdoors.This wholesome family could not stand one more minute at home with a crazy 3 year old who lost her shit every 4.5 seconds over anything, biting and hitting any family member that looked at her sideways, so we packed up the (freshly washed & vacuumed by me yesterday car) and hit the dirt road to some local(ish) tourist attractions: The Wombeyan Caves. They are not far from us, as the crow flies, but by car and by long and windy, dusty road, they were about 2.5 hours away.The drive there was stunning. Hairy, a little scary, windy and dirty, but stunning. Daisy and I both got anxious about the same thing: that we would pop all our tires and be stuck. Harper, funnily enough given that she has completely forgotten how to sleep in the night, slept. Oh, that’s right, she ate and ate and ATE, and then she slept.

The caves are surrounded by picnic areas and camp grounds that were unnerving in a 1972 School camp kind of way. It was so pretty though – babbling brooks a go-go for picnics (had I been actually wholesome and prepared one).

We trekked up a hill, Rob and I taking turns being pack horse for her majesty the 3.

Give a 6 year old a map, and the lead, and you give them the world.

We arrived at our door, put in our token that we had purchased, and entered a magical world.

It was dark, and unlike anything the kids had seen before. Daisy loved it. Harper? Not so much. We carried her most of the way…she was really scared. We had the place to ourselves too.

Harper got happier when she could see daylight. Me too. It was beautiful, but my imagination got the better of me. That and the whinging 20kg’s attached to my hip.

By the time we got outside, Harper had convinced herself that she needed to wee first, and then vomit, so we hightailed it to the bathroom where she declared that “I did not like that adventure one bit at all” while Daisy blabbered on to Rob about how “fascinating” it was. I put Harper in the air conditioned car to calm down and went to the Kiosk to grab a wholesome Callipo for the girls and Golden Gaytime for Rob and I. We drove the long way home (via Goulburn) which was a slightly longer, but much better road, singing Coldplay and Killers as we went. Harper came good, Daisy was happy, and our Sunday looked half way wholesome to the passing by blog reader.


  1. Bahaha what is the above anonymous on about?

    Anywho, Baby Mac I’m so glad you have highlighted the worse for wear moments. Makes me feel a little better about all the time we go out with our littlies.

    When we got out on these wholesome trips I envision something completely different from the reality that is, going out with toddlers.

    Lovely photos. I’m newish here and slowly navigating my way around your beautiful blog. And hope to get around to “Beverley”.

    Anyways, if you ever have the chance, stop by:

  2. Oh my god, Golden Gaytimes, I totally miss them!

  3. Wombeyan Caves! I went camping there as a 10 year old, in the 70’s and all occupants of our little 2 door carolla felt sick driving down to the camp grounds. Fantastic post Beth, bought back lots of memories 🙂

    V x

  4. Ha, Vicki, we camped there, or somewhere nearby, in the 70’s too. I was 7 I think as my brother wasn’t even walking yet. Got to love the Golden Gaytime and a day out and about with the little ones.

  5. Went there on our last family holiday, I must have been 17. Last day of the trip and I wanted to get home to my boyfriend. Mum and dad left me in the car whilst I sulked (I suspect they took more time just to make their point, they took forever…) boyfriend dumped me and I’ve always regretted I didn’t go in…kids, who’d have them?

  6. Thank you for sharing your day out. Beautiful photos. I remember going for Sunday drives with mum and dad as a child but not too often as during the war we had petrol rationing. We were fortunate to have a little Fiat tourer that did about 60 miles the gallon but even so had to watch the fuel gauge.
    We have some beautiful caves over here in Western Australia and people often find there littlies are overwhelmed by going underground so it is understandable Harper wasn’t too happy in the darker areas.

  7. Oh well done, Beth! Family outings are the stuff of all childhood memories. Daisy will have some really cool news for school this week – I hope Harps sleeps well for you tonight too xx

  8. Another one who last visited in the 70s and I remembered the road. Last September I was with a friend down that way for a weekend. We drove around for a while on Friday afternoon and he decided we would try. I told him Goulburn was the better way but he persisted. Around Joadja it started to snow and was darker and darker. We turned back when we finally found somewhere to turn. Discovered it was -6° C in Mittagong and were thankful we didn’t get stuck somewhere.

  9. Wanna swap Sundays? I’ll take yours screaming toddler and all and you can have he following:

    Fighting 4.5 yr old and 6 going on 16 attitude to boot brothers. Bonus 5:45am wake up call with a wailing “he hit me”, “where’s breakfast?” scenario.
    Quick dispute with the husband. Put aside to attend church. Yes, church. Bribed into going by the boys after they were bribed by the teachers on the count off “table points” on offer for the 6 yr old. Free sausage sizzle and jumping castles clinched the deal (not to mention free donkey rides). Palm Sunday here we come!
    Pop home for pt 2 extended dispute round 2 with added swear words followed by no talkies (tbc).
    Have I sold you yet?
    One last stop at supermarket to purchase range of gluten free products to prepare our elimination diet week for 6 yr old. Yay! There’s been tears already – bye bye muffins and I joined him in shedding some before dinner.
    Hold me.
    G x

  10. It’s not a wholesome Sunday road trip until someone throws up…or at least threatens to throw up!
    Reminds me of my childhood…I was the eldest so it was always my younger sister who was doing the throwing up!

  11. As you know, I live way up in Central Queensland, but I was born and bred in Goulburn. You’ve made me home sick, in a good way xo

    • I thought of you as we drove back through Goulburn. I digged Taralga too – pretty little town!

    • Anonymous says

      Oh wow, I was born and bred in Goulburn too. Moved to Sydney wen I was 12. Loved visiting the caves and there was awesome glow worms at Bundanoon. A very special place, the southern highlands.
      Kim BIbby

  12. I love your description of your errant 3 year old. My youngest (girl) is turning 5 in May and is soooo much nicer to live with than she was 12 months ago. And she sleeps. In my bed, but she sleeps :).

  13. I was so relieved when you said you came home through Goulburn, that road to Wombeyan Caves is the most terrifying drive, all that beeping around blind corners scares the crappers out of me. We adventured home that way once and now every time we go out in the car our kids say “are we going on the vomit hill?” they are traumatised for life I think.

  14. I love the spunk (for want of a better word )of your 3 yo girlie, she is like my now teen, that energy is awesome (her) and debilitating (me)! But I just love it anyway, maybe that is chaos theory?
    Pics are way cool of the caves.
    Who cares if it turns to shit a bit, you made an effort to go out in nature.

  15. Cool. I remember doing The Wombeyan Caves when I was young. We haven’t done anything wholesome on the weekend for a while. Better fix that, you’ve shamed me…..

  16. I am a little scared of being in the caves as well. Kept wondering what would happen if an earthquake hit.

    I didn’t realize your youngest girl had Down Syndrome.That must add another layer of parenting challenges. First time I have noticed it in your photos.You have gorgeous daughters.

    It is always hard when kids have difficulty sleeping, makes them harder to reason with during the day when they are over tired.

    Love your photos, thanks for sharing.

    Valerie Symonds

    • Hi Valerie, thanks for your comment, just wanted to clarify though that Harper doesn’t have down syndrome. I had that same earthquake thought though, I must admit!

  17. Wow. What an awesome place!!!!
    A perfect looking Sunday Beth, even with whining 3yr olds. I can only imagine my 5yr old in there….I think she’d possibly have heart failure. Last night we had a blackout after a storm. Even by beautiful candlelight and with torches in hand – she was still terrified :)))
    Have a great week Lovely.

  18. P.S. Callipo’s fix everything with kids. They just do.

  19. It may help you to know that my now 16YO daughter was EXACTLY like Harps. Such. Hard. Work. In comparison, the teenage years have been a walk in the park. xx

  20. I’m totally taking the kids there. I looks just like Jenolan. I just hope Phyllis (Phoebe) and Madge (Matilda) don’t make an appearance!! You need an alter ego name for Harpy Hoo..

  21. Oh!! I have been wanting to go there for years?! Was the road super scary? I don’t do scary roads with MY hubby. He thinks they are fun if you know what I mean…*hold on tight*!!

  22. I’m off to wombeyan caves for some camping in the first week of the holidays. Now I’m not so sure!
    we are going via goulburn. Had heard the mittagong way was a little hairy – especially with a camper trailer!

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